FORUM COACH TRIPS

Contact details for Ian Neill are tel: 0115 972 6057 or e-mail to ian.neill3@ntworld.com

Nene Valley Railway September 20th 2017

Our railway trip this year took us to a lesser known preserved steam railway. The Nene Valley Railwa,y now in its 40th year, offers a 15 mile round trip between Yarwell and Peterborough . The main station is at Wansford close to the A1 but its most attractive stopping points are Yarwell and Ferry Meadows. The Peterborough terminus, due for a rebuild, is quite near the city centre. Adjacent to the station there is a tourist attraction called Railworld Wildlife Haven.

We had a reserved coach for the outward leg from Peterborough. Many of our party got off at Wansford and thoroughly enjoyed the very high standard of 'home cokking' in the restaurant there.

 

Admiring our engine, Bulleid Pacific Battle of Britain 34081 which worked express passenger services in the South and West of the country (photo by David Pinney) Our train was made up of old coaching stock. The railway had reserved a coach for the use of the Long eaton 50plus forum (photo by David Pinney) Although Wansford has a turntable, it was not used on this occasion. Here the loco 'runs round' the train ready for the return journey (photo by David Pinney)
Our shot shows our wonderful trip organiser Ian Neill with chair, Pete Wearn, and forum members enjoying their ride from Peterborough to Wansford (photo by David Farley) Wilf, a real railway character joined forum member Melvyn Rowthorpe for our trip. Wilf worked at Toton as fireman on the Garratts and as a linesman. (photo by Pete Wearn) Some members opted not to go on the train and spent their time in Peterborough. Here we see the magnificent cathedral. (photo by David Pinney)
Ian and friends enjoy a very tasty meal at lunchtime in the Wansford Station Restaurant. Catering staff remained cheerful and friendly as they coped with the large demand! (photo by Pete Wearn) Wansford Belles! There were plenty of places to rest and relax at Wansford and other stations on the line offered country walks. (photo by Pete Wearn) Pauline and Gordon, pose by the tank engine at Wansford Station. Pauline rarely misses either Open Forums or coach trips. (photo by Pete Wearn)
The station at Wansford (photo by David Farley) is very smart with excellent facilities. Peterborough Station is not so good and is due for a rebuild when funds allow. This Swedish locomotive was kept in working order by the Swedish government in the 60's and 70's as backup in case of nuclear attack! (photo by David Farley) Railway exhibits at Wansford also showing part of the turntable. Behind was a model garden railway. (photo by Pete Wearn)

 

 

Llandudno

July 2017

Our trip to the seaside this year took us to the Victorian resort of Llandudno, a longish coach ride but worth it!

The photographs below were taken by David Pinney who has kindly given us permission to use them here.

Relaxing on the beach.. the sun shone for us! Healthy walking along the prom... and lots of hotels! The Great Orme .. cliff scene.
I wonder how much it costs to stay at The Grand Hotel! Jenny Timmins examines the drinking fountain erected in celebration of Queen Vic's Golden Jubilee in 1887 A ride on the tram was very popular and you could go up to the Great Orme and back on a cable-car!

 

Tewkesbury

April 2017

Tewkesbury in April proved to be a pretty cool place and by that I mean the temperatures!! Very different from our April visits to Burghley and Castle Howard. We missed our Coach Trip Organiser, Ian Neill, who had suffered a nasty break to his arm and had to miss the trip.

The abbey was very beautiful and other attractions included boat trips down the Avon and a fascinating local museum with a great diorama of the famous battle of Tewkesbury which established Edward IV on the throne in the wars of the Roses.

We left around 4.45 pm and were safely back in Long Eaton after an excellent run by around 7pm

 

Bury Station
The cosy little boat that took us up the Mill Avon and back Tewkesbury has good access to the UK canal system Guess who came on our boat trip!
Tewkesbury Abbey

We were very impressed with the beautiful interior of Tewkesbury Abbey.

The local ale was tasty!
A nice togetherness group sculpture just outside the abbey grounds The Tewkesbury Museum had an interesting model fairground which even included a Robin Hood section! (picture by David Farley) Exhibits from the Battle of Tewkesbury 1471 display in the local museum.
 

 

East Lanc Railway, Bury

September 2016

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the charming East Lancashire Railway where we received a warm welcome from (mostly) older volunteers on this preserved steam railway. We were hauled by a very old loco manufactured in 1896 and one of our members, David Pinney, even had a go at firing it!

Most of the large group of around 90 members chose to spend quite a bit of the day at Bury and were surprised by how much they liked this small northern town. At that time of year it was very peaceful with lots of cafes and other eating places to choose from. The Bury Transport Museum brought back a lot of memories and lots of interesting conversations took place between members relating some of their past experiences!

