Saturday, 5 August 2017

Fair Exchange at Sheffield

Our departure to Meadowhall, to meet Adrian and Jess, was not until 12:30. First thing, Alice and Mike went to the nearby Sainsbury with a long shopping list whilst Christine sorted out some things on the boat. They ended up with several large bags which they in a trolley to the end of the car park. At this point they were just a few metres away from Alchemy but alas the width of the canal was in between! As a result they had to carry everything around via the basin bridge.

We locked up and left the boat in good time  as we already knew that the first part of the journey, to Wakefield Kirkgate, was unusual. Because of engineering works  as part of the Great North Rail project (what part of it the London-centric government still continues to support, we guess) Huddersfield station is closed this weekend and replacement buses were in operation.

The buses were departing from Lord Street - not only were rail travellers affected but also people who expected to find their usual bus at these stops as they had to walk to the bus station instead. There were plenty of staff in attendance and the operation seemed to be going smoothly. A special timetable was in operation and, despite lots of traffic, our coach driver did a good job at getting us to our destination within a couple of minutes of the schedule.

We had just enough time to walk into the station and across to the correct platform and still have a chance to chat with other waiting passengers! The second part of the journey was, as originally expected, by train which took us to Meadowhall Interchange on time. Just as we were alighting from the train, Mike had a call from Adrian (who had parked up very near by just a few minutes earlier) to check on our arrival - Mike had to make him wait whilst he manoeuvred Alice's suitcase though the train door in order to see the platform number!

We had time to walk into the shopping centre and have light refreshments at the M&S Cafe. Also an opportunity to catch up on news - and for Alice and Jess to have a sparring match!

Adrian and Alice left to do some climbing at a nearby popular set of rocks. Mike wandered to the station but Jess and Christine went back to look at the shops and returned in time for the train carrying a couple of purple tops for Jess.

The return timetable left us only five minutes between the arrival time and the bus departure so we were a bit nervous when the train fell about three minutes behind! However we need not have fretted as we easily managed it. Again, the operation was well organised but the air conditioning on the coach was not working properly so we were all a lot hotter than was pleasant.

After arriving back in Huddersfield, at the same stop from which we left, it was a 15 minute walk back to the boat during which we introduced Jess to the unusual operation of Loco Bridge which we plan to pass through tomorrow morning.

There was time to show Jess around the boat, which she had not seen before - and for a reviving mug of tea.

Christine had previously booked a table for us at the Aspley just 50 metres along the towpath as we were not sure what time we would be back from Sheffield. We had a very good meal and Jess demolished three courses including the final Chocolate Challenge!

No comments:

Post a Comment