When I was three-years-old, I went with my parents, my grandparents, and my cousin Tracy to Whitby. There, I fell in love with the miniature railway situated on the North Promenade. Every morning before breakfast, I "helped" the driver test the track and run the engine round the track.
Three years later, I returned with my parents and younger brother, and there was the train again. I loved it!
Fast forward some twenty years. I persuaded my wife to visit Whitby. Everything was how I remembered it, barring one detail: the train and track had been replaced by a tractor pulling carriages around a now railless track. I was gutted.
When I knew I would be setting Anne Droyd and the House of Shadows in Whitby, I determined to reestablish the little train, if only in fiction, and have Malcolm and Sophie "help" the driver test the track before breakfast as I once did. And you never know - should the series take off and provoke many a fan to visit the town, the council might be pressured into putting the little attraction back where it belongs!
Caroline Gough at the legendary Whitby Gazette has published a nice piece about it, which you can read here http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/whats-on/Author39s-fondness-for-Whitby-inspires.4793832.jp
And the book is now stocked by the equally legendary Whitby Bookshop, presided over by Sue Keates, and located on Church Street.
The above photograph shows me aged 3 with cousin Tracy and Granddad on the platform to the much missed miniature train on the North Promenade, Whitby, 1973.