This took place over the May bank holiday weekend. The weather on the Saturday and Sunday was not co-operative, but it got its act together after lunch on Monday to give the event a warm and sunny finale.
Well done to those who organised it, and to those who travelled (some of them a considerable distance) to run their engines at the event.
I didn't take 'Alfred' to the gala in order to maximise track availability for our visitors, but I took my camera on the Saturday. Most of the photos of the event are, however, from Jason Lau as usual. Please click on any for a larger image.
Saturday 30th April
Here are my pictures:
'Duchess of Sutherland, a lovely 4-cylinder Coronation Pacific from nearby Sale club, on a prep bay
The Coronation Pacific is my favorite prototype locomotive, as well as model and one day I'd love to own one.
The Duchess' cab
Magnificent lines, by LMS Chief Mechanical Engineer Sir William Stanier. Beats anything from that LNER Gresley chap into a cocked hat!
Here is an immaculate 4-cylinder Great Western 'King' locomotive with its owner (who brought it from Hebden Bridge).
Before Stanier took up the designer's reigns at Crewe, he served his time at Swindon on the Great Western Railway. This locomotive, designed by Charles Collett in 1927, was the ultimate in Great Western steam power. When Stanier came to Crewe to lead LMS loco design he brought Swindon's advanced ideas with him and in the late 1930s developed the Princess class (often dubbed a 'Super King'). LMS chief draughtsman Tom Coleman developed that engine into the magnificent Coronation Pacific.
The King's flight deck
Back to simpler engines - a visiting 5" gauge 'Polly', not a model of any particular prototype but a reliable and strong club performer
Britannia Pacific 'Robin Hood'. The Brits were one of the BR Standard Classes introduced in the early 1950s; just 2 cylinders, both on the outside, as is the valve gear, all for easy maintenance.
Another generic engine and a good little performer - a visiting Simplex tank engine
The remainder of the pictures in this report are the usual excellent images from Jason Lau:
The 'King' out on the track, while something has amused me!
It's not all steam; a Class 47 diesel, actually electrically powered
Activity on the prep bays
The 47 with its clothes off
That lovely Duchess is unloaded from the owner's car onto the hydraulic table from where it will be wheeled to the prep bay
The 'King' with its proud owner driving
The 'Kings' flight deck
The 'King' gets a load test. Yours truly 5th from front.
The Duchess with Jason, its proud owner (a different Jason to Jason 'Lensman' Lau)
'Robin Hood' looks just like the real thing
A close up of the 'King' showing its superb finish
James, the previous owner of my 'Alfred', watches the 'King' being disposed at end of running
James enjoying the Duchess
Saturday was rounded off for me with about 6 solo circuits of the main track driving 'The Beast'. Great fun!
Sunday pictures. I didn't attend, but Jason did:
Sunday pictures. I didn't attend, but Jason did:
5" model of Gresley A4 Pacific 'Wild Swan'
Nice weather for ducks - and Wild Swans
A4 cab detail
Streamlined engines, like this A4, need hatches in the casing for the oiling points to be accessed
9F 2-10-0 92220 'Evening Star', another BR 'standard' design like the Britannia, but the 9Fs were primarily heavy freight engines. They were the last of the 'Standards', and 92220 was the last of the last, the very last steam locomotive built for BR, and the only one of the class finished in GWR lined green instead of plain black, and the only named 9F.
Superb cab detail in this 9F. After the Duchess, the 9F is my second favorite locomotive and was successful design by Robert Riddles.
The weather was not kind on Sunday, as this shot of 'Evening Star' indicates
21C6, Merchant Navy Pacific 'Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co.' is an unusual model. It is of a Southern Railway Pacific designed by Oliver Bulleid, with some odd features such as chain driven valve gear and airsmooth casing. Many Merchant Navys and their lighter bretheren, the West Country and Battle of Britain classes, were rebuilt by BR as more conventional locomotives with the odd valve gear replaced by traditional Walchearts, and the airsmooth casing deleted. They thus became excellent engines, where the originals had proved somewhat temperamental.
Another unusual Bullied feature, faithfully captured on this model, is the multi-blast pipe at the base of the chimney
21C6 'de-frocked'. An alternative method for reaching the oiling points on a streamlined loco.
'Wild Swan's driver braves the elements. Continuous rain meant running came to a premature close on the Sunday at about 14:30.
'Evening Star' out on the track
21C6 dressed again and running
'Duchess' owner Jason tries a Gresley A4 for comparison. No contest, eh Jason - Stanier every time!
I was back at Urmston for Monday, the final day of the gala, but without my camera. So again, these are Jason's pictures:
A Robinson 2-8-0. I drove a full size one of these some years ago on the Great Central Railway.
Another fabulous 'Duchess'. This one is named 'City of Carlisle' as its owner / builder hails from there but is now a member of Wrexham club. The loco is on the main traverser being transferred to a prep bay.
Cab details of 'Carlisle'
One day, when the right one comes on the market, I will own one of these. Me and the owner admire this lovely engine.
LMS Jubilee 'Falkland Islands' with owner / driver
My 'Alfred' is a Martin Evans design. Here's another, a B1, named 'Waterbuck'.
Great Western 2-8-0
This is a beautifully made model; the Robinson 2-8-0 with owner / driver, an experienced BR steam man
Better late than never the sunshine and warmth arrived after lunch on Monday, and with it the crowds to the park queuing for train rides
That lovely 'Duchess' again. The chap behind the driver seems lost in admiration! I know how he feels.
A rather smart Stanier Black Five
Great Northern Railway No.439 on its way to the hydraulic table from the prep bays
So a somewhat damp weekend actually went rather well, not counting the 'early bath' on the Sunday. We had a lot of visiting locos, and on Monday afternoon,plenty of passengers!