On Saturday, I spent a little time assisting in the refurbishment of the mess coach at Toddington in preparation for the steam loco departments much anticipated return, currently scheduled to be at the end of this month. At lunch time however, the select team involved in that task went AWOL to attend to other matters in nearby Pershore. The lure of Pershore was an auction of railwayana, with many items going under the hammer to tempt hard earned cash out of wallets. Not least of these was a delightful GWR/Neath & Brecon Railway 12" drop dial fusee trunk clock circa 1850 - 1860. Ian Windscheffel proudly shows off his latest acquisition:-
Yours truly was unable to resist the temptation of a GWR cabside numberplate, 'GWR 78' carried after the grouping of the railways in 1923 by a Hudswell Clark 0-6-2T of 1921. She was originally built for the Rhymney Railway and survived through to BR ownership at Cardiff East dock until 1955. Tina Sutton kindly holds aloft my new cabside:-
Well, so far so good, nothing particularly newsworthy or relevant to this blog other than the fact that a few members of the steam loco dept have skived off and will doubtless get their wages docked for their troubles. But gentle reader, all is not as it seems, there was a further item being auctioned that has great significance to the railway. The GWSR is home to the Cotswold Steam Preservation Society who own Churchward 2800 class, 2-8-0 number 2807 of 1905. Brian Gamlin, a member of the Cotswold Steam Preservation society was on hand to successfully place the winning bid for the cabside number plate of 2807 (the originals were sold before 2807 was sent to Barry scrapyard and she currently carries replicas). Brian will be making it available to the society for display during fund raising events etc.
The out take shots from this session were quite amusing, the first shot of Brian holding his new 2807 plate looked rather like one of those convict mugshots. He was presumably thinking of the hole in his bank account rather than the cabside in his hands when I took it. In this later shot he has at least managed to break into a smile. The sequence of shots of Tina went in three frames from smile to scowl to poking her tongue out. Only Ian managed to retain his composure throughout. The out takes have been withheld as they are all (well nearly all) bigger than me and they'd beat me up if I uploaded them.