Harrowgate steam railway trip.

Three weeks ago we went on a steam railway trip to Harrowgate but I have been so busy that I have not had the time to post details on this blog.

We took the 1947 Bentley and dressed in forties outfits as it seemed appropriate for an old steam train trip except that it was pouring with rain on the way up and the wipers on the car ceased to work which made for an interesting journey.

On my return I found that the cable that goes from the wiper motor to the wiper gearbox had broken and they are not available any more and having no luck sourcing a second hand one means I am going to have to get it repaired, unless any of my readers are classic Bentley owners and just happen to have a spare cable for a Mk VI stashed away in the back of their garage.

The itinerary was more hectic than expected and involved getting up at the crack of sparrows each day, something the wife and I do not excel at and rushing back to the hotel for dinner at 6pm which then left plenty of time for drinks in the bar afterwards which did nothing to help our early start in the morning.

The Hotel was called The Old Swan and was the hotel which Agatha Christie stayed at when she disappeared for 11 days in  1926, it was a fashionable spa hotel which was called The Harrowgate Hydro and included Turkish baths.


On our first trip we travelled by rail, unfortunately not by steam to York for a tour of the town and a look round the National Railway Museum which included the wonderful Mallard the fastest ever steam train.


Our next trip was a coach trip to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway which some of you may have seen currently featuring on television, in fact as we were on the platform a train drew into the station with a well know actor, (I think from Eastenders) on the footplate, I expect footage will appear in a later edition of the TV programme.


During our train trip we stopped at Goathland the station used in the television programme Heartbeat and we visited the village where the garage used in the programme is now a gift shop which seemed a good opportunity for a photo.

The fellow who was running the shop then proceeded to tell me how the entire village had been used as background artists for the eighteen years of the run of the show which to someone like myself, a card carrying member of Equity the actors union didn’t go down too well as in those days they were only supposed to use Equity members on any television show. I was tempted to tell him where to put his fridge magnets and it wouldn’t have been on the fridge door. The rest of the day was spent in Whitby and then back to the hotel again.


The following day we went on the Keighley and Worth Valley railway, famous as the place where they shot The Railway Children and included a trip round the engine shed where we saw the actual train used in the film under restoration.

I have to admit it was a complete mistake but it seems I have managed to make a video of our visit to the engine shed and the Bronte Parsonage complete with music but I have absolutely no idea how it happened.

We continued on to Haworth, home of the Bronte Parsonage where the Bronte sisters lived and were most surprised when we arrived to be faced with the view from the top of the hill, having seen it numerous times especially at Christmas and not realising where the image came from.

Image result for haworth top of the hill

I’m very glad we chose to visit the Parsonage rather than walk down the hill through the village  which would have necessitated the climbing of the very steep hill on the way back.

Image result for Bronte parsonage

Back to the hotel for our final night and then home in the morning still without wipers for a well earned rest. I must mention the part played by Robert our tour manager who was pleasant, helpful and informative and was a pleasure to be with.

I am running a little behind with my posts recently as we have since been away for a trip with the Rolls Royce Enthusiast Club but more of that later!





About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work due to losing my agent when I became a full time carer to my mother who had dementia. and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent. Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work. I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise. I spent many years looking after my aged mother and shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013. My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie. I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on Amazon.co.uk and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes. I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage. My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse. I have written a number of different books all available on Amazon, so don't be shy should you feel the urge to purchase. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Joe-Wells/e/B06XKWFQHT/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
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21 Responses to Harrowgate steam railway trip.

  1. Loved the little video!

  2. Clever Girl says:

    Wow, love that Mallard train, it’s beautiful! Pretty little town, too.

  3. Loved this, can’t thank you enough for sharing!

  4. SueW says:

    I remember when you booked this trip to my little part of Yorkshire.
    Harrogate (no W) is only twenty minutes from the end of my lane and I know the town very well. My children went to school in Harrogate, and it’s my main area for retail therapy (I dislike city shopping).

    We visit Haworth often and I love all the little shops and tiny cafes down the ‘steep’ cobbled hill. The walk back up is very steady because we visit all the little places we missed on the way down!

    North York Railway always a treat too for us, especially if we go on to Whitby.

    I hope you enjoyed your trip to my neck of the woods.

    • Thank you, yes it was very nice, a little hectic with the schedule but if they hadn’t packed in plenty people would have complained it wasn’t value for money. We enjoyed the local shopping too, my wife bought a hat in York and two more in Harrowgate. The only thing I missed was calling in at Mathewsons the classic car auction house which I was hoping to do but with the wipers not working on the Bentley we decided to cut our losses and come straight home as it was raining. There will be another time, I’m sure.

  5. This sounds like a wonderful holiday. I will be visiting Harrogate next month, and I can’t wait. Loving your “accidental” video, btw!

    • I think people think I’m joking when I say how incompetent I am with modern technology although a lot of my incompetence stems from laziness as I can’t be bothered to embrace the technology as all the faffing about doesn’t seem to justify the end result. I am quite prepared to embrace modern ways as with the slide show which magically appeared on the Harrowgate trip, if only I had the faintest idea how it did it, I would repeat the process on another post!

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