Please note that the dates for these tours may vary from the guide below. No tours will be offered until international borders are open.
This was our last day out with the Heritage Steam trains for tomorrow we head down to the Pullman Hotel in London. We have seem and ridden on many trains, both steam and diesel over the last 2 weeks and today we were again riding behind another steam train. We had left York early as we were heading out to the West to visit the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway that ran along the valley between Keighley and Oxenhope. This line serviced a highly industrial area and the chimney stacks adjacent to large factories are evident right along the valley. But now, they lie silent as that early industrial age has passed by. The valley is close to Bradford and Halifax and as we made our way towards Keighley it was very evident that this whole area had been heavily industrialised and many of the houses and small cottages had been built to house the mill workers.
The area did not look its best due to the low cloud and rain but to all in northern England the rain was very welcome as the country had been in drought for some time. So, whatever the weather we were looking forward to our day in the valley. Arriving at Oxenhope Station early we were able to visit the Exhibition Shed and view some engines and carriages which were not currently in use. This station was the original terminus of the railway and is 660 ft above sea level. It is a very good exhibition and while inside the main shed we could hear the rain pelting down onto the tin roof. Following our visit to the shed, Michael reversed the coach down from the parking lot so that we would not get drenched while trying to make our way to the parking area. All alighted, a little damp but not too wet.
Next stop was as Keighley, the Northern Terminus of the line and connects with the main line. This is where we obtained our tickets and then waited for our reserved train while viewing 2 others that arrived and departed. One was the Heritage Train with carriages that had been built in the 1880s and found and restored by the railway and pulled by a 1920 Locomotive. Most of those carriages had been sitting derelict for over half a century and to see them now, back to their original condition showed the dedication of those doing the restorations and continuing to maintain this heritage railway. Our train arrived and we boarded into our reserved seats. The next couple of hours was spent travelling on the line pulled by our steam locomotive. An enjoyable and relaxing way to spend a wet Sunday.
Our time at Keighley came to an end and we boarded our coach and headed down to Lincoln where we were to spend the night at the lovely Petwood Hotel which is steeped in history and where the men of the Dambusters lived while training for that famous raid. We arrived at 1700 and settled in before adjourning to the terrace for a drink and chat while overlooking the wonderful gardens. Tomorrow will be our last day on the road.