We usually go out somewhere on both of our birthdays so today being my birthday, Jude, The Undergardener, decided to take me on a nostalgic trip on an old steam railway line. We often pass the stations and see the track. At times while journeying down the River Banwy valley the track runs quite close to the road out into mid-Wales and towards some of our favourite stretches of coastline.
We drove in to the car park of the Welshpool Raven Square Station, parked up and bought our tickets, which were just like the ones we could remember as children, little card ones which the Guardsman clipped while we sat on the train waiting to leave.
The station building looked so small as we wandered up the path once inside we discovered that a booking office and waiting room were squeezed into it. When we went through the station and onto the platform the building showed its true dimensions.
Interesting old signs caught our attention wherever we went. In the waiting room artifacts from the railway’s previous life added authentication.
We didn’t have to wait long before we heard the hoot of the little steam engine approaching the platform.
The little engine proudly displayed its name, Countess, on the side of its boilers.
Once steam was up and the Guard waved his green flag the little train moved very slowly away from the station and we travelled along the beautiful valley of the River Banwy.
After enjoying so much beautiful countryside we arrived at the end of the little narrow guage line at the station at Llanfair Caereinion. Here we refreshed ourselves with coffee and cake while the engine topped up with water and coal in readiness for the return to Welshpool.
We found more authentic old items from the days of steam at this station too mixed up with little patches of colourful gardens.
Before climbing back on board and sitting on the hard wooden benches that were our seats, we took a few moments enjoying looking close up at our engine “Countess”. She positively sparkled as every surface had been rigorously polished, buffed, oiled or greased.
The journey back along the valley gave us the chance to enjoy different views of the surrounding landscape.
As soon as all the passengers had disembarked the little old locomotive squeaked its way a little further down the rail track to the water tower and drank thirstily.
After this delightful day of memories and nostalgia we promised ourselves a day on the old barges on the canal at Llangollen and of course there are all those other narrow guage railways scattered throughout Wales to indulge ourselves with!