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No rest for the wicked! My Sunday was spent visiting two different stations in Lancashire and Yorkshire with my Paul Cook, my fellow ACoRP awards judge. As one of them had no trains (the route was shut due to Bolton line electrification work) my wife Dawn ended up acting as chauffeur.

We couldn’t have chosen a worse day to drive! The weather had broken over the weekend so Dawn had the ‘joy’ of driving on the M62 and 61 motorways when you could have water-ski’d on them.

At one point we nearly did as we hit a huge sheet of water on the M61. Thankfully Dawn’s an experienced driver and kept her cool – tho’ the steering wheel did have finger marks in it afterwards! Fortunately, the weather began to break during our first visit and the drive back over to Yorkshire was far less tense.

Visits over we adjourned to the nearby Robin Hood pub in Cragg Vale to discuss the visits over one of their excellent Sunday lunches before going our seperate ways.

This morning I’m back on the rails and heading for Carlisle via Preston as Paul and I have stations to judge in Scotland. The weather’s still changeable but I’m not complaining. We desperately needed the rain and some more wouldn’t go amiss.


I’m now in Carlisle, waiting for my ‘partner in crime’ to catch up with me. I’m currently enjoying a coffee under the station roof which was restored to its former magnificence in 2017.


Carlisle station is now another on the network to be graced with a station bar called the ‘301 Miles‘ which serves an excellent range of draught and bottled beers (plus food) in a high vaulted room with a pair of superb old fireplaces and memorabilia about the railways, beer – and the  city itself.



Station visit done we’re now on the outskirts of Glasgow after heading up the GSW route from Dumfries via Kilmarnock.


So many things I could have added today, but socialising with old friends got in the way – and don’t even ask about discussions on a Scottish view on Brexit! Tomorrow’s another day…