Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway
It was a grey, wet Saturday that saw forty-eight of us begin our trip to New Romney for our day on the famous miniature railway. The journey was trouble free and we arrived well in time for our trip. There was time to enjoy some refreshments in the cafe on the station and also visit the model railway, one of the largest in the country. There is a small charge for this, but it is well worth it.
Our charter train arrived on time, for us to commence our journey around the whole network. If you are not aware, the railway is a miniature one and the carriages are, of course to scale, making them a little smaller than usual. Not the easiest to enter or leave, particularly for those a little taller than average, but we all managed it! Our train included the ‘Bar Car’, which was named ‘Gladys’ (all the carriages have names.), which was included for other travelling later. Some of us were invited into this carriage, where from one of the smallest bars you will visit, you could sample a number of beers, wines or soft drinks. It’s not what you know, but who you know! Our train was pulled by the lovely ‘Green Goddess’ built in 1925.The engines are scaled down from their bigger cousins, but they really are perfect examples of engineering, really well maintained and it was hard to believe that our engine was over ninety years old.
The first part of our journey took us to Dungeness. The weather was overcast but there were views of the shingle beach, the old lighthouse, the famous fisherman’s cottages and, of course, the power station. Those lucky enough, enjoyed a drink on the way, (not easy with the train motion!) until we reached our lunch stop at the aptly named ‘End of the Line’ restaurant. We had an excellent fish and chip lunch and one or two people braved the inclement weather and went over to the lighthouse.
Our return journey was on the same train, with the ‘Bar Car’ which somehow some of us still managed to use! We travelled back along the route we had taken. Sharp eyed travellers would have seen through the low cloud and mist the Royal Military Canal, built as a defence against Napoleon mounting invasion across Romney Marsh. If you were really sharp eyed you could see on the hill one of the acoustic mirrors. Built before the Second World War, in a concave shape these mirrors gave early warning of enemy aircraft approaching the coast before being superseded by radar. We had a brief stop at Hythe and then returned to New Romney Station for our journey home.
We had time for refreshments and by popular request our very obliging driver, Brian drove us along the sea front, but the sea seemed a long way out. This was an interesting and fascinating trip and our thanks are due to Judith Riley for making it possible.