If you cast your mind back to this time last year, you may remember that a number of the steam loco dept members packed their buckets and spades and set off to the seaside, well ok, various heritage railways in the vicinity of Kent and Sussex. We had such a good time, that plans were formulated to do something similar this year. This time round, the chosen
The plan was to meet up at Toddington on Friday and set off as a group in a 7 seater car. Our numbers were 2 down on last year, Dan being too preoccupied with his studies and Mark with the winter repairs for Dinmore Manor. Friday isn't one of the GWSR's busier days, but I thought that I'd turn up a bit early to see what was going on.
First thing to note was that some kind souls have spent some time cleaning up Dinmore Manor. A couple of weeks of being left uncleaned for the benefit of photo charters and she was definitely looking a bit unloved. It was nice to see her looking her old self again.Thank you to all those who took the trouble to restore her to her usual pristine condition.
|Clean once more|
|At first he didn't want his picture taking...|
|...but soon ignored me and got on with his work.|
|It's coming along nicely.|
|Fire and drive, you too could be at the controls|
|4270, back with us again|
We decided to take the scenic route through the Elan Valley, simply because it looked like it might be pretty from the map. As it turned out, it was an excellent choice of route, with three large dams and associated lakes along the valley:
|The first of the dams, and the GWSR tour party|
|The third dam, Ed did a very passable Dambusters impression on this one|
Part of the plan was to meet up with Paul Stratford who retired to mid-Wales earlier this year and consequently gave up being a fireman for the GWSR.
|Paul and Dolgoch|
|A view into the cab|
|(l-r) Derek, Ian, George, Bill, Tina, Andy, Laura, Ed and Paul.|
|Paul and Ian chinwag about restoring 4270|
|George and Tina|
|Ed & Laura|
|Andy Robinson (fireman) and Bill aboard Dolgoch|
|Off up the line|
|Through the round window|
|If you go down in the woods today.....|
|Dolgoch crossing Dolgoch viaduct|
|Topping up the tanks|
|Ed with bunny rabbit ears|
|A view across the Fathew Valley|
|Running round at Nant Gwernol|
|Cadair Idris is somewhere in those clouds I think.|
|Edward Thomas at Abergynolwyn|
|Juliet and Bill|
Meanwhile, Derek was busy making friends of the four legged variety:
|Derek plots how to take his new friend back home with him|
|Tina decided to take some video on her phone|
|As usual when a camera gets pointed in my direction, I hid behind my own.|
|Cadair Idris the Dragon?|
|Number 1, Talyllyn|
The last of the line's steam locos to be accounted for was number 6, Douglas.
|The bonfire, with a hi-viz Guy on the top.|
Edward Thomas passed through with the wedding train and returned a little later with the now empty carriages before disposal.
|Token exchange with the bobby at Pendre|
|Just a few shovels full and she's ready to go again|
|Dolgoch passes Edward Thomas|
|Bill and Ian discuss the finer points of Dolgoch|
And finally, we stopped for dinner in a pub in Machynlleth on the way back to Aberystwyth. Ed realised that he had made the mistake of his life by wearing a England rugby shirt and had to spend the evening with his coat on over it, even though it was very warm in the pub.
|Ed in his England rugby shirt.... and coat.|