All four of us headed down to Carnforth Station this morning leaving Tilly and Max in charge of our boats. A chap sat in a car by the front doors of the station and asked if we were there for trains or the visitor centre. Work is being done on the station and he was the happy face (in a car) to assist us. We wanted the trains and were pointed in the right direction.
The station serves both trains north to south and west to east. Our train was heading for Barrow in Furness and consisted of Mark 2 rolling stock hauled by a Class 37 Locomotive. Mick has had to inform me of these numbers as boys are better at such things than girls. We were heading to Ulverston in on a time warp train for the day.
The train journey was a treat with views right across Morecombe Bay, the largest intertidal area in the UK. Sandbanks, mudflats and channels are flanked by saltmarshes with the Lake District and Bowland Fells in the distance. Our train passed over the Kent and Lever viaducts crossing the out going tide stopping briefly at small stations as we went. At Kents Bank is the finishing point for guided cross bay walks. None of us fancied such a walk as the sands are dangerous and have taken many lives so we were glad to just look on from the comfort of our carriage.
Ulverston is a pretty market town in the south of the Lake District. Bunting hung across the cobbled streets.
One of it’s claims to fame is that Stan Laurel was born here in 1890 in his grand parents house. The World Famous Laurel and Hardy Museum inhabits the Roxy Cinema a 1930’s deco building. The ground floor has been taken over by what started as one mans collection, Bill Cubin once mayor of Ulverston. Originally kept in a room in his house the collection was so popular it ended up being opened to the public in 1983. When Bill died in 1997 the museum was continued by his daughter and now his grandson. In April 2009 it moved into the Roxy which still shows films.
The museum suffers a touch from the hoarding of an enthusiast, so much stuff and information, not necessarily laid out in a viewer friendly manner. All the information is there, you just don’t come across it in the right order. We still enjoyed our visit looking at the masses of memorabilia, the bed that Laurel may have been born in, costumes, numerous letters and photographs that fill the walls. I had no idea that they had made quite so many films. They won an Oscar for ‘The Music Box’ in the Best Live-Action Short category in 1931-32, that is the one where they struggle to move a piano up a large flight of steps. In the centre of the museum is a small cinema that shows Laurel and Hardy films all day. The chortles of laughter were continuous and came from both young and old.
Bridget had arranged to meet with an old friend Hilary at Gillams Tea Rooms. Inside was pretty full so we wiped down chairs in the garden and partook of soup and toasties. Mine was the best gluten free toastie I’ve ever had, mainly because it’s the only one I‘ve ever had, but it was so good I wished I’d had another.
By now the grey skies had turned blue and our return journey on the train over the incoming tide felt different. It was certainly quicker on a Transpennine Express train heading to Manchester Airport.
0 locks, 0 miles, 2 trains, 1 amazing journey, 2 comic legends, 106 films, 1180 participants in a custard pie fight, 1 very yummy toastie, 0 post restante in Lancaster! 1 boring day, 5 woofers put in their place, 4 lamb chops mysteron style for tea.