Bury Station
Our coaches reached Bury Station in good time to catch the 11.00 train to Rawtenstall (DWP) Our party of about 90 members made a busy start to the day for the welcoming volunteer railway staff (DWP) A great shot of our party taken by David Pinney (DWP)
Jenny Timmins who helps to keep us straight on these coach trips here having a snack at Bury station! (DWP) The loco, 1896, takes on water before hooking on to our train (photo by Pete Wearn) David Pinney, one of our intrepid forum photographers on board the loco. He had a go at firing too!
A great shot by David Farley (DWF) at Rawtenstall Station, end of the line for the East Lancs Railway We liked the town of Bury with museums and memories of Robert Peel who was born here and was PM twice and called the 'Father of British Police"(DWP) A lovely old Austin van at the excellent Bury Transport Museum, popular with our members (DWF)
Traction Engine and Fordson on show at the museum. The display panels were very clear and all the exhibits were very well restored. (DWF) Malcolm and friend on board the train to Rawtenstall. They enjoyed their trip out .. home territory for Malcolm! (DWP) Our jovial Melvyn Kelly aboard one of the many old coaches at the transport museum (PLW)

 

Whitby

July 2016

The trip to sunny Whitby in North Yorkshire took place on Thursday July 7th. We booked 3 coaches but owing to a large number of last minute cancellations, the forum made a loss on this trip. So the committee has decided to stop the POD option. You must prepay and except in very special circumstances there will be no refunds.

The trip was very enjoyable and we were blessed with good weather. The fish and chips were marvellous and lots of people enjoyed the Open Bus Tour. Our forum photographer and model railway enthusiast, David Farley, also visited the railway station where a steam engine arrived from Pickering,

Ian and I were impressed with the hygeine side of the donkey hire service on the sands; we had acliff top view of the brush and pan work by the proprieters! We also watched a young lad and his father play cricket on the sands for ages, a future Yorkshire Batsman in the making I reckon!

It was very gratifying to hear from so many that they had enjoyed their day. We do like to get this positive feedback from you all.

We were welcomed! The streets were busy, lots of holiday makers Monument of the explorer Cooke brought up here
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Open Top Coach Tour of the town For the young, a trip out to sea in a pirate ship Whitby Sands where we watched family cricket
All aboard for Pickering on the N York Moors Ralway Another view of the Standard Class Loco This cafe, one of many, caught David's eye
Some Whitby Donkeys brought back fond memories View of the harbour View of the historic Whitby Abbey Ruins


Burghley House

April 2016

The trip to Burghley House on Thursday April 14th was less well supported than normal but those who did go had a great day out with lots of sunshine.

The gardens were extensive and included some interesting water features in The Garden of Surprises (see photo below) and an amzing amount of mistletoe in the trees. Tours of the house revealed lots of treasures collected over the years especially by the 5th and 9th earls. The food provided in the Orangery Restaurant was excellent.

lakeside Water Feature Ian and friends
Bullrushes by the extensive lake Forum members pose behind the Water Curtain Feature in the Garden of Surprises Our trip leader with Cindy Woolley and friend
Mistletoe Cows Bus
The clumps in the trees are mistletoe Cow Sculptures by the artist Sally Matthews Group Photo .. nearly all there!
courtyard house gardens
Burghley House Courtyard .. the remaining photos were kindly supplied by David Farley The house is set in extensive parkland designed by Capability Brown Ornamental Gardens
bed kitchen screen
Four poster bed for draughty winter nights! An amazing collection of brightly polished copper cookware was on display Exquisite Artwork on this screen

 

Greenwich

September 2015

Our trip to Greenwich took 103 forum members to Tower Hill Pier where 90 of us left the coaches  to take a City Cruise down the Thames to Greenwich ( a few stopped on the coach bound for Greenwich by road). The weather was great for a cruise and the off-the-cuff commentary from one of the boat crew was very entertaining. Click here for a sample of his Cockney Spiel.


Once at Greenwich, we had to sort out where coaches would pick us up. Then it was off to explore a wonderful heritage site with the Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum and Cutty Sark. Unfortunately the Queen’s House was closed.

