SRS Blog > Trip to Harrogate and a visit to the NRM, York

Published 8th April 2006

I had business in Harrogate last weekend, David came along to lend a hand (which is always appreciated). I'd intended to go in the posh new van (well alright, 137000 miles and six years old, but it's new to me) which is quick and quiet. Unfortunately, it's also two feet shorter than the antique Transit, so at the last minute (Saturday morning, 6.30) it was all hands to the pumps, unload the 4 inch Clayton and a 5 inch locomotive out of one and into the other as I panicked about having enough room on the way back.

It was a good choice as it turned out, the Transit was groaning by the time we'd finished loading (first in the rain, which then turned into hail which then, as we finished and shut the doors in a wet, perspiring heap, turned into radiant sunshine). A quick consult of the navigator showed us that, as lunchtime was upon us and York but twenty miles distant, a trip to the Railway Museum would provide both a decent meal and a couple of hours harmless amusement

As I've mentioned before, I visit the NRM regularly - I think an annual visit should be compulsory for all school children up to age eighteen (and possibly beyond). I always see new things, I'm always amazed at the amount and quality of the exhibits and can never quite understand how you keep that many hundred of tons of machinery in spotless, dusted condition. This visit I wanted to see the "Flying Scotsman" display and spend the rest of the time in the archive - the hall in the NRM where they display a huge amount material which always used to be buried away behind the scenes. It's all stacked up in a gloriously chaotic jumble of models and nameplates and statues and furniture and signals and signs and... you could spend a week just in the one hall and still keep seeing new things. Whenever I walk in, it always reminds me of the last scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark".