We caught an early train out of Stamford and changed at Peterborough for Doncaster. Travelling First Class we enjoyed breakfast on the train, remembering to look out of the windows while passing through the western edge of our county along the racing stretch through the Bythams and through Grantham. I ought to mention that we only claimed standard class fares on expenses!
At Doncaster we changed into a TransPennine Express train for Cleethorpes, the holiday destination in NorthEast Lincolnshire, but as this was February we were not anticipating much time on the beach. The trip through Grimsby was remarkably pleasant, with a feeling almost of being on a tramway through a leafy residential area as the town centre was approached, then through a neat Victorian station and out through a dockland and industrial area clearly in need of substantial investment, before following the coast to Cleethorpes.
It was windy, but beautifully sunny and easy to imagine this place in summer with hordes of people. This terminus was once heaving with holidaymakers and was also on the direct route to London from Grimsby via Louth, Boston, Spalding and Peterborough: the closure of that line towards the end of the Beeching cuts has left the east Lincs coastal strip impoverished ever since. Access to London had once been swift and simple, but now it takes as long to drive to a main-line station as it used to take to get to London by train. For Grimsby and Cleethorpes there had at first been through trains via Lincon instead (though no such luck for the other towns on the route), but now these do not exist either. The beach at Cleethorpes looked fantastic and this may well be a place worth visiting if we ever get a decent summer day!
We caught a bus back into Grimsby to see another aspect of the two adjacent towns and bought lunch at the Wetherspoons pub which looked as if it was originally the railway hotel by the station. There we discovered that Grimsby had been the home of Archbishop John Whitgift who is greatly commemorated in Croydon, a place I know rather better. Grimsby had very pleasant shopping streets and a museum of the fishing industry which was once world-renowned but has been the victim of depleted fish stocks. I must return some time at leisure and explore the town a bit more.
We tried to visit St James's Church, Grimsby Minster, but found it locked when we were there, although I gather it is usually open on weekday daytimes.