Being one of those funny vegetarian sorts, I frequently enjoy a Quorn sausage while my meat eating boys scoff down seemingly vast quantities of porky sausages. The boys eat sausages at least once a week, it’s an easy meal and when the small boy is feeling fussy it’s something I know he will eat. Tonight being Bonfire Night and falling slap bang in the middle of British Sausage Week, we had to have bangers for our bonfire tea.
We were given a sample pack of seven different flavoured sausages from Grandad’s Sausages, a family business based in Bury, Greater Manchester. In our porky packet of pleasure (sorry, not sorry) were their traditional British Pork; Olde English; Lincolnshire; Cumberland; Pork & Welsh Leek; Pork & Somerset Apple and Pork & Fiery Chilli. Grandad’s Sausages also make Pork & Crushed Garlic; Pork & Bury Black Pudding; and Pork & Cranberry, but we didn’t get to try them.
I always cook my sausages the same way, probably the heathens way, on a baking tray in the oven, shaking the tray frequently. With cheap supermarket sausages the tray fills with fat and it makes me gag a bit when I clean it. With good quality butchers sausages usually there’s hardly any fat, and these sausages were very lean, but were they lean on flavour too?
Being unable to sample any sausages, I was reliant on the boys tastebuds and their ability to communicate to me the joy of the sausage. This is where the plan fell down, with mouths stuffed with sausages they told me they were “nice and sausagey”, other gems included “meaty” and the pork and fiery chilli was “hot but not melt your face hot”. So there we go folks, suspect the Michelin guide will be knocking on our door any day now to snap the boys up as new inspectors for next year.
For me it’s a good sign if their plates are clean and they were. I asked them post-sausage what their favourites were. Hubs went for the chilli, my Dad went for the pork and apple and the small boy said “sausages”, so that went well. All were deemed a success and I’d happily serve them again to the boys and anyone else who sat nicely at my dining table.
What better way to celebrate British Sausage Week AND Bonfire Night, than with a plate of rather lovely local Grandad’s Sausages.
On Sunday 5th October we took the small boy and his cousin to East Lancashire Railway for a day out with Thomas the Tank Engine and friends. We arrived bright and early in Bury, Greater Manchester, in time for the Fat Controller (or Sir Topham Hat if you like) to open up proceedings. The boys were a bit overwhelmed by their surroundings, so we took them for a fortifying hot chocolate and watched Thomas pull into the station and pick up his first load of passengers; much to their delighted amazement.
Once the boys had settled we managed to grab some seats on James and have a ride up to Ramsbottom. Ramsbottom was a much smaller station than Bury and we’d heard that the troublesome trucks would be passing through. We didn’t have to wait long until Diesel pulled the trucks in. They were indeed troublesome. The boys enjoyed climbing in Diesel and having a good look at the trucks.
We had a quick picnic lunch and we heard that Percy would be coming in shortly to have a drink (see picture below), the boys were fascinated with this process and we talked about why steam engines needed lots of big drinks of water. Picnic over we clambered aboard Mavis and chugged back to Bury.
In Bury we decided to get some (temporary) tattoos of Thomas to remind us of the day; then we joined the (long-ish) queue to catch a ride on Thomas. We queued for around half an hour, but took turns to take the boys into the gift shop and buy them a reminder of their day out with Thomas, so it didn’t feel like a horribly long wait.
Thomas once again pulled into the station and we found somewhere to stand in the carriages. t was a short journey, but it was long enough for the boys to have a memory they can enjoy for a long time to come. They also got certificates to show they’d been on Thomas the Tank Engine. They were delighted.
We took one last steam train ride up through Ramsbottom to Rawtenstall and back. Afterwards we finished off our picnic, watched the world go by and talked about our fabulous day out with Thomas.
We bought a family ticket and it cost £44 which was we felt good value for a family day out; that’s just £11 per person and you can have as many train journeys as you want. They also have various Thomas themed free activities you can partake in on the day; including the temporary tattoos and free access to the Bury Transport Museum.
We would definitely have another day out with Thomas at East Lancashire Railway.
Note: We paid for our tickets for our Day Out with Thomas at East Lancashire Railway ourselves.