Friday, 17 August 2007

Steam trains and Standen



We had a great day out today - a trip on the Bluebell-Railway up to Standen , a William Morris Arts and Crafts house in the Sussex countryside. First stop was to Sheffield Park station to join our steam train travelling up the Bluebell line that stretches across beautiful countryside.



The little station - well in fact, the whole journey, is a step back in time, it's vintage enamel sign heaven as soon as you reach the station!!




Forget the beautiful scenery, the steam engines and timetables, there are enough enamel signs at the stations to keep us all happy!


Each platform, waiting room, ticket office and train carriage has been lovingly restored and it does feel for the length of the journey that you have stepped into another age. The girls loved it, the train was both Hogwarts Express and a train taking them to be evacuated to the country just like in Narnia!!


Our 1920s vintage steam train took us to Horsted Keynes and Kingscote stations, both beautifully restored - just like scenes from The Railway Children.
At Kingscote we got a bus to Standen a beautiful Arts and Crafts house just outside East Grinstead, now owned by The National Trust.


It's such a shame that we weren't allowed to take photos as this has to be one of our favourite NT properties - full of fantastic William Morris designs - textiles, ceramics, wallpapers and furniture, Burne Jones and Rosetti paintings etc but still retaining the feel of a real family home. if you get a chance to visit you should, but beware, if you're thinking of ever owning it, join the queue, I'm afraid we've already divied up the house and nabbed the bedrooms! A beautiful, beautiful home with equally lovely gardens, in acres of beautiful countryside, It was home to the Beale family who had it built especially for them and their seven children and 19 grandchildren who would come and stay. They must have had so much fun, there are photos of them using the old fire chute as a slide from the top floor down to the gardens, toboganning down the slopes on old trolleys and holding secret meetings on a lead shelf above the beautiful conservatory. You get the feeling that this really was a home rather than some old stately pile in the country, a home that was used and enjoyed by its owners.

For us it was back home on the old train and back to reality.

Have a lovely weekend.

29 comments:

kat-out-of-the-bag said...

What a lovely place and so nostalgic,
I love those metal signs,you take some super photos.
Kat x

Gill at Lucy Locket said...

What a fab day out, must add that to my list of places to visit. I love the vintage suitcases piled up, very evocative and I wonder where they've travelled?
Have a good weekend yourself, hope the rain holds off.
Gill x

weirdbunny said...

Fab !!! What a brilliant time there you must have had.

meggie said...

Lovely post & a lovely old home.
Great pics too.

Heidijayhawk said...

oh it looks like you really did take a step back in time!! how fabulous.

She'sSewPretty said...

What a fun trip. I love that old train station with the enamel signs. I love going on day trips. You get to have fun and still sleep in your own bed!

Ele at abitofpinkheaven said...

What a great place!

Rowan said...

This sounds like the perfect day out to me:) I love steam trains and also Arts and Crafts houses. Stepping back into the 1920s is my idea of heaven.I think this must go on my list of places to go and things to do. Glad you all had such a great day.

Rubyred said...

What a Fantastic day out you had!Love the enamel Cadburys sign!

andsewtosleep said...

What a lovely day out. I would love to have that pile of suitcases (could hide away my fabric).
Hope you are well.
Mary

mollycupcakes said...

What a lovely day, sounds and looks just beautiful.
Must go there, I think Ben would love it too. Thanks for the chutney tips, I found a nice one and will be giving it ago soon.

Have a good weekend too.

Catherine x

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

I love vintage railways and enamel signs!! It looks fab!! I just wish the National Trust would let you take photos-so frustrating!!

Rose Vintage said...

Standen is my most favourite NT place to visit. The embroidery alone is just beautiful not to mention the house and the surrounding gardens. I try to go once a year and I too asked to take photos so I could do a post on it but sadly was not able to. It makes you feel that you can just walk in the door and live there yourself. I think that is why so many people love it! Happy days!

Jane
x

cd&m said...

What a wonderful place to visit - all that old luggage!

Curlew Country said...

I've fallen in love with steam railways, they're so romantic aren't they. What a lovely trip you've had. We're moving in the next few weeks to a village with its very own steam railway, very similar in style to the Bluebell, lots of 30s & 40s paraphenallia. I think I'm almost as excited as my boys!
Steph

Wild Rose said...

What a fantastic day out! I love going on steam trains. The NT property sounds really interesting too.

Marie x

Isabelle said...

Thanks for sharing your day out with the blog world. I'm back at work and am very jealous!

Twinkle Pink said...

What a coincidence I've been talking trains too:)

Only wish I had been on your train, it sounds great!

best wishes Ginny

Clare said...

I love Standen, it is such a beautiful house. Great photographs, the station is really pretty and the train ride sounds like lots of fun.

Tracy said...

That is so much fun...what a terrific place. I love all the oldness and nosalgia! Glad you had a grand time! ((HUGS))

OhSoVintage said...

I clicked on both your links as i shall definitely be visiting here this 'summer'(!). Love your photos, especially the old suitcases and enamel signs.

sarah said...

It all looks so fab !I love the look of all the vintage , the cases and everything.
x

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

One of hubby's and my fondest memories of England was seeing the train-spotters! No one seems to do that around here .=)

Heidi said...

I just love William Morris. I made quilt for our bed in reproduction fabrics of his. I have never heard of this house but would love to see it one day after reading about it. I really think your day out sounds like it was a day of traveling through the past. The railway looked so enchanting and then to see all the Morris things in the house. Well, what can I say but it must have been perfect!

ShabbyInTheCity said...

So cool!!! I love those old chocolate signs!

Nonnie said...

Sounds like such a perfect day. The steam train looks wonderful. The Railway Children is one of my all time favourite books/films(the orignial version of course!) so I think I would be in heaven taking a trip on the train. Standen sounds extremely interesting too. Definitely one to visit.

Kristy said...

I want some of those suitcases and trunks!

tourist guy said...

Wonderful photos from what obviously was a great day out and all in my own back yard!. If you want to know more about this part of the world then come on and visit us.

dottycookie said...

OK, that's one for the list for next time we're down. It'll make a change from the indoor play area at Drusillas!

Hurrah!