Saturday, February 14, 2009

Folk Train (February 2009)


Last September we took a ride on the Folk Train and very successful it was too. So today we decided to do it again. The weather was cold but the train would be warm and so would the pub. All we had to do was brave the bits in between.

We got to the train station barely in time to greet our friends Sarah and Tony and their daughter Amber who had decided to join us. When the train arrived, to our amazement it was absolutely jam packed. There were only two carriages and both were standing room only. It transpired that someone had decided to celebrate his fortieth birthday by inviting thirty friends to join him on this musical trip.

So we heard nothing of the music on the way there and had to stand most of the way. Lucy was also unnerved by all the people towering over her when sitting down on Hayley's lap, so I ended up standing with her in my arms for most of the journey. Still, it was only about 55 minutes!

When we disembarked at Hathersage station we were unsurprisingly not the fastest to the pub. But have no fear. My forward-thinking fiancee had planned ahead. After the last trip when the only blot on the copybook was the long wait for food for the kids, she had phoned our order ahead and reserved us a table. (Something that the owner only agreed to do as we had kids with us. Pretty decent of him.)

But when we got to the pub we found there was nowhere to sit. We pointed out to the staff that we had booked and the waitress duly told a table full of people that far from being all sorted with seats right in front of where the band would be playing, they were now seatless. The pub staff had not marked the table as reserved. We were somewhat sympathetic towards the disgruntled evictees, but not so sympathetic as to stand with three hungry kids and nowhere to eat.

No sooner had we started to seat ourselves than our food arrived. You really couldn't fault the pub on that score. And then the band played. We all ate, the kids behaved immaculately, the beer was good... a splendid result.

As there were so many waiting for food the band decided to stay an extra hour for the next train. We decided not to. So we didn't hear them on the way home either. Nonetheless it was a pretty darn good afternoon out.