Well, for a day anyway! I’ve woken up to be greeting by a fabulously sunny day here in Folkstone, a town I’ve been pleasantly surprised by. I’ve stayed in the Ship Inn overlooking the harbour. It’s a quiet little pub and my room is lovely. Here’s the view.
I’m preparing to head out for the day and explore a little before I’m due to begin work in Ashford later this morning at another Community Rail Network event celebrating Rail Week. I’ll blog about what I get up to…
It’s not often that I’m pleasantly surprised by a town in the UK nowadays but I have to admit Folkestone is the place. It’s reinvented itself in recent years and a damned fine job they’ve done of it too. The Ferry port is long gone but the harbour and the harbour railway and pier have been transformed into an excellent tourist spot. I’ll add a load of pictures later and blog about it in detail but the town (unlike its cousin Dover, which is a shithole) is really attractive with a bohemian vibe due to artworks and quirky shops and bars.
Well, that was a stressful few hours. Firstly problems on the rails meant I thought I was going to be late getting to Ashford. As it was I made my train with just 3 minutes to spare rather than the relaxed 25 mins I was expecting. Then I got a text from a nag saying “could you get those Crossrail pics to us – only we’re on press today”? So, with no notice I managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat (after some wifi false starts) and get them over. As if that wasn’t enough I gad to go straight to work photographing students from Ashford college getting lessons in all aspects of the railways (safety, ticketing etc) on a round trip on the train to Maidstone East. That was actually good fun. The students were lovely and watching their delight in being let loose on making announcements over the station PA at Maidstone was priceless.
Now I’m taking a minute to get my brath back before getting some library pictures before beginning the trek back North…
This visit to Kent is coming to an end. Whilst I was here I decided to nip over to Dover to get a few pictures as my records show I’ve not been there since 2011. Not a lot’s changed around the station to be fair and what little of the place I’ve seen hasn’t changed my opinion of the town. Whilst I was there I did have time for a quick pint and enjoyed the last rays of the sunshine outside The Priory, the pub opposite the station which is where I stayed all those years ago. It’s one of those rare beasts – a pub which still hosts live music.
Now I’m on one of SET’s high-speed services back to London to head back to Yorkshire. I’ve a fast mobile office back to the capital with plug-sockets and wifi – what more do I need? (A bar and restaurant car? Ed)…
My mobile office is now speeding along High-Speed 1 to London. A railway that exposes all the anti High-Speed 2 environmental scaremongering as just that. It’s 15 years since this line opened to passengers and the scars from building it have long healed. I really must come back and spend a couple of days taking pictures along the route as the last ones I took were for a client and I’m not allowed to use them.
I’m curious. On both my trips on SET ‘Javelins’ the Train Manager has announced which toilets are working, so by implication – this is a problem. This set (like all class 395s) has two toilets, a fully accessible one and a cubicle. The access one seems to have conked out. Is this a common issue?
I’ve a small favour to ask…
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