Saturday 24th June

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eezypeazy

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To Newcastle by bicycle. Arrive at the ticket office at about 0540. “Single to Morpeth, please.” Present a £20 note. “Sorry, I’ve no change – buy your ticket on the train.”

Photographed the station and the class 47 hauled charter at 0615.

Present myself at the guards van of my GNER train north. “Can you tell me where to stick this?” - indicates bicycle. “Have you got a reservation?” “Reservation? I haven’t even got a ticket!” “Well, sir, I’ll accept your bike on this occasion, and I’ll sell you a ticket, but you must have a reservation in future.”

Secures bike in guard’s van, walks the length of First Class to take up first available seat in Standard for the 13 minute ride north.

As the train slows south of Stannington, begin to get concerned that I haven’t paid, so walk back through First to find train manager just the other side of the buffet car frantically thumbing through ticketing guide. “If it’s any help, the office in Newcastle said the fare was £2.80.” “Well, I haven’t got time to issue this, so for just £2.80, I’m willing to let it go this time.”

Then, passing catering assistant says, “Look out!”, as, on the rack to my right, a case of bottled water begins to topple as the train turns towards Clifton. I slowly reach up, and gently push it back. “Well spotted!” says I.

Assistant and catering trolley accompany me to last door. She says, “Are you cycling far?” “Back to Newcastle.” “Here, have some complimentary water.”

So, disembark from free ride, with free Highland Spring water.

Photograph Morpeth Station. Cycle round Coopies Lane, signal box, Railtrack yard.

Photography takes rather longer than expected, so cycle back to station. "Single to Blaydon, please.” “That’ll be £5.40, please.” “£5.40? But it was only £2.80 to get here!” “Yes, that’s right, it’s often more to leave than it is to get here!” “Bit like Royston Vasey?” Lady behind me in queue splutters into laughter.
 
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Coxster

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yorkie said:
I'm confused - I thought you cycled from Morpeth to Newcastle?
I think he means he WAS going to cycle back but the time he was photographing was longer than planned, so had to get the train home.
 

eezypeazy

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4 Jul 2005
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Yep, photographing Morpeth, the signalbox, etc, took far longer than I anticipated last Saturday... so, yesterday I used the 0605 Northern service to Morpeth, arriving 0622, jumped straight on the bike, and photographed Clifton level crossing, Stannington and Cramlington, where I boarded the returning Northern service at 0808. This time, I asked the conductor for a return from Blaydon to Morpeth (despite starting from NCL), so got my train fare for just £5.80, and cycled a total of 20 miles, including the home to NCL and Blaydon to home bits.
Next Saturday.... lift by car to Morpeth, then by bike to photograph Pegswood, Widdrington, Chevington, Acklington, and Warkworth, before cycling on to friends at Longhorsley.... and on 8 September, I'm going to do Berwick (already photographed) to Alnmouth (ditto) to get the structures in between...

eezypeazy
 
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