Scarborough

Scarborough was a place we had visited briefly a few years ago and it hadn’t impressed us then. You have to give a place a second chance, so the following day we wound our way down to North Scarborough which turned out to be a vast expanse of beautiful beach with parking along the promenade. Elsie loved the beach, but still wasn’t keen on the sea, even when the extreme knitter went paddling. I can’t see her being a rescue dog, but we will persevere you never know she might end up loving it.

North Beach

P1150090

 

P1150092

We then drove on down to the town of Scarborough and seaside resort. The town centre was a large pedestrian shopping street with lots of the big named stores. Elsie and I stood outside many of these shops, just waiting until I spotted a sign for a cliff railway, I didn’t know Scarborough had a funicular and my heart missed a beat. When the extreme knitter reappeared I dragged her to the cliff top station, all aboard and down the side of the cliff we went.

I love a funicular me, especially when I find a hidden one.

P1150097

 

P1150099

The carriage doors opened and we were on the south beach promenade complete with all the seaside tat and amusement arcades.

P1150096

The bright lights, bells and whistles let us know we were outside Coney Island. Not the real one obviously, just an amusement arcade of the same name. If you’ve ever watched the movie “Big” with Tom Hacks you will remember that he was transformed into a 13 year old boy by Zoltar the fortune telling Wizard in a penny machine, well low and behold outside Coney Island was the same machine. When I looked at the wizards face it was apparent that he was cross eyed. Now excuse me for being cynical here, but if the wizard couldn’t look me straight in the eye, how was he going to tell my fortune.

Tom Hanks and Zoltar

big_film_hanks-1460x950-1477402659

After a hasty wander up and down the prom we were back on the funicular heading back up to the main part of town. Elsie and I took our usual positions outside Marks & Spencer while the extreme knitter just popped in to buy food.

It was at this point that the reality of town life reared it’s ugly head.

As Elsie and I were stood outside M & S along with all the other waiting husbands I noticed a guy arrive and stand by me, No problem I thought, until after a while I realised he was slowly edging his way nearer towards me to the point I was starting to be wary. Then across the other side of the walkway a girl appeared and waved a purse at him and he shot off with her up a narrow alleyway. Then a policeman came running out of M & S giving chase. I really believe I was going to be a target for a pick pocket.

Undaunted we returned to the campsite with all the nice goodies the E / knitter had bought from M & S for our evening meal.

 

 

Advertisements

North Devon

Every now and then the Extreme knitter yearns to be beside the seaside. To pacify her salty sea dog desire, we travelled south towards the North Devon coast taking the long detour on the A361 to avoid the notorious Porlock hill situated west of Minehead.

A road famed for destroying gearboxes, burning clutches and boiling radiators on the way up. Overheating the brakes on the way down.

We stayed at the Camping and Caravan Club camp site at Lynton. With our age concession it cost us £16 per night for a pitch with electric hook up, awning and dog. It was a bargain compared to the site I was looking at just down the road that wanted £35 per night for the same facilities. The site was an oasis in the middle of nowhere with excellent facilities and friendly site managers. During our stay they chatted to campers around the site and were busy with the site up keep.

 

Monday. The sun was shining as we headed down to Lynmouth and after spending what seemed an age searching for a parking spot we were able wander along the quayside to the Lynmouth Cliff railway. The world’s highest & steepest fully water powered cliff railway transported us up to the town of Lynton. Lynton just happened to have a wool shop (I don’t know how she finds them)

http://www.cliffrailwaylynton.co.uk/history/

P1130390

P1130400

P1130402

P1130421

The day was turning into a rail extravaganza as I pulled into the Woody Bay train station. The Lynton – Barnstable Railway runs steam engines along a one mile stretch of narrow gauge track to Killington Lane

P1130460

P1130438

P1130440

http://www.lynton-rail.co.uk/page/visitor-information

 

Tuesday, it rained and rained, so we set off for drive around north Devon. First port of call was the Atlantic village shopping centre near Biddeford as it had a roof, but we hadn’t planned for the exclusions of dogs. Ruby and I stopped in the campervan whilst the E/Knitter braved the shops.

We were gutted that we missed out on a walk around the shops and were forced to take a nap. The E/Knitter woke us up on her return to tell us about all the bargains she had bought. Ruby and I watched bleary eyed as she modelled various tops and items of clothing.

We left the shopping centre and drove north towards Ilfracombe. It was raining when we rolled into the near empty Quay side car park. We only stayed a short time then returned to the campsite. We had seen a lot of Devon through the campervan windows, but decided that Ilfracombe needed to be seen on a dry day.

