On my recent travels during June I was fortunate to take a steam train ride in Keighley, Yorkshire. The dark crimson painted station and carriages were really a step back to a bygone era.
This was the bridge that Jenny Agutter waved her red knickers from in The Railway Children.
A lot of it was filmed on this line and at the stations, we passed along the way. I couldn’t remember the film in detail, but it was all quite easy to imagine looking at the landscape. I believe the film Yanks with Richard Gere was also filmed on one of these stations, too.
The porters and the ticket collectors all looked very smart in their uniforms. All of them were volunteers. I was lucky enough to go on a day where it was fairly quiet and so was able to enjoy everything at my leisure. We went into a private compartment at first and on the return journey into the public one. It reminded me of those trains that used to have a corridor running one side and each compartment had a sliding door. In the public section, there was a buffet car and it was pleasant drinking coffee and watching the countryside go by.
This was one of the small engine, and I remembered the large ones from my childhood. My dad would let us all out of the car at a level crossing to stand by the gate. Hearing the steam engine approaching was one of the most exciting things ever! I can still recall how my stomach fluttered as we were all covered in steam!
The waiting room and the toilet were all spotlessly clean, glossily painted. I can’t think when in my life I ever felt compelled to take a photograph of a toilet cistern before, but here is it! Once more, I was taken back to my childhood where we all had cubicles with the flushing tank high up and a chain to pull. We still use the expression ‘pulling the chain’ even though it is more of a handle now.