A significant week …

It started ordinarily enough – Monday I rode the Scrambler up the A68 and headed east into the lanes that lead to Throckrington and Bavington. An empty landscape, I got talking to one of the few, local inhabitants, an old guy who was exercising his black Labrador, Meg, by driving slowly along the road in his 4×4. It is the sort of place where this poses no danger.

Tuesday was only the third round of golf this year with an hour’s drive to the coast at Whitburn. Every time we visit I inevitably take the same image – the view from the 18th tee across the large hole in the ground that is Whitburn Quarry with the tip of Souter Lighthouse showing in the distance.

Later in the week we walked a short stretch of the abandoned Border Counties Railway from Waters Meet towards Wall, along the banks of the North Tyne – the weather was turning dull and grey and it has deteriorated ever since.

Then, on Friday, the sequel to Golf in the Wild – Golf in the Wild – Going Home was finally printed and delivered.  Unfortunately, the delivery lorry was too large to get up the drive so I was left with the task of humping 1000 books up to the house before the rain arrived.  I made it just in time.  So begins the task of promoting, selling and packing – the least attractive part of the exercise.  The first book pretty much sold out, largely on the basis of word of mouth so, I will take the same lazy approach with the sequel.  It is orderable online, within the UK, from here.

Just before sunrise at Beaufront Woodhead

A mile east of Carrycoats Hall. Colder than I expected – the puddle to the left of the bike is frozen!

An outside chance of hitting a birdie – this is actually the South Shields course which runs close to Whitburn at the 7th

The obligatory shot from Whitburn’s eighteenth tee with Souter Lighthouse in the background.

The first railway bridge north of Hexham on the abandoned Border Counties Line

The price at the pump, near Acomb, Northumberland –  this one is showing 5/4d which dates it around 1967 – according to Retrowow, petrol prices rose from 4/8d in 1960 to 6/6d by 1969.

Friday 4th February – the big day – 1000 copies of the sequel delivered



  1. Pit · February 6, 2022

    Good luck with the sale of your book! 👍

  2. Tish Farrell · February 6, 2022

    Well done you, Robin.

    • northumbrianlight · February 6, 2022

      Thanks Tish – this one took much longer for various reasons. Good that it is now done.

      • Tish Farrell · February 6, 2022

        I am very impressed that you did get it done. I’ve rather given up on the writing front.

      • northumbrianlight · February 7, 2022

        I am probably running out of steam too unless I adapt the two books into one motorcycle tour guide 😀

  3. Graham Stephen · February 6, 2022

    Wait, what? So that was about 6p for a litre back then…


    • northumbrianlight · February 6, 2022

      That sounds about right, Graham – you do a lot with just over a shilling in those days 😉

      • Graham Stephen · February 7, 2022

        I remember being at primary school in the 70s (post decimalisation) and getting lunch one day a week from the chipshop – used to cost 15p for a haggis supper (haggis & chips) – 5p for the chips and 10p for the haggis. That’s probaby as far back as my memory of prices goes…

  4. Sue · February 6, 2022

    Apart from the bridge, I guess there are no abandoned buildings left to remind us of the railway?

    • northumbrianlight · February 6, 2022

      Actually Sue, nearly all of the stations are still there – the only exceptions being those beneath Kielder Reservoir. For various reasons, mostly to do with the landed gentry, most stations were some distance from the communities they served. Therein lay the seeds of their demise – when the buses came, it was far easier than catching the train. There is a fantastic story about this line on YouTube – a BBC programme from 1986: https://youtu.be/cUOVM8ENOIg

      • northumbrianlight · February 6, 2022

        PS – if you watch the video, at 7:53 you are crossing the bridge in my picture – just above Waters Meet, the point where the North and South Tyne join to become one river.

      • Sue · February 6, 2022

        Oh, thanks for this, Robin…..so, the stations are not derelict Ruins, then (other than those lost to the reservoir)?

      • northumbrianlight · February 7, 2022

        Not even ruins, Sue – nearly all are very desirable residences, their inconvenient locations now making them very desirable. We have even stayed at one which has a short length of preserved railway and its own diesel engine: https://www.saughtreestationbb.co.uk/

  5. restlessjo · February 6, 2022

    Congratulations, Robin!

  6. Julie · February 6, 2022

    Congratulations Robin!! I will order once you have the US shipping option available.

    • northumbrianlight · February 6, 2022

      Many thanks, Julie – it has been quite a slog. Please don’t feel obliged to buy, but if you really want a copy, just use the UK buttons – the extra postage won’t be that great and you deserve a discount as a non-golfer 🙂 No rush, I have plenty to spare – all the best and take care, R

      • Julie · February 6, 2022

        Okay will do. Thanks! I know that slog so well. I’m trying to get my final blog book done and then move on to formatting the memoir. Wish me luck. Haha.

    • northumbrianlight · February 7, 2022

      Good luck Julie – just persist – you will get there and I look forward to reading the results.

  7. Chris Barker · February 7, 2022

    Well done with your book, Robin. I can imagine the lugging of 1,000 . . . I can also imagine trying to get a ball across that quarry 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · February 7, 2022

      Many thanks Chris – a labour of love – the writing, not the humping up the drive 😉

  8. Aviationtrails · February 8, 2022

    Congratulations the next book sounds like sales are going well. These old railways are like old airfields – terrific places to walk!

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