Slings help mums on Bentham train

The group just before setting off for Clapham at Lancaster railway station.
The group just before setting off for Clapham at Lancaster railway station.

A group of mums had a day out with their babies on the train from Lancaster to Clapham on the Bentham Line.

But not a single pram or push chair was in evidence.

The group just before setting off for Clapham at Lancaster railway station.

The group just before setting off for Clapham at Lancaster railway station.

Morecambe Bay Sling Library collaborated with Community Rail Lancashire to plan an outing on a train for babywearing mums.

This library loans baby carriers to families and provides support in how to use the sling.

Community Rail Lancashire’s education officer Karen Bennett said: “Travelling by train is a lot easier with a sling than with a pram.

“ I had my son, Laurie, in a sling until he was three and I appreciate all the benefits.

“ I want to encourage more parents to use slings rather than prams on a train.

“A sling makes it easier to negotiate station steps, board the train, and not having to find somewhere to keep the pram.

“Babywearing encourages healthy mental and emotional development and research shows babies who are worn cry less.”

Travel was kindly provided by Northern, for the trip.

The group enjoyed chatting on the journey and got speaking to other passengers whilst en route.

Some of the older children completed the Bentham Line’s activity pack passed on to them by Catherine Huddleston, the Bentham Line’s Community Rail Partnership Officer.

On arrival at Clapham, the group took the mile and a quarter walk up to the village passing sheep, cows and even a week-old foal on the way. In the village they went for tea and cake in the Reading Room Café.

As the sun shone down the outside terrace, they exchanged babywearing tips and Abi and Tamsin, sling consultants advised how best to position baby. Many of the group commented how they had not thought of travelling to The Dales by train and were keen to return – especially with a sling.

The Bentham Line is the working title for the Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership (CRP). It was set up in 2006 and has its offices at Bentham Station and works to improve services and develop community links along the railway line.

The route goes from Heysham and Morecambe, on the west coast, via Lancaster and Carnforth through the idyllic Lune and Wenning valleys with Ingleborough as a back drop.