Passengers Tales 2014.
…..As I said to one of my fellow travellers yesterday, my trip on the ME1 had something of the surreal about it.
I'd walked 13 miles from near Pickering to Blakey, found buzzards, a tawny owl, more house martins than I've seen for a lot of years, a woodcock or snipe - too fast to tell which - a lot of stunning flowery things, two cracking pints of Copper Dragon and sore feet. So to stand on the verge at Blakey, seven months after NYMNPA buried the Moorsbus, and watch an EYMS vehicle come lolloping over the hill from Ralph's Cross, stop, be relieved of four quid by its pilot and dropped back at home was the first time that it really sunk in that the Moorsbus isn't going to lie down and die……
Eden Blyth, Sunday 2nd June
Another good walk on Sunday (29th June), Started from Rosedale Abbey (Thanks Evyore for organising the taxi from Pickering). My friend Sue and I had a nice walk up Rosedale and up onto the old railway track. Friendly sheep unfazed by our presence and lovely views. After a quick lunch stop at Sturdy Bank (slight spitting of rain), and another nosey ewe and lamb; we carried on, climbing out of Rosedale onto George Gap Causeway. I just love the contrast in plant cover, different shades of green, changing from heather to grass and back again, and a really good track to follow; it really gets you far away from the roads. The reveal of Fryup Dale after this is spectacular. Running a little short of time because we were stopping quite a few times and nattering, we decided not to descend into Fryup Dale but turn west along the track - good going until we felt brave and took one of those little tracks marked with a black dotted line (across open access - I'd like to add). Well, we soon lost the track and had to zig zag our way across Danby High Moor to the main road to catch the bus. A bit of extreme moorland walking, good exercise lifting our legs up to make way through the heather but very tiring. Never the less a great sense of achievement - and yes we walked single file and were very careful where we put our feet! So - Good Times I do believe.
Colin Lynch 1st July
Faverdale Industrial Estate, 8 am on a Sunday, after a two hour drive, with the promised rain just about to add to the general aura of despondency. It’s two or three generations since Doctor Beeching cured the place of full employment by bulldozing the railway wagon building factory and its employees futures. Many of the “factories” built with the first flush of grant money are shut and decaying, and, unless you include Argos and Aldis’ massive robot run distribution centres, the only green shoots of recovery that you are likely to see round here are the weeds struggling to reclaim the place. And in the centre of this, guarded by lights, cameras and a security fence, squats the Arriva Depot.
And then, like a desperate escapee, a turquoise and cream bus came sidling out of the fortress, and, obviously overcome with the prospect of a whole day away from this place, flicked on its destination board which boasted that it was an M2, and was heading for the North York Moors and Guisborough.
The Rambler didn’t even make it as far as the bus stop before it stopped and the beaming driver jumped out to take some photos of that evocative destination board.
A couple more stops down the road, Mary, a Moorsbus regular, jumped on, but her delight was as nothing compared to that of the lad who was dancing about in the road with his arm out and wearing a grin from ear to ear when we got to Bus Stand L at Tubwell Row in Darlington town centre. And so it went on for most of the journey, as people smiled with relief as the Rambler rumbled towards them, climbed aboard, and carried on conversations with those who they probably thought that they wouldn’t ever meet again after last October.
There were hiccups, of course.
“Why does your leaflet have us going to the Station, but the timetable doesn’t?”
“And why have you two ladies got on here today?”
“ Because your bus went to the wrong stand at Middlesbrough Bus Station and we were at the one that your timetable told us to wait at as it drove past, so a friend gave us a lift here....”
But there was triumph as well, like the chorus of “I never thought that I’d see this again” as we bounced over Blakey, and the relief of the two passengers who had come all the way from Slough, when they realised that the Moorsbus really had come back to life. And the spontaneous round of very enthusiastic applause when Bill Breakell, the father of the Moorsbus (although he probably hates being called that), got on board.
So Danby and Castleton, the Moors Centre, Hutton le Hole, Kirkbymoorside and Pickering all whizzed by, just like old times, and at each of them people got on and got off with the same slightly relieved and slightly disbelieving smile.
Eden Blyth, Sunday 13th July
Well had a great day driving Moors Rambler today - nice to see old friends and new ones. .........................…
There are minor tweaks that could be made in the future but the whole day was a pleasure.
Neil Wise 20th July
I would just like to give a huge thanks to everybody who has worked so hard to get this service back up and running. First day back out for me since Moorsbus finished in October (it's taken this long due to my financial constraints). Fantastic day out to Danby, on a route and scenery I never thought I'd see again. Even the connections with the 128 made!!!
So once again, thank you all so much for all your hard work, it's all very much appreciated!
Sharon Feely 27th July
First trip on the Moors Rambler yesterday. Good to see it 80% full. Due to dodgy foot I enjoyed a bike ride down Rosedale on my little Dahon folder. Bus was on time for every journey.
Unfortunately, I’m one of the few who pays on buses but gets free on train (most are the other way round) - so a total of £14 in fares is a tad expensive when I could do Esk Valley trains for nowt!
That said, I’ll be back on the Rambler soon. Huge thanks to all at FoM for getting this off the ground.
Stuart Bell 28th July
Enjoyed my first trip on Moors Rambler last Sunday. Went from Middlesbrough to Danby's Visitor Centre. Then took the Esk Valley Hopper through Eskdale to Whitby. Fish 'n' chips!!!! Beautiful weather too. Brilliant day!!
