Those were the weeks that were...

Those were the weeks that were…

Before the blog gets back into the routine of restoration and news reports, I thought a post to tidy up various lose ends might be of interest.  The Great North Festival of Transport is drawing to a close and the gallery of images taken of the steam fair and horses weekends will continue to fill up over the next few weeks (so do have a look at this) – I have therefore resisted the temptation to fill the news section of the blog with too many photographs!  Needless to say, were are very pleased with how the event went and are already working on 2016’s plans – this year is going to take some beating!

Great North Festival of Transport

Below: A single view of the Horses at Work activity that came closest to us (we were engaged in operating steam in the Colliery) – a delivery of narrow gauge sleepers.  More photos will appear on the gallery page for the 2015 event.


Below: Three locomotives may be a bit excessive for the narrow gauge activity on the existing track, but its fun to do and the trio were popular with visitors, particularly when offering footplate rides.

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Below: Two views that I rather like as they show both No.1 and No.18 in clean but working guise, very much real engines and wearing the sort of appearance that well kept but well used industrial steam locomotives used to…

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Rowley Station

Below: I thought a couple of shots of the signalbox sans scaffolding might be of interest.  There are still some areas to attend to including the handrails and external walking boards, but it looks very well and is once again a popular exhibit, especially when Harry is in situ explaining to visitors the role of the signalman.

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Below: Portbury demonstrates some new views around the servicing area at Rowley Station as it takes on coal.  The pipework for the water tower remains to be completed, likewise the handrails on the coaling platform.

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Mike’s Commer

Below: This has been covered in a separate post, but was a fairly noteworthy event during the last week and it is certainly a head turner!


Below: The big DG8 basks in the sunshine at Rowley Station.


Rolling with Rambler

Below: A regular feature for this year (and onwards) will be a number of days per week of operation of our Fowler Steam Roller ‘Rambler’ from 1931 (ex West Riding).  The roller, and other historic plant, will be used on site maintenance during opening hours, to give visitors a chance to see it in action and some of the techniques not often practised these days.  Rambler is seen standing outside the new Rural District Council Depot.


Below: The set dressing continues, but this view shows something of the detailing taking place in the RDC Depot.


Below: A new everyday scene.

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Below: Rolling the events field, to remove some of the ruts and make it more suitable as a cricket pitch for later in the year.

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Below: After a day around site and rolling the Colliery yard, Rambler heads for base in the late afternoon sunshine.

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I thought this collection of photographs taken, in colour, in 1928, would be of interest, containing as they do a number of transport subjects.  Something to enjoy – and a future challenge to recreate Andy Martin?!