It has recently come to my attention that you haven’t lived unless you have been to the Fork Lift Truck Heritage Centre at The Midland Railway in Butterly. My friends Dean and Nat took me there, for all those reasons that people venture to such places over Easter and other public holidays. Namely it’s something different, aids recovery of the night before and doesn’t cost a penny.
This Easter weekend has had a decidedly retro theme to it, it began when entering a valley and realising for the first time since circa 2003 that I haven’t had to actively seek a mobile phone signal. I had to resort to all those old tricks for getting that elusive and solitary bar of communication heaven. I tried shaking the phone vigorously, lifting it high up whilst standing on tip toes and my personal favourite – which oddly always did the trick for me back in the day – of standing on one leg.
I also found out that the floor of D and N’s house has a subtle, in fact almost imperceptible slope so when I walk to the living room window I felt little, it gave me an insight into how the short half live…Rounding off my retro indoor musings was the totally rogue thought ‘whatever happened to hover crafts?’ Back in the day they were all the rage but since Jackie Chan’s film Rumble in the Bronx I haven’t seen any mention of this form of transport.
After these revelations and weirdness we had our wander through a nice community owned bit of nature, it had streams, trees and lots of potential places to fall over which adds to the danger and makes me feel like James Bond, of which coincidentally there were three films on this weekend…for those none British readers Bond films are synonymous with pretty much every bank holiday we have.
I suppose I don’t get out enough but I had no idea such a trip of nostalgia was hidden away and waiting for me just around the corner, not only was there a steam train but also a signal box, station, model railway and obligatory high-priced eatery. I have a soft spot for train stations and old beat up trains and carriages…the new experience is so sanitised and uncomfortable, there’s such a lack of style these days.
The fork lift experience was something unexpected for all three of us and as I would imagine there isn’t a lot of interest in such machines unless you are a fan of all things niche, although the variety is a little overwhelming and unexpected. In order to entice would be browsers in, it was cleverly combined with a shop selling books and magazines, in fact there were a couple of second-hand book bits dotted around…pleasingly there were also a lot of vinyl singles and VHS tapes which rounded off the experience most pleasantly.
All in all it was a great trip, we didn’t stay overly long but it was nice to see families out, children being educated and a sense of community with everything being volunteer run and cared for. It’s little places like this that make me feel a little less jaded in the sense of all these big, expensive places that offer little in the way of interest and less in enthusiasm. So that was my rare weekend experience, how has yours been?