9.4.13

Hebden Bridge, Haworth and beyond

This was to be a complex excursion. There is only one bus an hour between Hebdon Bridge and Haworth and the last one back was 5.18. I didn't count on other difficulties! The objective was the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. First setback was not finding Rochdale railway station. I took the 471 bus into Bury and on through Heywood (past Wham Street) to Rochdale. No sign of the station and when I reached the bus station found that the nearest bus to it was... the 471. So back I went, got off at the roadworks where they are installing tram lines, and eventually reached the station bursting for the loo. Luckily they had one!

The moors

The train to Hebden Bridge, via Todmorden and many tunnels, was very scenic and the 500 bus was waiting outside. The journey up and over the tops was exhilarating, with lots of snow remaining from the recent showers. At Haworth the train was already in, so I jumped on board and bought a round ticket at the end of the line at Oxenhope. It was pulled by a Standard 4 tank similar to the one I saw at the ELR the day before, 80002, built at Derby in 1952. It went back to Keighley, via Oakworth, where the Railway Children was filmed, and I grabbed a sandwich at the end of the line when the loco took on water.

  Inside Ingrow Loco

I now had a dilemma: to get off at Ingrow West to see the two museums, or carry on back to Oxenhope to see the locos there. I decided to hop off at Ingrow, but the Loco museum was a disappointment: only three small locos inside, with another small tank down the road at the Museum of Rail Travel. I should have got a Rover, which would have entitled me to free entry to both museums, but I coughed up £2 to get into Ingrow loco, and the Jubilee 5596 Bahamas wasn't even there (it's at York). I didn't bother with the Museum of Rail Travel.

  80002

So, I waited on the platform for the one train operating to get back and I returned to Keighley, then back to Oxenhope where I thought I could have a quick look in the museum while the engine was changing ends. The Oxenhope exhibit was much better, more like a shed with loads of top class engines on view. And it's free! I grabbed a tea and rode back to Haworth where I'd just missed the penultimate bus. Took a look round by the sheds where 43924 was outside, and up the hill for a bit to see if I could spot any Bronte stuff, but no joy, so spent half an hour in the pub with a dodgy pint of IPA throwing a squeaky toy for a puppy that befriended me. Then it was back over the moors, the train to Rochdale, walk to the bus stop where they stop stopping after 7pm. Luckily one came along before then but it terminated at Bury. After 7pm, the buses, which are every ten minutes during the day, go to being one an hour, so I took refuge in the Art Picture House, now a JD Wetherspoons pub, for a quick half of Thwaites Nutty Black. Made it! Another heritage railway ticked off the list.
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