It was an early morning following our late night!!
It was so lovely letting all the kids and dogs loose and watching them run around. Proper freedom!
Breakfast was our usual healthy holiday fare - choco pillows and bacon. Mmmmmm!!!!
After a couple of pots of tea I felt more human and it was time to set off on the trains.
Hampton Loade station was beautifully done up for the Gala Weekend (See yesterday's Blip). You can't take it all in!
In the ticket office we discovered the full extent of inflation on ticket prices! £85 for a family ticket, plus £3 for the dog. Ouch!!
They didn't take credit cards but the station master said we could use cards either in Bridgnorth or Kidderminster and could travel until we had a chance to get tickets. How times have changed!!
First we went up the line to Bridgnorth. The Little Misses were very excited that it was just like the Harry Potter train! Doors that you can open by sticking your arm out of the window, windows that you can open, luxuriously upholstered seats. Just brilliant!!
In Bridgnorth we got straight back onto another train coming back down the line and went all the way to Kidderminster.
It's such a beautiful line following the meandering Severn through perfect rolling countryside.
And past the West Midland Safari Park. It's not often you see elephants and rhinoceros from the window of an English train!!
It was boiling hot and for the first half of the journey, incredibly busy but people got off at stations along the way and we had a carriage more or less to ourselves for the last bit.
Kidderminster station was fabulous (see extras) Beautiful singing from the D-Day Dollies, air raid shelters, an original WH Smiths, and a lovely cafe in the little museum serving corned beef sandwiches!! Coincidentally we discussed corned beef at length last night and it made me want corned beef!!
The museum had some lovely artefacts and memorabilia and the Little Misses and Mr T showed some very impressive skills with the signals in the signal box.
We had a couple of hours there then it was time to get back on the train.
We got off at Arley and headed down to the river to let the dogs have a bit of a run. Then it was to the pub for some much needed refreshments. By now it was about fifty million degrees and we all ended up huddled round the corner in the shadow of the wall!
Back at the station we watched the wartime wedding, ate ice cream and sat under the trees playing rummy with the cards Miss E had bought at Kidderminster station. She learnt how to play it on her PGL and loves it!
Back on the train and unfortunately the only seats were on the side facing the sun and it was just too hot. I worried for Archie but he seemed happy enough and was surprisingly cool under the table. Sat on my foot which meant I was even hotter!!
We had planned to travel up and down the line a bit more but it was too much. Too hot and too busy, so we got off at Hampton Loade and headed back to camp.
My mum did an amazing job with dinner tonight - we have a couple of gazebos and they were filled with delicious food (coronation chicken, couscous with roasted vegetables, dresses salmon, salad, paella, chickpea, sweet potato and chorizo stew)
There were lovely photos of my dad - one taken in each of the last seven decades!! 1940s music, a beautiful firepit, an enormous, delicious Victoria Sponge made by Mrs L.
It was really lovely. Mum made a lovely speech and my dad seemed to have a great time!!
Our seating arrangements made us giggle - there was much talk of squares and circles!!!
And as for when Kidderminster rose up over the horizon.......!!!!!!
A brilliant night with lovely friends and family.