Some of the photos shown here were kindly passed on by one of our loyal members, Stuart Larner (SL).

coaches
Our luxury coaches. The white car maybe should have chosen a better park-up! Our driver was entertaining!
On the boat sun shines on our boat trip A member of the crew provided the commentary
Ninety of our members made their way down the Thames from Tower Pier to Greenwich. The sun was shining as we were treated to an amusing commentary on the many points of interest we passed. To listen to a clip from the boatman's remarks, click here.
The National Maritime Museum Cutty Sark Greenwich Observatory
The National Maritime Musem .. plenty about Lord Nelson here! (photo by Stuat Larner) The Cutty Sark, restored after a devestating fire . This British clipper was built in 1869 for the China trade(SL) Dome on the famous Greenwich Obsevatory, home of Greenwich Mean Time! (SL)
 
 

Southport

On July 9th 2015, two coaches of forum members set off an hour earlier than our normal time bound for sunny Southport. And so it proved to be! We had a beautiful 'day at the seaside' a nice change from Long Eaton I guess.

It was fairly quiet as schools were not yet on holiday and there was lots to do and many places to visit.

One popular attraction was the model village shown opposite.

 

Southport Hotels Southport Model Village
Our Photographer Mr David Pinney Southport pier Southport Shop
Many thanks to our photographer, David Pinney, (seen here in distorted reflection!), for supplying these shots of our day out. A lot of people ventured on to the very long pier making a bracing walk 'over the water'. And there were shopping opportunities aplenty for those so inclined!

Castle Howard

This coach trip took place on Thursday April 16th and took us to Castle Howard near Malton, Yorkshire. Numbers were a little lower than usual but those who did go thoroughly enjoyed their day. There was so much to see both inside the magnificent house and out in the gardens and extensive parkland around. Free tours of the woodland area were also available.

Although early in the season, there were many beautiful spring flowers though a lttle too early to see the rhododendrons. For the energetic, there were lakeside and woodland paths passing interesting statuary.

Inside the house we saw how fire damage of 1940 had been made good and were treated to inside information about the filming of Brideshead Revisited.

The Castle itself was well worth a visit and the guides there were really helpful and informative. The Chapel included work by William Morris with 3D Stained glass illustraions.

Ian, Cindy and friend Our leader
A happy meeting in the grounds at Castle Howard: Ian, Cindy Woolley and friend. Cindy will be joining the management committe at our next AGM.

Our Trips Organiser enjoying a pint of Black Sheep in the Stable Courtyard Restaurant (waitress service). The quality of the food was excellent.

The House Gift Shop was well stocked with quality items, You could also visit the Garden Centre, Carriage House and Bookshop if you had some spare cash!

Beautiful spring flowers at Castle Howard included these lovely primroses Part of the Atlas Fountain Castle Howard has extensive grounds with woodland and lake side walks. This picture was taken a few yards from the Atlas Fountain.
Primroses by one of the many woodland trails. A trumpeter, part of the magnificent Atlas Fountain Just near the fountain, a view of one of the lakes
Castle Howard by David Pinney
Inside Catle Howard
Temple of the Four Winds
A beautiful picture taken by David Pinney showing the house in its parkland setting There was much to admire in the magnificent interior of the house .. photo by David Pinney One of many surprising architectural treasures in the grounds . Temple of the Four Winds by David Pinney

Westminster

On March 5th when we visited the Houses of Parliament and met our MP, Jessica Lee. There was also a tour of the House. Our tour took place in the afternoon when both chambers were sitting.

This meant many of our members were able to sample proceedings in both Lords and Commons from the Visitor's Galleries. The tour itself concentrated on Westminster Hall (which is open to the public without security screening) and St Stephen's Hall.

The palace of Westminster
St Stephen's Hall
  The magnificent Palace of Westminster in the evening light  

Gloucester

Our autumn coach trip was to Gloucester and took place on Thursday October 2nd 2014.We hired a luxurious bus from Silverdales. As we arrived at our destination , we were lucky enough to have the services of several helpful guides from the Tourist Information Centre who introduced us to this beautiful city. It seemed really peaceful and at that time of year was not too busy with tourists.

Gloucester
Gloucester Cathedral
Following our guides into the city of Gloucester The beautiful cathedral in Gloucester seen from a square nearby

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway

This is the third steam railway that our forum has visited. These visits are very popular .. after all we are the generation that remembers steam in its heyday!

The day also offered shopping in Keighley and Howarth and a look round the Bronte Museum based in the Old Vicarage, home to Charlotte and her family.

Video clip of steam trip

Steam Train trip
Howarth

Steam Train Trip June 26th 2014

Train arriving at Howarth station

A steep climb brought us to Howarth and the Bronte museum.

Cambridge

A long journey taken in April 2014 but well worth it. Cambridge is such a beautiful place and many took the chance to go punting on the river Cam. Our party had a guide from Romania who told us all about the history of the city.

There was a considerable delay while we waited for two of the party to get back to our departure point, so we now print the mobile nos on the backs of the tickets. Please do try to get to the pick-up point a little before time!

Video of Day at Cambridge

Punting on the Cam
Pete at Cambridge