Lucky residents of Riverside’s The Boundaries scheme in Romford went on a day trip to Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, a steam and diesel-powered miniature railway that lets you explore Kent’s beautiful coastland, marshes and beaches.
Lorraine, a support worker at project for people with mental health issues, described their exciting day out:
“After breakfast we got on the minibus to Kent. We set off to a rousing group chorus of ‘Summer Holiday’ – who would have guessed that toast and jam could have that effect!
“The group boarded the train at Hythe, electing to sit in open carriages. It was quite overcast and most of us ended up with more wind in our hair than we bargained for!
“The ride across the marshes was beautiful. The train rattled along at a good speed, steam billowing past us as people pointed out the sights. The whistle blew and people laughed as some of us mimicked the noise. One bright spark started imitating the sounds of the animals that we were passing.
“Who knew that riding on a miniature train, which you have to squeeze into, could be so much fun!
“We stopped at New Romney to visit the model train exhibition; there was an hour before our next train and we wanted to make the most of it. The models were incredibly realistic; even the pterodactyls dive-bombing the town and the dinosaurs roaming the landscape! The curator was very friendly and informative, and everyone was amazed by the skill of the engineers who maintained the models.
“For the next part of our journey, in the Black Prince, everyone chose to sit in closed carriages. The wind was still blowing outside, so sitting inside seemed like a good idea for the last leg of our steam train adventure.
“The bleak landscape of the shale desert of Dungeness, when we reached it, was amazing. Everyone agreed that they had never been to anywhere so remote.
“It was quite a walk to the sea from the station. It was a strange experience because the whole area looks like a huge shingle beach.
“We ate lunch in The Light Railway café, the only café for miles, and went for a walk, stopping at the lighthouse for a photo opportunity. Some of the group sat and relaxed, while the others went to look at some of the many artist studios and interesting craft exhibits that dot the Dungeness landscape.
“We boarded the minibus for the trip back, tired, but in agreement that we had had a great day out.”
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