The following are a lot of photographs!
I made us a packed lunch – ham and mustard sandwiches, red salmon sandwiches, mini cheeses, bananas, chocolate biscuits, bottled water – to carry in the wicker basket, that was retrieved from the hall. Oscar Dandelion, my cream coloured chihuahua, had his own packed lunch of course. Dog bikkys and gravy bone sandwiches in his own snack box (see the two photos above). Although, he did participate in our sandwich crusts, which he immensely enjoys! What is the soup in the purple bowl? That is a chicken, leek, carrot and potato (Greek-yoghurt) cream soup I made for later on.
We arrived at Wroxham in good time for the two o’clock steam train to Alysham. The journey takes forty-five minutes one way, with the train arriving at Alysham at 2.45 pm. The last train back to Wroxham was the 3.30 pm one. There aren’t any reduced rates for OAPs (old aged pensioners/seniors) and disabled people, so our tickets cost £13. each. I tried to haggle – I love a good haggle. I’ve actually had the price knocked off things in shops in the pre-internet days! – but Oscar’s ticket remained an excessive £3.50. I said he’s only a little dog…
Above photographs: 1.) John looking out of the window whilst at the station; 2.) My Mum and Oscar Dandelion also looking out of the window.
It’s a dog friendly place, which is a nice change. If you look through the window of the second black and white photo, you’ll see the water bowl left at the station for thirsty dogs.
Above photographs: 1.) Train tracks; 2.) Looking out of the left window; 3.) Film noir Oscar!; 4.) Er, looking out of the left window again…but it’s gone dark…
Oscar had never been on a train before, let alone a mid-size steam train. He was taking it rather well – looking at the passing scenery as if he were sitting in the car or watching tv. It was John’s first time on any steam train (mid-size or normal enormous size). I felt badly about my walking stick being wedged up against him but he assured me it was ok. No one working there initially advised us of using the disabled carriage – as I obviously walk slowly with a limp (old school zombie style) and had my pet mobil with me (sort of like the Pope’s version, but smaller for small dogs, so says John). Photo of pet mobile coming up! 😉
I thoroughly recommend this steam train trip for mobility impaired people as you can take your mobility scooter, walker, or wheelchair with you. Make sure you use the larger carriage.
Above photographs: 1.) Beautiful yellow gorse and a plume of steam reflected in the window of the train; 2.) Do not lean out of the window whilst the train is in motion – reads the sign above the window (thank goodness I didn’t drop my Kindle Fire, from which I was photographing from!); 3.) A blur of steam, long grass and ox-eye-daisies as the steam train rushes by; 4.) The same as 3.; 5.) Expanse of cloudy blue Norfolk sky above grassland and trees in the far distance.
Above photograph of: John looking out of the window.
Above photographs: 1.) Oscar sitting on my lap whilst my injured leg is elevated on the pet mobil – like my boots?; 2.) + 3.) + 4.) Moving green scenery out the window.
Above photograph of: A stylised fuzzy picture of the tracks, a stop sign and the greenery behind.
Above photograph of: A tiny trailer – a gravy bone cart?!
Above photographs: Black and white shots of the railway track and scenery; blue flowers at a mid-way stop; Oscar on my lap and my leopard legs; more shots of bright yellow flowers that are believed to be buttercups, with cows in the distance.
Above photograph of: John sitting in the carriage, on the bench opposite to my Mum, Oscar and me.
Above photograph of: A coppice of huddled trees. It reminds me of the short story, The Lost Church, I recently wrote on the blog. It’s a little scary, do you think?
Above photographs: We were drawing into the station at Alysham…
Above photograph of: And coming to a halt. Another couple of locomotives stand opposite. It seems the men are working on them.
Above photographs: Stop. Out we get.
Above photographs: We found a nice table with a brolly to protect us from the
rain sun, so we could have a sit down for something to eat. Oscar started his packed lunch first. He zoomed in on the gravy bone sandwiches, removing the interesting filling quicker than you could say Little Lord Oscar Dandelion (International Jewel – and Sandwich Filling – Thief)! My Mum bought us coffees. We wanted to go to the gift shop before heading back but we ran out of time – we had five minutes to get back on the train and we hadn’t even finished eating the sumptuous packed lunch I’d prepared!
Off I go, trying to walk fast, holding onto the pet mobil – except those fast days are over. We began cramming ourselves back into another small carriage, then a helpful couple said, why don’t you go in the larger carriage? I asked the ticket master, where’s the large carriage? A few carriages down he opened the double doors. Ahh, so much easier, comfortable…more space! Why couldn’t they have advised us that in the beginning?
Above/right photograph of: My pet mobil. Although I’ve used it for college books and sewing materials as well as for my dogs so far 😉 It’s very useful, I use it like a walker, the wheels are big and turn easily, it’s sturdy yet light (I’m not a small woman), it has brakes, and it folds up to travel in the car.
Above photograph of: 45 minutes and several sandwiches later, we’re back at Wroxham Station.
Photographs left/above: Our trusty steam train being refilled with water and coal, before proceeding onto the turn-table – of which I have a video I’ll be uploading and adding to this page.
I felt a little sad it was over so quickly. “Like a five minute fumble”, I said to my Mum and John – I made them laugh 😉 😀
I hope you have enjoyed the journey with me. 🙂
Copyright Faith McCord 2016
Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide right