Please note that the dates for these tours may vary from the guide below. No tours will be offered until international borders are open.
Today was a special day for us all, but in different ways. Some went to the Art Gallery, others to Book shops but most went to the National Railway Museum. Those at the museum were treated, by Peter Thorpe's staff member, Andy to a behind the scenes tour of the Archives. These Archives are so extensive that they take up quite a few floors at the museum and all under temperature and humidity control. We were shown some of the crowns in the jewels that are here but, available for research which makes this a special place indeed.
Among the artefacts etc that we were shown includes, the first ever train spotter letter where a fellow was writing to his girlfriend trying to explain what he saw so he drew it, the first steam engine spotted and reported. Next was the Minute Book of Robert Stephenson, son of George Stephenson with all the details of those first meetings. There was a sketch book or Daniel Gooch who was Brunel's Locomotive Engineer and many sketches are in colour. We saw some of Bradshaw's timetables and the 1929 Testing Record for the Flying Scotsman. There was also a book with the tapestries within the Flying Scotsman. We then moved to another area where all the railway posters are stored, thousands of them are in storage, then the photographs and one had a shot of the English Electric Diesel Training School in Adelaide. A special collection of tickets was shown to us and we were intrigued that there was even a ticket for 'one dog' to travel on the train. Much more was shown to us including the wonderful paintings and many were painted for the posters to be printed from them.
Our time there concluded and we bade farewell to Andy and Peter and went through the museum to a viewing platform to see yet another huge steam train start its way out into the diesel and electric world. A viewing of the trains on the floor of the museum followed which is always a highlight of our visit to York. Tomorrow the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.