Thursday, 22nd June, 2023

Our accommodation last night was here at Halifax Hall Hotel. The house was built in 1840 and subsequently extended in 1891 after being purchased by Sir Joseph Jonas. Purchased from the trustees of Sir Joseph in 1929, in 1934 it was opened as The University Hall for Woman. In 1959 it was renamed Halifax Hall after Lord Halifax, who at the time served as Chancellor of the University.

Breakfast was included in the tariff.

We knew we had a long drive ahead of us to the Gloucester and Warwickshire Steam Railway so we tried to leave in good time. As we drove, it became apparent that we were likely not going to make it. About half an hour out from the railway, "Siri" noted the arrival time would be 12:41pm. As the train was due to depart at 12:45pm, I gave up the idea of catching it and went to sleep. (Fortunately, Satoshi was driving!). The next thing I knew, we were almost there and had two minutes to spare. Satoshi ran ahead, managed to purchase the tickets, and we boarded the train with at least 25 seconds to spare. Considering it was a 160 minute drive (including delays because of roadworks and a couple of wrong turns), I thought that was really amazing!!

The Gloucester and Warwickshire Steam Railway runs about 14 miles between Broadway and Cheltenham. The volunteers operating the train were all very friendly and helpful and the scenery was lovely. Each of the stations had been restored carefully or, in the case of Broadway, completely rebuilt (based on original plans). The stations all had gardens and items of railway memorabilia. The whole journey was a great experience!

As is evident from the video, the train no longer stops at Gotherington Station. A railway enthusiast bought the old station building and transformed it into his "dream" home. All the railway paraphernalia seen above belongs to him.

After the train ride, we checked into our accommodation and then drove to the home of our friends James and Caroline. It was lovely to catch up with them again. They went to a lot of trouble to cook dinner for us and we were made to feel most welcome. After dinner, we played a game of Carcassonne and then Tumult Royale, both of which were fun!

A robin in the garden at James's and Caroline's house

A "selfie" at the end of a very happy evening.

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