northernvicar June 2023

The Ecclesbourne Railway have done a superb job with a disabled access coach – other railways, please take note. We had a visit on Sunday 4 June, and I got on the footplate at Shottle.

We went to Hardwick Hall on Monday 5 June, meeting our friend John. It is rather amusing that he was my Best Man forty years ago, now he gets free admission as Julie’s “essential carer”.

Then a series of train trips as I went to and fro to Manchester for various hospital jollies.

We managed a week in Wales, and called in to the Roman City at Wroxeter en route. I had listened to an English Heritage podcast about their revamped visitor experience at Wroxeter. They hadn’t done a huge amount to the museum, but they had some lovely things on display. There was also a lad with some replicas, and it was fascinating to talk to him. I grabbed the audio guide, and that was good. Simple to use – point at the sign and you get the introduction, then press A, B, or C to get the curator, or the archaeologist, or some Romans. There were plenty of seats, so I took my time and listened to a legionary, a rich woman, and the slaves – we forget how much the Empire depended on enslaved people.

Most of the Welsh holiday seemed to be trains – I have a very patient wife! Ffestiniog, Conwy Valley Line, Welsh Highland Heritage, Llangollen (to their new station at Corwen), and the Fairbourne.

When we got home, my roses are gorgeous and I am now retired. The white one is “Rambling Rector”, the pink one “St Edmund”.

On Saturday 24 June, Julie had a date at the “Bodies in the Library” conference at the British Library – she has blogged about it here. My nephew and I explored London – the east ends of the Victoria and Central Lines, and all the way to Barking Riverside!

Hannah and Amy had a break in Devon. Ilfracombe advertised itself for the likes of me in 1867. I have never been to Ilfracombe.

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