I promised a recap of recent activities, and a spell of working from home has allowed me a little time to report on the 6th Annual Steam Gala at Shildon which took place on 25-26 September, and the Class 37 50th Anniversary event at York this last weekend.
The Steam Gala at Shildon traditionally marks the anniversary of the opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, but also the opening of Locomotion as a museum, this year being the 6th anniversary of the latter – where did the time go?
The event also tends to have a theme of one thing or another, and this year was a celebration of LNER and Gresley locomotives – the stars being D49 4-4-0 No. 249 “Morayshire” and N2 0-6-2T No.1744 with a supporting cast of the J72 69023 and Furness 20 in steam, plus static display of A4 “Mallard”, V2 “Green Arrow” and J52 tank loco 1247. It was the chance to see two Great Northern Railway liveried locos together (N2 and J52) and also two locos made by Sharp Stewart together (Furness 20 and J52).
Over 7000 visitors attended, which, considering it was a cold and windy weekend, is really rather good! With traders and displays indoors, plus large and small road steam vehicles and a fair organ, it was a fun event with plenty of steam action to entertain. We also had footplate access to Mallard and other engines, giving visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the collection.
Here’s a selection of images to give you a flavour of the event:
And so to the weekend just passed at York, 50 years of the class 37. It was held mainly in the South Yard, but included indoor displays and trade stands and archive material in Search Engine.
The event was opened on Saturday by Steve Davies, the NRM’s Director, and Pip Dunn, Editor of Railway Illustrated magazine, who sounded a hooter to signal the ceremonial mass start up of four of the five locos present at 10:30. The National Railway Museum’s own D6700 was started by the winner of a competition held via the website, whilst 37 025 was started up by the second prize winner.
Locos present finally were D6700, 37 025, 37 275, 37 685 and 37 906, and we are grateful to all their owners for allowing them to take part in the event. Most took their turn on the passenger train service or diesel driver experience over the weekend, and I was pleased to be part of it as one of the rostered drivers – always interesting to see how different locomotives of the same type perform!
As with Shildon, here’s a selection of pictures of the weekend:
Such was the success of the weekend that the internet is now full of speculation as to what we will do next. All I shall say for both sites is – watch this space!