Toot Toot! A Day Out With Thomas #DayOutWithThomas

By | May 3, 2017

It’s quite tricky at times to go on a day out with T or/and D, there’s so many sensory and anxiety issues to consider, I almost hark back to my “working life” as I risk assess internally what could happen and how would I deal with any situations.

A couple of weeks ago, D and I headed out for the day with a group of her school friends and – Toot Toot! – we headed to the Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line so that some very eager children could see Thomas and his friends in real life!

The stations on the Watercress Line are as if you step back in line, with vintage signage, station personnel in old fashioned uniforms and hats and these:

How cool are these? Our vintage-look tickets which really set the feel for the day.  The “C” on the beige ticket stands for carer (or companion) meaning that us mums, as carers to our SN children, had free entry for the day.

Want to see some pictures?

There’s Thomas! In the second picture I tried to capture the steam omitting from the engine, what you can’t hear of course is the “toot toot!” which caused great excitement every time it occurred.

There was also a chance to see Rusty’s magic show, again all very nostalgic and funny, especially when Rusty had to deal with a misbehaving puppet:

The magic show ended with a sing song, which even The Fat Controller joined in:

And then it was time for a ride on a vintage steam train to another station down the line, again all very vintage, there was a gift shop but it wasn’t “in your face” and packed full of train-related gifts for young and old (including the most wonderful fob watch, which D’s grandad would have loved).

What else did we do? Well there was time for a drink and sponge cake in the retro cafe, a ride in the front of (I think it was) Diesel whose controls were absolutely ancient and all levers and gauges and pipes. It was standing only in there and a bit reminiscent of commuting on the tube, but fortunately in the open air! 

Happy smiles above and I think the nicest element of the day for me was seeing those smiles, together with the fact that the majority of other visitors were pre-schoolers and toddlers, who smiled back at our happy children without any potential queries as to why our children may have been there as pre-teens or stares and whispers if anyone got a bit over-excited.

I was especially proud of D, she was polite and saluting the railway staff (and they saluted back) and although railways aren’t strictly her “thing” she joined in, happy to see her friends happy and also sat with me when my feet screamed at me.

Which brings me onto accessibility for buggies and wheelchairs, there are bridges but, if the lines are clear, there is supervision across the lines to get to the other side and ramps for buggies/wheelchairs to get onto the trains.

There were even chalets and tents available to hire as holiday homes, perfect for a mini break with toilets and showers in a separate nearby block.

I haven’t been asked or paid to write this but, as a successful and enjoyable day, I wanted to share our moments.  

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