Please note that the dates for these tours may vary from the guide below. No tours will be offered until international borders are open.
We are in York and what a beautiful town it is and also a very historic town. The Romans made it their headquarters in the North, one of their Emperors actually died here while visiting and quite a few of the most important Romans were born here, served here or visited.
Our purpose was not to go through the Roman history of York but one must take in the importance of the town from those ancient times while going about their business today. Our business is trains. What better place to be therefore than at the National Railway Museum.
Leaving the hotel at 0930 we followed the river Ouse and made our way to the museum. On arrival, we split into 2 groups, those who were to go on the tour of the Archives and those who wanted to see the displays then head back into town.
Our archive group were met by Peter Thorpe, Supervisor of the Archive Section and Peter escorted us into the inner sanctum where there were over 1 million plans and drawings and millions of other archived documents, paintings, records, books and much more. We were indeed fortunate to be there and Peter had prepared items for our viewing. A full briefing from him came with each item and he has a wonderful memory that supported the items as he told us their story and significance. Many paintings by Terrance Cuneo are in the collection and a 1947 of a train crossing a bridge is a special.
Michael Portilo in his TV series on the Railways of Great Britain and his Continental Railways carries with him his Bradshaws which he reads from quite regularly as he travels along. In the Museum, there are many original Bradshaw timetables and the first printed circa 1839. Bradshaw's name became a name only by the publishing house and the timetables were being printed and distributed for years after Bradshaw's death. The museum has many from early times and a 1937 edition in soft cover. The 1873 edition that is available as a reprint was printed many years after his death.
We thanked Peter for taking us through the archive area of the museum and especially for the time he took to prepare for our visit by having special plans etc put ready for us to view. We said our goodbyes and then went our way, mostly to the main hall of the Museum. Tomorrow, lunch aboard the Moorlander Express as we cruise through the Yorkshire Moors.