Finally this wonderful tour, adventure, is coming to an end as we gathered outside the Novotel York before boarding our coach for the trip to London. This inaugural UK History and Heritage Railway Tour has been a major success and we all enjoyed every minute of the time we have spent together.
We have visited 13 Heritage Railways and 0ne Heritage Tramway which had over 50 trams within the collection, travelled on 11 Steam Trains and 2 diesel trains and become ardent train spotters. What a wonderful mix for such a short time. There was even time to visit Haworth where the Bronte sisters lived.
We have met many volunteers who work on these railways and the trams and without their expertise, diligence and love for what they do, there would most probably not be the Heritage centres as we find them today. There are many jobs that they do, from the train drivers to the person working in the café and many in between. They are all friendly and very informative when asked about their Heritage Centre. We are happy to have met them.
So, with some sadness we headed south towards London, but first we had a lunch appointment, at The Petwood Hotel at Woodhall Spa. This lovely manor house was the home for the men of the famous Dambusters as they prepared for that raid. Their training was carried out at the Woodhall Airfield before leaving from RAF Scampton on that incredible raid. The House id known to all who come on the Bomber Command Tour each year but was new to most of the others.
Lunch was served in the Petwood Room and the doors to the terrace were opened so that we could sit outside and take in the view of the beautiful gardens. Following lunch, Bryan piped us back onto the coach and we then continued our journey and arrived at the Pullman Hotel at 1800. Michael then said goodbye to us and we to him and John, who was leaving tonight from Terminal 3 and being dropped there by Michael.
For the rest of us it was check in, and the 3 Australian staff members, Kait, Bella and Jeff, wanted a photo with the Aussies. It was a lovely gesture on their part and after the photos were taken, we continued to head to dinner in the Skinners Arms and then, would you believe it, a visit to St Pancras Station to see the trains. Not steam trains this time but we hunted down the Eurostar and local fast trains, it seems at the end of the day, any train will do. Breakfast tomorrow and then we go our own ways, continuing to holiday in the UK, catch a Eurostar to Paris or to return home. Whatever we do, we shall always remember this tour and those who were on it with us.
Good night from London.