 

Wednesday, The rain had cleared and the sun was trying to break through the clouds. We were breaking camp to return home, but as the morning started to warm up we decided to pack and then go back to revisit Ilfracombe in the sunshine. The Quay side car park was certainly busier than yesterday. We found a spot by Verity, the intriguing statue by Damien Hirst. It’s large, highly detailed and a bit of a jaw dropper.

http://www.damienhirst.com/verity

Verity on Tuesday in the rain

P1130474

 

Verity on Wednesday in the sunshine

P1130480

P1130487

We hadn’t had any breakfast, so we had an early lunch in a restaurant that allowed dogs in. (it was noticeable the amount of eating establishments in Devon that allowed dogs).

Fish and chips always taste better when eaten near the sea.

After wandering around Ilfracombe for a couple of hours time was getting on and unfortunately we needed to make tracks towards home. We were driving up the M5 motorway and  getting peckish, so we pulled into a Subway sandwich bar, bought a sub and headed of towards Weston Super mare.

The promenade was empty, so we parked up on the sea front and ate our Subway evening meal. The calories needed to be burnt off and a walk up the prom to the town helped reduce them.

Weston humour

bare grills

As usual Ruby and I sat on a bench outside Marks and Spencer waiting while the E/Knitter searched for more bargains. I tend to meet a varied cross section of people when I’m hanging around with Ruby. Complete strangers will approach me and talk when I’ve got Ruby. On this occasion a young man came up to tell me about his Yorkie/Poodle cross. He had pictures on his phone and although I didn’t say it to him, it looked like a sheep with a Yorkies head attached, sort of a cloning experiment gone wrong.

Next passerby was an obviously gay man who walk by several times eyeing up Ruby or probably me, wondering if I was of the same persuasion. I must look a bit camp with a small Yorkshire terrier on a lead. I need a sign that says “I’m holding this dog for my wife”

My last visitor was an elderly gentleman who was confused and just wanted to chat about his collie puppy that had died and the local bus service.

No young ladies or even old ladies billing and cooing over Ruby.

We walked back to the campervan along the beach to give Ruby the chance to have a run around. I said to the E/knitter that I thought a man was taking our photo. Don’t be silly she said he’s taking a photo of the pier.

It wasn’t until we left the beach that we spotted a sign saying no dogs on the beach between May and September, punishable with a £75 fine. By now I expect our mug shots are posted around the town as Weston Super Mares most wanted.  Omg!! We are now hunted criminals.

The Scene of the crime

P1130498

We all turned our collars up and drove out of town as fast as we could.

 

 

 

 

All the Fun of the Funicular

We had a day trip in the camper to Bridgnorth, Shropshire. It rained, but we weren’t down hearted.

Whenever I’m in Bridgnorth I have to visit and travel on the Cliff railway because it is a small marvel of engineering and because of a family connection.

The cost to ride the rail is only £1.20 return, which is a bargain in comparison to other railways. The difference is that the Bridgnorth cliff rail is not only a tourist attraction, it is a much used public transport system.

Bridgnorth is split into two sections, High Town and Low town. The Cliff railway was built in July 1892 to transport residents between the towns instead of scaling the 200 steps.

It’s the oldest and steepest inland electric funicular railway in England

In 1944 the hydraulic system of counterbalanced cars was replaced with an electrically operated mining type motor of 32 hp. The conversion was carried out by Messrs. Francis & J.S. Lane based in Silverend, Brierley Hill. The effect of the conversion was to double the speed of the railway, up to a maximum speed of 250 feet per minute. The railway reopened in December 1944, and showed an immediate increase in traffic.

There are 3 steel ropes – a separate one from each car to the winding drum, and a safety rope running from one car to the other via the winding wheel. These are 26mm multi-strand ropes tested to an actual breaking strain of 58 tonnes. They are examined in great detail for defects every 6 months, and are replaced every 5 to 7 years.

Whilst working for Francis & John Lane back in the sixties, my father checked and replaced the steel ropes. obviously they have been replaced many times since then.

Cliff Railway

In 1955, the passenger cars were replaced with a more modern type, with improved lighting.

The Carriage design is so elegant it harks back to a stylish period. It would be easy to imagine Monsieur Poirot stepping through the door.

Cliff Railway (5)

Cliff Railway (4)

On the way down

Cliff Railway (2)

Cliff Railway (3)

Passing midway