England in Spring – Yorkshire 2

At last it was time to meet Ingrid at the local train station! She was looking well and brought the sunshine with her. Our friends made her very welcome with a beautifully redecorated bedroom. On the Friday night almost all of Diane’s family joined us and we were treated to traditional Yorkshire Pie and Mushy Peas. Yum!

We made the most of the weather with lovely outings to the National Coal Mining Museum, Wentworth Village and Garden Centre, the beautiful old city of York and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Ingrid and I also shared a lovely afternoon walking along the Trans Pennine Trail.

Photos were not allowed inside the Coal Mining Museum but we learned a lot about coal mining through the centuries. Kitted out with hard hat and battery lamp we took a crowded lift 450 ft down into one of the oldest working mines in England. For me the most memorable display was of a five-year-old boy in the 1830’s kept underground in complete darkness with next to nothing to eat or drink so  he could open and close a door for his mother to haul coal through. The pit ponies who came a few years later were treated better!

It was a lovely contrast next day to be out in the sunshine exploring Wentworth Village and Garden Centre.

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And then a day in York, founded by the Romans in AD 71 to become the capital of this far flung province. York was later the capital of the Kingdom of Northumbria and then in the ninth and tenth centuries the Viking capital Jorvik. The Jorvik Experience is much as I remembered it from the 1980’s though apparently it has been extensively updated and new archaeological materials are constantly being discovered and added. Again, no photos allowed in Jorvik.

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Ingrid has always loved Henry Moore so we headed off to the magnificent Yorkshire Sculpture Park, surely England’s greatest open air gallery and my personal favourite. Both Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth grew up in this part of Yorkshire and some of their best works are on display here.

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On our last day in Yorkshire we had a very convivial lunch with our good friends Diane and Nobby who had shown us such wonderful hospitality. While the others drove, Ingrid and I followed the Trans Pennine Trail home – only about four miles but a lovely walk and a chance for us (especially me!) to enjoy more wildflowers and beautiful English trees as their buds turn into fresh green leaves.

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