This evening with my good friend Bill, I boarded a Class 158 Sprinter to Ribblehead. Tonight the train was quite lightly loaded, sadly as the line side view from 158815 was great. Unfortunately this being the last timetabled service of the day there is not enough time to sample the wares at the Station Inn at Ribblehead. So we took a flask of coffee and a currant slice, this will have to see us through. Tonight the evening sky was strikingly full of action, so as we left the train at Ribblehead station the heavens opened. Bill likened it to Cape Horn ! We were certainly glad that the small lean to waiting room on platform two was open. After many many years of visiting Ribblehead I think that I can safely say it always has an aura and weather of its own.
The only other passenger on the train, unfortunately for him, had woken too late, having slept though his intend stop at Settle. On this the last service of the day all passengers must disembarked at Ribblehead. After the train had left to run round and gain the correct side of the twin tracks to return to Skipton, we guided him across the tracks, accompanied by a brief but driving rain storm. Fortunately the entrance vestibule to the station was unlocked, we hastily dived into its dark but welcome sanctuary. The silhouette’s of the bleak rain washed Pennine mountains indeed carried an element of Cape Horn. Ribblehead station assuredly is an isolated and remote site. Our companion a gentleman from Italy must have wondered, if indeed he had landed at Cape Horn.
The train driver must have been worried for our safety, for the train returned to the station in record time. Although the train remained at the station until the correct departure time, no one joined us. Leaving Ribblehead at 9 pm, we drifted back down the line as the late evening sky lightened! To arrive at the comparatively balmier and more relaxed weather of Skipton, indeed the light and calm air of Skipton felt strangely exhilarating, almost electrifying, in comparison to the mysterious and brooding weather of Ribblehad tonight.
The weather at Ribblehead was to vile to take photographs on this visit, but I will post some photographs as soon as possible to go with this blog. Mike