Sunday, 14 September 2014

AVLR 'Tracks to Trenches' WW1 event

This weekend the Apedale Valley Light Railway (AVLR) near Newcastle under Lyme held its 'Tracks to Trenches' event to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War. The event concentrated on transport and logistics of the 'war to end all wars', and probably narrow gauge railways' finest hour. Me, Ivan, and Malc fired up the little bikes to go have a look, routing via Chelford, Jodrell Bank, Clonter Brook, Somerford Booths, Brownlow, and Kidsgrove.

As ever, please click on any picture for a larger image.

Malc and Ivan on arrival at Apedale this morning with the little bikes parked in the exhibitor area with some larger machines. Malc and I were on our Honda C90s, Ivan on his Honda SS50.

We had been invited to park our bikes as exhibits, so were able to ride directly into the AVLR site and park in the motorcycle exhibitor area. 

 AVLR resident Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0WT "Wee Pug" of 1916 in the station

 Visiting from the Greensand Railway Museum Trust on the excellent Leighton Buzzard Railway is Baldwin 4-6-0T "Yankee" of 1917

 AVLR resident Kerr Stuart 0-6-0T  Joffre  of 1917 on a freight train

Another view of the Joffre

 Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0WT of 1930 from the Statfold Barn Railway

The Joffre again 

A vehicle which is a cross between a traction engine and an early lorry, a 1917 Foden steam lorry. It has a horizontal traction engine boiler and cylinders driving a 'lorry' rear axle.  

 This Kerr Stuart "Wren" 0-4-0T of 1918 from the Vale of Rheidol Railway once worked at Driffield Army Camp

 This French Government Baguley "Inspection car" of 1918 is from the Statfold Barn railway

This Rolls Royce armored car is from the Duke of Westminster's Grosvenor estate 

This is a 4/5 replica of a Mk4 WW1 tank. The original had a 12 litre petrol engine, but this replica has a more reliable 2.5 litre Ford Transit diesel engine. The 3 colours on the flag represent the mud of the battlefield, the blood shed by countless soldiers, and the green fields beyond. 

Much effort had obviously gone into preparing this event, including digging these WW1 trenches, complete with duck boards and other details 

The Vale of Rheidol's little Wren again... 

...a truly minimalist steam locomotive 

'Wee Pug' on a freight train 

Joffre in the station roads having uncoupled from a freight train 

The Baldwin 'Yankee' in the station 

The Hudswell Clarke, a business-like little engine

The Yankee, cylinder drain cocks open 

 German Imperial Army Railway Henschel 0-8-0T "Brigadelok" of 1918 from the North Gloucestershire Railway

The Hudswell Clarke once belonged to Surrey County Council Highways Department. I wonder why they wanted a steam locomotive? Silly question! Doesn't everyone want a steam locomotive?

By the time we were ready to leave the bigger bikes had departed to be replaced by a type of car that was part of my childhood. Above, my C90, Malc's C90, and Ivan's SS50 find themselves next to a 1937 Ford Model Y . My father's first car in the early 1950s was one of these, and I can still remember it quite clearly. Looking through the windows of this one I am amazed how tiny it is - narrow seats and not much leg room. People must have been a lot smaller then.

Here's a video I took of the WW1 tank on the move:
Click here

Just after I took the above picture we fired up the steeds and headed home along the same route as our outward journey. Except we deviated very slightly to the 'Bird in Hand' at Knolls Green for a pint, in celebration of yet another great day out.


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