Going For Gold! 27th to 29th December

Betwixmas Breakfast

A bit of a tradition for us (when in Scarborough with a car) is to visit Thornton-le-Dale to see the Christmas lights. In days gone by we used to drive back from my Dad’s in York via one of the scenic routes so that we could see them.


They are not a huge spectacle like Regents Street and pretty much remain the same year in year out but they are still very pretty to us. Multi-coloured festoons swag up the street and along Thornton Beck, which runs along side Maltongate. I especially like the group of swans, one all puffed up and head down.

Whilst in the village we also popped along to have a look at the old cars at Mathewsons Auctions, made famous in Bangers and Cash. The showroom is now full of merchandise and the cars out of the forecourt weren’t anything special. We did however bump into Derek Mathewson, as well as running the vintage garage and museum Derek owns The Moorcock Inn, Langdale End where Mick used to drink. The next vintage car auction is in February and there are several very pretty cars going under the hammer LINK

We then headed back to the coast to see more lights. Scarborough Harbour for the last year or so has put on a display of it’s own. The boats bobbing on the low turning tide are festooned with lights up their masts and rigging.

The wonderful Lighthouse

There were plenty of people out taking photos despite the chilly breeze. Centre stage is the lighthouse, one of my favourite buildings. Big pea bulbs decorate the building which glows in the dark. Wonderful.

Christmas Cheese selection, Smoked Brie, Harrogate Blue, Kit Calvert Wensleydale and Keens Traditional Cheddar

Last week we’d been considering moving Oleanna to Huddersfield, making use of the break in the winter maintenance over Christmas and the New Year, so that I could have her to stay on whilst working for Dark Horse. We are now quite glad that we didn’t set out on the trip as with all the recent rainfall the flood locks on the Aire and Calder have been shut, Doncaster lock (not that we’d have been going that way) is closed due to high water and the Don Doors are closed protecting the New Junction Canal from rising waters on the River Don. Oleanna can stay put and I’ll stay in a hotel instead.

Janet, what a fab costume. Photo Tony Bartholomew

The last couple of evenings we’ve been to the theatre whilst sitting on our sofa. We had booked tickets to see Jack and the Beanstalk at the SJT, but sadly the night we were going coincided with some of the company having positive covid tests. Instead we decided to watch the show from home. Adapted by Nick Lane we knew we’d be in for a silly time and it was designed by Helen Coyston (costume designer for panto at Chippy). We really enjoyed it especially Janet and The Paella of love, from heaven above.

The Railway Children, Hull Truck

Last night we sat down to watch Hull Truck’s production of The Railway Children. This was originally filmed for a live stream so it included 15 minutes of nothing before it actually started, a full interval break and no credits which we thought was a big shame. The show has been getting great reviews, although we really enjoyed it I think quite a lot was lost in the filming. Well live theatre is magical and not being in the room with an audience let it down somewhat. The camera angles at times, although capturing the full set meant that the actors were smaller than they would have been even if we’d sat on the back row of the theatre. Have to say I felt a little bit short changed even if Sian Thomas’s costumes were lovely.

Tilly preferred Paddington 2

Back to the title of the blog. Going for Gold!

This isn’t that I’ve beaten Tim Larmour to the top of a mountain (Fulford School joke) therefore depriving him of Gold! No we actually got round to making a decision, we’ve bought Oleanna a Gold license for the coming year. Mick had looked on line, found where to buy a Gold License on the C&RT site but not where you could apply for a refund on a standard license.

They’re not as fancy as they used to be. Just a black G not a gold one!

Our license ran till the end of May, but a Gold License runs from January to the end of December, so to make the most of it we needed to trade in our old license this month to get a maximum refund. Mick rang C&RT and was assisted by a very helpful lady. Within minutes we had an email confirming our purchase, then a little while later another saying that they had refunded us £300 plus from our old license. Really easy.

For those readers who don’t know what the difference is. The Environment Agency is the navigation authority for the River Thames, Anglian Waterways plus a few more. With a standard C&RT license you need to pay for a visitors license to cruise EA waters. We’ve done this several times on the Thames. A Gold license however means you are covered for both C&RT and Environment Agency waters, it costs around about £300 more than our previous license but now we can come and go as we like onto the Thames or on the River Nene.

Will it be the Thames again?

Our cruising plans for next year are still dependant on a few things, but we thought it best to invest in a Gold license now as they only run from January to December and we could get a refund for what remained of our existing one.

Who knows we may spend a couple of months exploring the Thames in greater detail than we did a few years ago along with other rivers in the south. Or we may head eastwards to the Nene, Great Ouse etc. Time and commitments will tell.

Red napkins in a hot wash, Paddington!

0 locks, 0 miles, 2 Christmas shows, 2 Christmas lights, 3 red napkins, 4 pink t-towels,1 painting, 1 of several rivers closed due to flooding, £338.04 refund, 1 Gold license, access all areas, 1 cat licensed to kill!

One thought on “Going For Gold! 27th to 29th December

  1. Wells

    Looking forward to the cruising plan reveal when it happens.
    Lovely breakfast too.

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