I hadn't been to the Model Railway Exhibition at New Romney station before, which was one of the highlights for me. I love this enamel sign and am now kicking myself that I didn't buy one from the shop back at Hythe:
The other great thing about the model railway exhibition there were the rather bizarre juxtaposition of things in the scenery alongside the trains. Every so often you'd hear someone say, "Oh look there's a dalek", or "Look at the dinosaurs", or my favourite "Look at the rat"!
We took the railway for the 13 and half miles from Hythe to Dungeness, stopping off at New Romney on the way, for lunch and a visit to the Model Railway Exhibition. Dungeness is probably one of the worst places to visit in Kent. By the railway it is totally flat and deserted and the only things that break the bleak landscape are occasional spots of yellow gorse bush, two pretty uninspiring looking lighthouses and the splendour that is Dungeness power station. It was pelting with rain by the time we reached there, which was fortunate as it meant it didn't take long for me to convince Neil to stay on the train and loop straight back towards Hythe.
There's something typically "English" about seaside towns in the rain and although all of the stations ran along the coast line you can't actually see the sea properly from the trains. You get glimpses of it from Romney Sands (sounds much nicer than it is - basically the land of caravans and grim 'holiday homes') and perhaps if it wasn't so grey and wet from Dungeness, we might have caught a glimpse of it then.
However, we actually had a good laugh, you can see Neil giving the train a "thumbs up" when we left Hythe.
It was also good to see that the mini guard was still working at New Romney
There was also a suitably London Underground style announcement apologising for the late running of the train into New Romney, just so that we felt at home!
I'm sure Neil will update his blog with his version of the day and hopefully more photos than me. He took quite a lot of the marshy wet Dungeness (apparently a great place to bird-watch - so it does have its benefits) and you'll be able to see how different it looks from the sunny "Welcome to Dungeness" poster from the Model Railway Exhibition.