(June 16th to July 6th)

We flew into Manchester and drove straight to the Yorkshire Dales, stopping in Skipton to do some grocery shopping. We stayed in a small village not far from Masham called Nosterfield.

Our cottage in Nosterfield

Walking distance from the cottage was a nature reserve, which seemed to be primarily a reserve for birds. It made for a nice afternoon walk.

Nosterfield Nature Reserve

The next day, my sister, Sarah arrived, together with Thomas and Jody, my nephew and niece. That evening, we went out for dinner at a "foodie" restaurant in Masham, called "Where there's smoke".

It was a fixed menu with many courses. Although the portions were small, it was a great meal and we enjoyed the experience.

"Where there's smoke" in Masham 

Thomas and Jody drove back to Ilkley that night, so we didn't see them again. However, Sarah stayed on for three nights.

Next day, the three of us took an "afternoon tea" train on the Wensleydale Railway.

Afternoon tea - delicious !

Next day, we went to Coverham Church to meet with the Vicar, to discuss reserving a burial plot for ourselves. We also took a look at the untidy mess behind my Mum's gravestone. (The area behind the grave has since been cleaned up.) It was a bright, sunny day and we worked through all the paperwork quite quickly.

Mum's rather untidy gravesite - since tidied up

Sarah flew back to Belfast the next day, leaving us on our own.

On Thursday, we drove towards the coast to meet Kristine old flat mate from the early '70s and long time friend Carol and her husband Ken, for lunch.

Carol and Ken 

Lunch turned out to be better than we expected - actually quite gourmet and we had a nice view of the river as well.

The next big event, two days later, was the long planned and anticipated Memorial Service for Joan in Lytham St Annes. We drove over the day before and stayed at the Glendower Hotel. Jackie and Terry joined us for dinner that evening at the hotel. Afterwards, we sat outside and chatted until late in the evening.

Next day was the Memorial Service at St Cuthberts Church. It was only a small group of nine (Terry is taking the picture).

Stuart, John, Kristine, Carol, Denise, Paul, John, Jackie

The vicar said a few words and then Kristine added her own thoughts. 

John helped pour Joan's ashes into the small hole which had been prepared.

There's a permanent "memorial wall" with Joan's name inscribed.

And Kristine's final thoughts to her beloved Mum.

The entire service was all over in less than ten minutes and happily, the day was warm and sunny. Everyone agreed it was very nice and Joan was where she wanted to be.

Once the service was over, everyone except Jackie and Terry went for lunch in a private room at Lytham House. We don't have any photographs, but it went well, and everyone enjoyed the meal. After the meal, we all went our separate ways. 

(Much later in our trip, we went back to the Church and in the meantime, the memorial area had been tidied up and flowers added to better define the area set aside for ashes. It looked much nicer.)

During our stay, we spent several days visiting different heritage train services.  The first was the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which starts in Pickering and ends at Groton.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway at Pickering

The journey to the end of the line took us through some pretty yorkshire countryside.

There's nothing more impressive than a full size locomotive in full steam !

On our way home, we stopped at Ripon Cathedral, which we have driven past many times, but we had never stopped to look inside.

Ripon Cathedral

After two weeks, we moved from Nosterfield to West Scrafton, where we stayed at "Barn End Cottage" on "Poverty Street".

Barn End Cottage

The interior of Barn End Cottage

Great Roova Crags from across the valley. We both walked up to the bottom of the Crag and Paul went all the way to the top. Really ! 

Kris waited for him at the bottom!

The view from the top of Roova Crag

Not a very flattering selfie, but it does prove I made it all the way to the top

One day, we drove out to Hawes, to visit the Cheese Factory. Always a favourite stop.

A selection of cheeses, all made in Yorkshire 

After visiting the Cheese factory, we stopped and had a walk around Hawes.

We especially liked the old fashioned sweet shop. Looked like something from a Dickens novel

Another day, we visited the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Not as impressive as the locomotive at the NYMR but a still a real steam locomotive.

On the  way back, we ran into a proper Dales traffic jam. Nothing you can do except wait and hope the sheep don't scratch your car.

Our last day out was to visit the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway - famous because "The Railway Children" was filmed here - twice !

Oakworth Station, where we started and finished our trip

The main platform at Keighley. Seen many times in films and TV programs. We stayed there just long enough to look around and then took the same train back to Oakworth

The engine which pulled our train. A real antique. Made in Manchester in 1887!

After our train ride, we drove in Haworth, which was surprisingly quiet, perhaps because it was quite cool that day.

Haworth Main Street

We walked to the bottom of the hill and back and then had a quick look around the church where the Bronte family would have worshipped. Our last stop was for fish and chips, which we ate outside.

Finally, some photos of West Scrafton, which doesn't change much, but there are a few notable changes.

The old Methodist Chapel, now converted into a tiny house with two floors

The back of Foresters Cottage with a new addition - no windows apparently!

The front of Foresters Cottage - the caravan is really ugly!

We stayed in West Scrafton for a week and then drove to Manchester Airport to catch our flight to Geneva, Switzerland. We have already booked a cottage for next year !