It is hard to believe it is the middle of June and the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland‘s series of Jazz Train Mystery Tours is already in full swing with the inimitable Apex Jazz Band providing the entertainment as usual. Having been well organised by David Graham we arrived at Greenisland station to entrain and join up with the rest of the party who, having joined the train at Carrickfergus, had already laid out their suppers and opened the obligatory bottles of wine. Needless to say our party was not long in following suit.
The great thing about these “picnics” is that one gets to share all round so we were pleased to pass on spicy chicken legs and receive home made Scottish pasties, the name of which escapes me due to the combination of wine and Claude Hepburn’s amazing version of a hot toddy!
Brenda, as has become a tradition, passed round her collection of refilled miniature. Dire consequences await those who do not return the bottles!
Of course the mystery bit only lasts a fairly short time as there are a limited number of possible destinations and once one is on the move the series of passing stations is a pretty good indication of where one will end up. Not that it really matters as one platform is very much the same as another as acting as a dance floor is concerned. This time our first stop was Ballymena.
There are those on these outings who have to be admired for the effort they put in to playing the part and their enthusiasm is to be envied.
On this train there were also a group who had belonged to a old time dance class which had unfortunately closed down and they were desperate to practice their skills at any opportunity!
From Ballymena we were transported to Antrim Station where the band once again performed to perfection and Josephine and I were amongst those spent the majority of the time swinging to the music. There were those who were more interested in getting things on camera for posterity!
All in all it exceeded expectations and has been decreed as the best of our outings with the RPSI to date. No doubt we will be signing up next year!