An Eastern Adventure Part 5

IMG_20180327_073823Yep, another blog post has made an appearance which on this trip can only mean one thing - it’s raining. After a wet and windy night we had a bit of respite in the early hours, but now the wind and rain is back with a vengeance. The site - we’re still at Old Hartley in Whitley Bay - is damn near full and while it’s a annoying for us, it must be really frustrating for the many that are out for the first time this year. I do hope they can make the best of it.

Anyway, we’ve had a good few days prior to the weather turning. Here goes:

Nothing much of note to report on Tuesday. With Part 4 finished and put out we went for a pootle, first through Whitley Bay then on to Tynemouth. A lot of development work going on in Whitley particularly on the coast and the old Spanish City building was getting quite an extensive makeover too. Tynemouth looked as lovely as ever.

Whilst the mornings rain had just about vanished visibility was poor and the camera stayed in the car. It’s an area we’ve explored before anyway so weren't too bothered. After a brief trundle past the site up to Blyth we paused for pint on the way back at the Kings Arms in the delightful spot that is Seaton Sluice.

I managed my first proper walk of the trip in the late afternoon. A pleasant if slightly muddy 30 minute amble along the cliff past the site to the aforementioned Seaton Sluice. I’m trying the 1000 miles in a year challenge and have slipped well behind target but every little helps.

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Dinner was taken at the Delaval Arms - just a couple of minutes walk from the site. If you’re slow. A friendly local with real ale and decent good value honest pub grub. Very enjoyable.

Wednesday saw us back on the road and on the sightseeing trail with a day at the Beamish Museum. We’ve passed the signs many times on our trips up and down the A1 and it’s been a recommendation by many. I can now see why too - what a fantastic day we had. Going back in time to the North East in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries we walked around the town visiting the dentist, the hardware shop, the Masonic lodge, the bank and the pub. Though, believe it or not, not stopping.

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The old station was delightful although there were no engines running until the weekend sadly.

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The pit village was next with the school and the church getting a look in before the mine itself.

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We had a brief foray into a drift mine - and experience I would highly recommend but much easier if you’re less than five foot tall. It gave you a taste of the conditions the miners had to work in - and as you can imagine it wasn’t pleasant.

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We got to see a steam winding engine working too - the machine that lowered the miners and raised the coal - demonstrated by a wonderfully enthusiastic and knowledgeable chap. Something which was repeated by all the role players throughout the day, be it by the dentist, the baker, the school teacher or miner and the experience was made all the more enjoyable for it.

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There was a steam train running - and a traction engine too at the Pockerley Waggonway and some very pregnant sheep taking it easy at the farm.

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We didn’t have time to do everything sadly and returned to the car just before the heavens opened. But with tickets valid for a year we very much hope to be back. A new 1950’s town is under construction too.

20180328_191710On recommendation from more than one source grog and grub was taken at the Kings Arms - and again it was sound advice. The Pesto Chicken for yours truly and Mince & Dumplings for Trev were superb and we both agreed it was some of the best pub grub we’d ever had. It would have been rude not to stop for one at our ‘local’ the Delaval Arms on the way back, so we did.

Right, it’s a bit of a short one - and it’s not the first time I’ve had to say that - but hopefully the photo’s will make up for it. Stand by for part six soon where we let the train, or more accurately the rail replacement bus - take the strain…

Cheers for now

Rich & Trev.


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