Saturday, 17 December 2011

Lincoln Christmas Market, SRPS/ North East railtours

Lincoln Christmas Market GJC_006163

Many UK towns and cities have a twinned friendship with a European town, one of these friendships is between the City of Lincoln and Neustadt in Germany.

Wine tent  GJC_006166

One Christmas in 1982 a few stall holders from the German town decided that they were going to introduce their wares to the people of Lincolnshire. The original market had 11 traditional style German stalls and introduced a new culture to the UK.

Having been on the mailing list of North East Railtours for some time, this trip was always difficult to access as it runs on a friday. The charter company use the SRPS coaches and volunteers from Bo'ness in Scotland to serve meals on board and this particular trip has an end of year Christmas party atmosphere ! Cereal, Bacon Roll, Mince Pie and Mulled Wine on the outward journey with Christmas Dinner on the way back. I first took the plunge back in 2004 to book an Annual leave day from work to sample the experience and have done so six times since that first adventure. For me it's about the whole experience of the train, the food, the market, Christmas and a heavy dose of nostalgia !!
55022 Royal Scots Grey Lincoln  GJC_006126
Class 55 Deltic "Royal Scots Grey"
A railtour running on a friday doesn't seem like it's going to be a great success, but with the added interest of some heritage Diesel traction (London Kings Cross - Edinburgh - Aberdeen route 1961 -1981) is a guaranteed success with the diesel fans particularly as it uses most of its former stamping ground. The nostalgia element for me was when I was a young boy I used to watch these powerful machines standing thundering away in Newcastle central station. There were 22 of them named after regiments and racehorses and sat in the time zone in between the Mallard and the Inter City 125.

Steep Hill Lincoln  GJC_006230
"Steep Hill" Lincoln
The City of Lincoln has always attracted visitors from an early age due to it's original location high on a solitary hill amongst the flat county of Lincolnshire.


There was a Roman garrison at the top and as the city expanded, the need for an inland harbour that utilised local waterways became essential.

Cathedral East End   GJC_006151
Lincoln Cathedral East End
The Normans arrived and brought the gift of the Cathedral which was completed in the 13th century.

Arches  GJC_006148
Modern visitors ... shoppers and shadows !
I was last here for a concert in 2010 and it was unusual to see the City so quiet. The 2010 Christmas market was even quieter as it was cancelled due to snow and bad weather. Here are some images from my June 2010 blogpost when I was a young blogger with about 3 followers !! ... post number 10.

Christmas Market  GJC_006196
A quiet moment in the market on a friday
The market has grown to nearly 300 stalls that commence next to the Cathedral in the first image and continue into the Castle grounds (above) and then into an adjacent park and nearby streets. In some ways as one commentator says that it has become a victim of it's own success that the organisers do not seem to recognise as a lot of saturday visitors dislike the experience of pushing through crowds as trip advisor demonstrates. It is unfortunate that it becomes newsworthy for these reasons... 16042776

and something a little irreverent .....

Castle wall  GJC_006170
Peace and solitude
One of the best moments of my earlier 2010 visit was saturday lunch time when I sat having lunch in the sun near the tower for a while. I managed to peek over the market perimeter fence and dream that was me for 30 minutes ... it must have been a Castle worker.

Anyway, enough of waxing lyrical and dwelling in the past ... for the moment ( ! ), it was time to take in some sights ...

Souvenir Hunter  GJC_006171
Souvenir hunter
Bubble   GJC_006176
Bubbleologist !!
German Wine   GJC_006186
Hans handy with his hands !

Jigsaw   GJC_006195
Somebody else handy with their hands ... and their wallets !

A Sale GJC_006200
Exchanging Plastic for wood !

Ostrich  GJC_006203
The ultimate burger ?!

Santa GJC_006211
One of the burger stalls neighbours for the weekend !

Out for a spin   GJC_006224
With all of this, I was left in a spin ...
Fancy Dress   GJC_006242
... as I didn't know who was a local, a visitor or an official anymore !!
As I made my way back to the railway station, one thing was certain that there was more effort made...

Christmas Treats  GJC_006246
... in the local bakery shop ...

Climbing the walls  GJC_006245
... than what there was on the wall outside ... need to spread the love around !

All to soon, it was over for another year wondering if I'll repeat the experience again next year all in the name of nostalgia !! I didn't plan on taking the last image but the engine was standing there for some time and I was left wondering if this engine would ever work this charter to Lincoln again...

55022 Royal Scots Grey    GJC_006248
Deltic 22 ...or ...ISO 1600 !!
And just to re-live my childhood one more time, it's arrival and then later departure as I stood next to this film maker ... the most powerful Diesel in it's day ....

Even though it raced up the East Coast mainline back home to Newcastle and beyond, it was a named after a regiment and not a racehorse ....

Out for a ride   GJC_006220
Nostalgic racehorse


  1. I have never been to Lincoln, this series of posts reminds me I need to change that...

  2. Another grand wander. I'm glad you were there with all those folk. Enjoyed the videos but the Galloper is a superb image.

  3. That picture of a Deltic brings a lump to my throat! The times, as a young teenager, I've stood by the side of the East Coast Mainline and heard the drone of one of those Napier engines in the distance, the excitement of thinking which loco would it be. They were iconic.

  4. It's another place I'll have to visit!
    The Christmas Market seems to be great fun, not only for kids:)
    I love Merry - goes - round!
    Have a great Sunday!

  5. What a great day out and some wonderful pictures to capture the atmosphere. Lincoln is an interesting city and what a fun way to get there and back. Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

  6. Very beautiful! I love the holiday festivities all over the world! Thanks for the peak at the unique city of Lincoln.

  7. Markets everywhere are my "cup of tea". This one definitely looks like one I could enjoy. The burgers, the tiny cupcakes, the wines - provide the food 'fuel' for a nice visit.

    I like the idea of markets' exchange between "twin" cities of different countries such as Lincoln (England) and Neustadt(Germany). It is a blessed concept which contributes a lot to the strenghtening of the cultural and commercial ties between the two cities.

  8. Your photo, Deltic 22 ... or ... ISO 1600 !! is beautiful! What is there about trains! Trains, cathedrals, castles, bridges, racehorses, and German Shepherds...(in my book, anyway). I have been to England six times and never ever to Lincoln. Why??? If I ever get another opportunity (like airfare!), Lincoln is definitely going to be at the top of the list, but probably not during market time - with Durham a second. So is a bacon roll a bacon butty? Like an American BLT without the LT??

  9. I viewed the BBC links. That fleeting glimpse of the snowy 2010 street was beautiful! That's when I'd love to be there.

  10. Happy Holidays! I love the carousel photo. Bubbleologist! So cool. Beautiful and colorful photos.

  11. Everyone... Thanks for your comments.

    Colin... I had the rare opportunity to catch KOYLI @ NYMR DD in september. I'll see if I can find an excuse for posting it at some point !

    DUTA... Twinned cities is a common practice here in the UK with a western European counterpart. I'm not sure of how useful it is in some circumstances but it works in others.

    Cranberry Morning... Yes it was a butty without the LT !

    Those interested in seeing Lincoln... I would recommend a visit when the Castle is open for normal visiting. The prison within the walls is interesting too. The market is a distraction if it's your first visit to the city.

  12. A nostalgic odyssey for you with many beautiful pictures and probably many drinks (with Germans involved?)!!
    Thank you for this post, dear J.. Splendid as always!!!

    Wish you a very grand Christmas!!!
    Stay well..

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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