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Monday, July 16, 2012

Of Steam Trains and Bones

I woke up this morning to find it raining which was forecast.

An exciting day today!! 

Directly opposite the B&B was the New Romney Station of the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway. The Railway was 85 years today but had the celebration yesterday. I can't remember the last time I went on it, maybe 1977? 

The purpose of this holiday was to go to Hythe (it has a really magical OC moment!) and I decided that I fancied doing it via train :)

My 1890 Baedaeker does not mention the railway (naturally) but it has this to say about Hythe

Hythe (Seabrook Hotel; Swan), a town with 4470 inhab., has lost its significance as one of the Cinque Ports, but is now an important military station, with the chief School of Musketry of the British army. It possesses an interesting E.E. Church, with a raised chancel and a remarkable groined crypt, containing a huge collection of bones and skulls, the origin of which is doubtful.

It's a long walk to Romney Station.... the view from the hotel ;)

The journey out was by steam train

and so the reason for coming...

800 St Leonard's, Hythe

Lieutenant R A Hildyard died aged 19 at the Somme.

Here is part of his original cross.

and his window.

Now all very impressive but it is the crypt that provides our OC moment.

Back by diesel...

Corinna this is a private compartment!!

other compartments are available.

Before leaving Hythe we picked up some lunch.

The plan was to spend the day on the train going down to Dungeness but due to the weather we got back off the train at New Romney picked up the car and parked up to eat lunch.

Which just happened to be

St Clements, Old Romney.

We then went to Rye which my Baedaeker describes:

Rye (George; Cinque Ports) is another decayed seaport, ruined, like Winchelsea, by the retirement of the sea; it was also one of the secondary Cinque Ports. Its harbour is still frequented by a few vessels. The large church, restored in 1883, is partly Norman and partly E.E., with windows inserted at a later date. The Ypres Tower, at the S.E corner of the  town, now the police-station, was erected as a watch-tower in the 12 cent. and is said to derive its name from William de Ypres, Earl of Kent. Mermaid Street is one of the most quaintly picturesque streets in England. After the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes many French refugees settled in Rye, and have left their mark on the names of the present inhabitants. At a later date it was a great of smugglers,

The house of John Fletcher (a friend of Shakespeare) was once a vicarage. It has been a tea room for many years and in July 1977 is where we celebrated my parents 25th wedding anniversary. We popped in for a cuppa and some truly lovely cake (Apple and Blackcurrant, Orange and Cranberry)

St Mary, Rye


Jan said...

Brought back lots of memories, I went on the railway back in the 1960s many times before we moved from Folkestone. You could have gone and said hello to my uncle he lives in Hythe! You could pop to Lydd church, dates back centuries, and my nan is buried there. Used to visit her every Sunday, and used to love hearing the bells ringing. :)

Anonymous said...

In fact, today (16th July) was the 85th anniversary of the official opening of the RH&DR - the railway celebrated yesterday as weekends make for more popular special events.

Danny Martin, General Manager, RH&DR

Pete said...

thanks Danny i've corrected it.

cheers jan

Janine said...

Like dem bones... :)

Ragged Robin said...

Looks a lovely part of the country Pete. The train ride sounds fun :)

I can't make up my mind about the bones - whether they are macabre or interesting?

Hope the weather is better for you today!