Kate and Bron's Diary for 2002-09-11

Stayed the night in York

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From: "Bron Gondwana" <brong@brong.net>
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 20:27:38 +1000 (EST)
We went to the library to try and book flights and stuff, but
discovered that the library computers couldn't cope with modern
javascript (old version of internet explorer!) and neither Ryanair nor
TT-line in Australia for my father's 50th birthday and christmas were
bookable there.

Wanted to look in the crypt at the Minster, but there was an S11 service
about to start, and we didn't really want to see that, so we went off to
the Jorvik Center instead. It was quite expensive, but included a ride
through a re-constructed viking village in fancy cable-car things. The
village was reconstructed on the site of the original village (after
years of painstaking digging by archeologists), and as many things as
possible were left in their original places. They even had a toilet,
meat, cooking seeds, etc - with real smells. Some were a little icky.

After the cable-car tour we walked through looking at some of the finds
from the site, including some original coin stamps. We had our very own
coin made with replicas of those stamps - bashed with a hammer in front
of us! The 2 minute silence for S11 was held while we were there, a
viking horn was blown to mark the start and finish of the 2 minutes.

The shop had lots of viking things, and a postcard with
scratch-and-smell of some nice apples and a not-so-nice toilet.

We walked to the Railway Museum - which was free and very good. I
started with the newer trains and the very large section on the 'Royal
Train' - with coaches from the very first train that Queen Victoria used
through to the coaches used by Lizzie II until 1977. A lot of trains
from 50 or so years ago looked more comfortable than those we have
today. Nowhere near as many people would have fitted on board though. I
went from there to a presentation on how steam engines worked - with a
real steam engine with the side cut away so you could see the inside of
the boiler and the pistons. It was interesting seeing how hard the work
was keeping one of them going, not to mention the care required to stop
it blowing up or cold air being pulled through a hole in the fire and
killing your steam.

Meanwhile Kate had gone to a presentation on the turntable, showing how
it was used to turn engines, as well as put them away to 'sleep' in the
big shed. We checked out Stephenson's Rocket (a replica anyway) and
information on accidents in the past, and new safety policies that have
been built in response - signals being in the danger position by default
- the 'block' system for controlling trains - automated control systems.

On the way out, we saw a sign that said "Platform 9 3/4" - it hanging
over the main walkway, with other signs for the other platforms on
either side. We wonder if it came before or after the books.

Kate watched Monsters Inc. while I read.

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