A bumble up the A1 to York, already a day late after the rear offside tyre shot out its valve like a bullet while I was checking the pressures. Much of the city is under water. The Kings Arms wearily pumping the River Ouse back out through its letterbox. Six gleeful hours in the Railway Museum with our little lad, feeling like a little lad again. We’re Fireman Bray and Driver Duggington in The Mallard, thundering past milepost 90¼ at 125.88 MPH. Wishing stations were still like Schlesinger’s The Terminus, – full of life and bustle and steam and coach striping and polished brass, rather than shopping malls with trains as an inconvenience to First Group or Abellio Greater Anglia – or whoever it is this week.
Later, Driver Duddington is having a well-earned kip in his pushchair, so we shunt into sidings at the York Tap. What a grand job they’ve done here, turning the magnificent North Eastern Railway tea room – opened in 1907 but for many years housing a model railway – into something useful and not a Paperchase or a Starbucks or a Yo Sushi. The Bernard Unfiltered barely touched the sides.