© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 What a dreadful title for a page! What a dreadful name for a rail-rover ticket, too - and what a tremendous rail-rover! Just look at the map - and the 1979 price tag... My wife joined me on this trip - so the days out were days out with a certain amount of railway interest. Nevertheless, in the course of a week, we managed a fair survey of railway interest in the north west. 15th July: A trip to Chester - for a wander round and an exploration of the city walls, the rows, and other interests. Probably the most interesting railway event was the departure of the Chester train from Shrewsbury - it left from one of the 19th July: Blaenau Ffestiniog. Some years previously, I had visited the Llechwedd slate caverns; in the intervening period, another museum had developed just the other side of the road - Gloddfa Ganol. The attraction of the latter was its huge collection of narrow gauge locomotives, including some of the most unusual and exotic specimens of the "Critter" variety (thanks to our friends across the Atlantic for this most descriptive nickname for narrow gauge motive power). Class 120 DMU at Shrewsbury, about to form a Chester train 16th July: Bangor. Well, why not? A fine trip along the North Wales coast, and a stroll down to Port Penrhyn, where there were quite a few hints of its former use as a rail terminal for the Bethesda slate. Returning to Chester, there was time to D200, alias 40 122, at Chester Remnants of the railway age at Port Penrhyn 17th July: Southport  - via Wrexham - Bidston - Liverpool. The first objective being the trip from Wrexham along the former Great Central route, followed by a ride on the ageing electrics of the Wirral and Southport lines. The LMS designed (some built by BR) class 502 and 503 units were still much in evidence - although their replacements, in the form of the rather unattractive 507s, were in evidence. At Southport, after taking on refreshments, we spent a little while looking at the late lamented Steamport museum, housed in the former L&Y shed. Illustrated are "Cecil Raikes", the rather fine 0-6-4T which once worked under the Mersey from the Wirral, an attractive Peckett 0-6-0ST (no. 2153 of 1954) and a coach from the Liverpool Overhead Railway. Leaving Steamport, we retraced our steps to Liverpool, then headed for Rock Ferry (then the terminus of the electrics on the Chester line), where we transferred to a Chester-bound DMU. 502 unit, Liverpool Moorfields Class 503 unit at Bidston 507 unit at Southport Wirral Railway 0-6-4T "Cecil Raikes" EMUs at Rock Ferry Liverpool Overhead Railway coach, Steamport Peckett 2153 of 1954, Steamport 18th July: Fylde. In other words, a trip to Lytham and Blackpool. The Lytham Motive Power Museum provided the railway interest on this occasion. This was an interesting collection of four-wheeled motive power, mostly in the form of industrial saddle tanks, although one representative (illustrated) was ex-BR 68095, originally built for the North British Railway at Cowlairs works in 1887. Also shown is "Jonathan", 2ft gauge Hunslet 678 of 1898. I met Jonathan nearly twenty years later - then 100 years old, and in action again on the Groudle Glen Railway. The museum itself closed some years ago. North British "pug" 68095 "Jonathan" HE 678 of 1898 Light 25 by the canal, Chester 25 168 at Blaenau Ffestiniog Blaenau Ffestiniog - as seen from Gloddfa Ganol KS 2442 of 1915, Gloddfa Ganol "Rail Taxi" (4-2-0 petrol mechanical....) Ruston & Proctor 50823 of 1915, Gloddfa Ganol 20th July: Windermere. A lazy day on the lake - at least, that was the idea. The weather could have been better though.... No railway photography today. 21st July: Chester. Ending as we had started with a wander around the shops, walls, gardens and other delights. The main item of railway significance (other than the journey, of course) was that I spotted, second hand in a shop window, a rather nice Nikkormat EL - which was to serve me well for most of the following 20 years, until I finally gave way to the attractions of autofocus, and then digital. But that's another story, as they say.... Wellington bay platforms, to head southwards briefly, before reversing and running through the station north- west to Chester. I don't know if this was the usual practice on a Sunday - it certainly seemed an odd one. The ticket - the map kill before the Shrewsbury train, though the light was not great. A class 40, no 122, rumbled through on a freight. (None other than the original D200, though I only realised it on scanning the slides for this page....)