Dianne Taylor 1st August
Jumping on board the Moor Explorer anticipating another little adventure, and getting off at North Grimston I took the permissive footpath at the foot of Grimston Hill leading me onto the Yorkshire Wolds Way, over Cinquefoil Hill and onto the wooded strip leading off Settrington Woods. Great weather and great view westward over Malton and beyond. Then through Beacon Wold managed woodland to Basset Brow and a really great view northward over Wintringham, Deep Dale Plantation and beyond to the rising hills of the North Yorkshire Moors; and what’s more there is a bench so one can sit down and admire the view.
After passing the time of day with a fellow walker, I headed off down the hill and onto Wintringham, passing by a small communal pond. Wintringham is a very quiet village with no amenities for a visitor, save St, Peter’s, the medieval church at the eastern end of the village. URL below
So it’s onward into Deep Dale Plantation and up a very steep hill, where loose gravel makes for a tricky walking surface and great care needs to be taken. However, it’s worth it for at the top of the hill is a lovely gate painted red, and beyond a dew pond, seating, a wild flower meadow bordered by naturally shaped wood posts and a set of carved wooden figures. This is one of the art installations now adding extra interest to the Yorkshire Wolds Way. See the BBC article URL below.
The views from here are fantastic and the art installation gives the location an ancient feel. It’s obviously a popular spot, because peace reigned for precisely one minute before a group of children and the family pet arrived, the dew pond being the big attraction. So I had my lunch and decided to walk back down the hill through Wintringham and westward to Rillington, via a road and a permissive track with sentinel spruce trees marking the halfway point.
I headed south hoping to take a footpath out of Thorpe Basset, but found the start of the path impenetrable, so I took the bridlepath next to it, and found myself back at Basset Brow. So a second sit and a second look at the fantastic view before heading back the way I came. I got back to North Grimston early and so visited the Middleton Arms for a coffee, a pack of crisps and to fuss the landlady’s very friendly black Labrador.
The ME1 then came around the corner, spot on time to take me home. So yet again, thank you EYMS for another great day out.
Colin Lynch Sunday 3rd August
What looked like it was going to be a miserable wet day first thing, turned out to be a very warm, (somewhat humid but dry) day. We got on the ME1 (another double decker!) and on the way heard the jovial banter of passengers downstairs. What a jolly crowd we are!
Pickering: a nice stroll eastwards across arable field with ripening crops; *(please see my warning further down) to Thornton le Dale for a rather large piece of cake and a strawberry milkshake. Super Cool vintage cars and motorcycles on display at Mathewson Classic Car Auctions, and the North Yorkshire Motor Museum. Thornton le Dale was bristling with holiday makers, sightseers and day trippers.
Finding a shady footpath, we headed north, past the redeveloped Thornton Mill and up the side of the Thornton Beck, passing pleasantries with others; and onto a pasture at Kirkdale Slack, a slightly muddy track uphill through the woodland and onto the Dalby Forest Road. A modest walk passed the toll booth and along a wooded footpath to a fantastic viewpoint looking over a wooded valley within Dalby Forest.
We took the decision to head west back in the direction of Pickering and so we did, through the woodland and onto Low Kingsthorpe Farm. Now, the dogs bark a lot, but the main problem is that to get to the Howl Dale Wood, one has to go through a field of very enthusiastic bullocks. Luckily the farmer was on hand and noticing our hesitation, escorted part way through until the pesky beasts were far enough behind us for us and the beasties to be out of sight of one another. A very long field led us to a really charming woodland walk in Howl Dale Wood – but watch out for the occasion nettle which sweeps out into the track and can catch one unawares.
*Leaving the southern end of the wood there is a choice. The footpath officially leads right between the line of trees and the fence, but the trees are low and overgrown and the fence in part is electrified making it quite a dangerous proposition which is not immediately noticeable until a quarter of the way along. So it is permissible and advised to go through the gap slightly to the left when reaching the corner of the fenced off field and then turn right to walk on the other side of the line of trees. It’s a grass meadow then a copse of trees and back onto Ruffa Lane (track) and back into Pickering.
We stopped at the railway station for a glass of milk and a bag of crisps before walking to the bus stop to wait for the ME1 to once again whisk us home. Another great day out with EYMS and the ME1.
Colin Lynch Sunday 20th July
Many thanks to Stuart Bell for leading our walk on Aug 7th, starting with a short exploration at the top of Farndale with Rambler passengers, and then meeting the ME1 and continuing down into a wild side of Rosedale on one of those elusive paths though bracken....beautiful.
Once down in the Dale, Stuart guided us into a favourite spot for him and many others, the Dale Head Farm Tea Garden.
Now we are all converts! Lastly, a steady climb out of Rosedale to catch the Rambler or ME1 again. Stuart writes a regular walks column in the Whitby Gazette, and has also published an amusing book of some of these walks.
Helen Gundry 11th September
The Friends of Moorsbus Guided Walk visited Sleightholme Dale this Sunday. However, getting close to bus time, we galloped out of the house minus my camera, so no pics! We reached Sleightholme Dale across the fields from Fadmoor. Actually, we missed a stile somehow and ended up in the wrong field. But no-one seemed to notice our trespass, and we found our way into the woods at the top of Sleightholme Dale without mishap. The trees are just starting to turn there, though we could have done with a bit of sun to show the full colours. We came back through Hagg Wood and into the top of Manor Vale, but with more time you can go down Sleightholme Dale into Kirkdale, where you can find the very ancient St Gregory's Minster and even more ancient caves. Bones of lions and other animals were once found in those caves, and now are preserved at the Museum in York.
Helen Gundry 15th September