Hearing the pupils’ excited shrieks as the locomotive chugged beneath us, enveloping us in great clouds of steam, was a definite highlight of the trip for me. We travelled to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway at Pickering, it is a wonderful station and the volunteers were on hand to answer the children’s seemingly endless questions! They were given a series of questions to answer which involved them walking around the station to find various things like the old track, barrels and the signal box. There was also an exhibition with lots of interactive displays which kept their attention.
We stood on the platform eagerly awaiting the arrival of the steam train. It did not disappoint. There is something truly magical about steam locomotives.
We boarded the shiny black locomotive 63395 and we had a whole carriage to ourselves which only added to the magic. The children looked out of the windows and sketched or chatted happily on the hour long journey to Goathland station.
The sun came out as we ate our packed lunches on the pretty platform. There was much discussion about Hogwarts and Harry Potter and we imagined seeing Hagrid on the platform. Two more trains came through the station and the children waved and watched them disappear, literally, in a puff of smoke.
The gift shop was very popular with the children buying all sorts of souvenirs, from train whistles to soft toys, keyrings to butter beer. As always, our pupils were beautifully behaved and polite, I was delighted with the comments from the station staff and members of the public who commented on their behaviour and how smart and polite they were.
It really was a fantastic day, the pupils enjoyed every aspect of the trip including seeing our school’s name on the carriage, the train journey itself, Pickering station, having lunch on the platform at Goathland and standing on the bridge, watching the train go underneath us.
The days that make us happy really do make us wise!
Amanda Freer, Junior School Headteacher