Easter Sunday at Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway

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Easter Sunday was a misty, rainy, damp day and the drive up to Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway in Kent was like a scene out of Jurassic Park. Up a hill, mist rolling around the distant tree tops, drizzly … then past fields of long grass. However, not a single raptor did I spot so we found the railway and parked up in the designated field.

It’s only open on a few Sundays in the year – a private 2 foot gauge line on an estate that is definitely a big boy toy for enthusiasts. They built some stations, signal box, engine shed, workshop and a turntable to pootle down the line to a wood and back again.

Alas, no discounts this time – £10 for adults and £4 for our nephew. Not cheap really. The location is pleasant enough, with a toilet block, gift shop and cafe which told us the special was hot buttered toast for that day. Wow, I did manage to contain my excitement … and also my ‘here we go again’ face when someone in the cafe came to ask me how long did my batteries last.  I wondered how long his legs lasted on one charge but refrained from the intrusion of asking.

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Anyway, first up James headed towards the engine shed. The main signpost goes to the stepped entrance. Eventually I walked back to the field we had just come from to the (not signposted) level back entrance. By the time I went in James was ready to come out!

They had a beam engine, traction engines and a model railway display, play table with trains and some automobiles.

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Next up we went on the train – just down the line and back again. I could get on via a ramp to the middle of the carriage but not inside the totally covered bit.

The bluebells in the woods were nice, and if it had been a nice day, there was plenty of picnic benches in the wood.

By the end of the day, the weather was really closing in and I sheltered whilst James had his last train ride.

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All the facilities were pretty good – clean and they had an accessible toilet (although it’s not mentioned on their website – Kevin phoned to ask as they don’t mention access at all).

So that was Easter Sunday 2014.

 

 

Playing Ticket To Ride

Yesterday the sky was dark and throwing down lots of wet stuff. A good day for a Kevin and Louise day – a day doing something together.

Yesterday was board games and pizza.

First off was The Logo Board Game. Kevin thinks it should be called the “how well do you know sweets and biscuits” board game. Lets just say I won that one.

Next was Ticket To Ride.

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The game play takes a few goes to understand but this Days of Wonder game is my favourite. Firstly it’s about railway journeys (good start) and second you can play on different maps.

We played the European map today.

To play a turn you aim to put down a specific number of train carriages (each player has lots of these playing pieces) between two places, next to each other.

So to claim the route London to Edinburgh, below, requires you to put down four carriages.

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So what about the colours for this route? This is where collecting coloured cards comes into it. On your turn you can choose to pick up 2 coloured cards from a random selection.

This 4 carriage route is orange or black so you would have to collect (and give away) either 4 orange or 4 black cards to play this route.

So the game is about collecting cards of specific colours, to lay down train carriages and complete routes.

How do you win the game?

Every time you play a route from one station to the next, you score points for it. You can complete whole journeys for even more points like laying carriages all the way from France to Russia. You will need a lot of different coloured cards and lots of turns to go all this way from station to station!

Of course, other players can try to guess where you are going and steal your route! Once that bit of track has gone it’s gone!

Each player also has some destination cards – these are journeys you must complete before the end of the game. If you don’t you forfeit points!

There are a few other parts to the game but that’s the basic idea.

Accessibility

The game requires you to pick up cards, read place names and handle small playing pieces – reaching across the board. It is possible to play using a card holder and someone laying down your playing pieces. This is how I play. There is no dice needed.

The game uses colours but also has symbols for those who can’t differentiate colours. It would translate well into a tactile board but I have not seen a version for those who have a visual impairment.

Touch versions exist to play using a smart phone or iPad which are excellent and a great way to play. You can also play online via the web or buying the game for PC/Mac. I also have all electronic versions as I like it so much.

I lost yesterday … maybe next time!

Changing Room Shock

Last week (Saturday) we stopped at Road Chef Norton Canes, the only services on the M6 Toll Road.

In a hurry to get going we thought we’d pop to the loo before setting off. The accessible toilet was engaged so we waited patiently… and waited… and waited.

At first I didn’t mind because it can take a little while to use the facilities so it was only right to wait. Ten minutes later…

A parent attempted to drag her two young children into the loo – but decides she wasn’t disabled on seeing it was engaged and went to the ladies.

A member of staff saw us and asked if we were waiting. He said a man was praying in there and knocked on the door. We were told he would just be 2 more minutes.

WHAT THE… Did I just hear that correctly ? We have to wait for a guy to finish praying in the loo?

This guy came out wearing a business suit and carrying a suit hanger in his arm. The rest of the wedding party then came in. Is it custom to pray when changing into a wedding suit – and to do it in the only accessible loo?

We went in and the floor was soaked wet so I came out to guard the loo whilst hubs ran to the car for my mat ( I have to stand in bare feet). Whilst waiting I had to stop a second man doing the same. How gracious that he would let me use it first!

Basically it appeared to be ‘saved’ as a changing room by a staff member!

We are still completely stunned at the most appalling takeover of a disabled / accessible toilet we have ever known.

Shame on you wedding guests. 😦