Sunday, September 10, 2017
South on the Steam Train
It is quite something to take a trip on a vintage steam train. It adds a whole new layer when the railway holds a weekend long commemoration of World War II. One car was set aside for veterans. Posters and other memorabilia adorned the stations and many were dressed in clothing from the forties.
The Southern Belles provided musical entertainment at Douglas station when we were setting out. Once on the train we were issued ID cards and later were asked to produce them. They were duly stamped.
In Castletown there was quite a display of old equipment. The whole community seemed to be involved. Boy scouts sold tea outside the train windows; a "hospital" was set up in a tent. It catered to teddy bears and the loud speaker played excerpts from speeches by Churchill.
The station was decked out not only with war posters but also with advertising of the time.
Castletown was for many years the capital of the Isle of Man. Looming over the town is the castle, Castle Rushen, which served as a home for the kings, then as a seat of government and eventually as a prison. It was originally built for a Norse king in around 1200.
The castle exhibits take you through the many uses it has seen, from prison cells, to privies, to banqueting halls, to remains of when it served as the mint. The Isle of Man still has its own currency - the Manx pound, though it can be used interchangeably with the UK pound.
The views from the walls at the top are quite spectacular.
This building was originally a chapel, built about 1190 - 1230. In 1701 it was turned into a school. The inside is set up like an old classroom, complete with old grammar books and slates. The school only closed in 1930.
Walking through the town I could not help but notice this bird. It seemed to be demanding a handout. I believe it is a jackdaw.
Oystercatchers took advantage of low tide to go fishing.
The town itself was pleasant to walk through before we headed back to Douglas.
More vacation photos at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm89FFnk