Monday, 7 December 2015

Steam Loco Dept Weekend Away, Part Three

We have arrived at the third and final installment describing the recent weekend away.  Again, all photos and text provided by Donna Ludlow, except where otherwise credited:

Sunday 1st November – Llangollen Railway

Llangollen Town – Corwen, 10 miles

Our last day in Wales meant a trip to the Llangollen Railway and a move back to full size locos. To carry on the theme of the weekend of fantastic scenery, this route followed the River Dee for most of its length, although as it remained quite misty it couldn’t all be appreciated.
Our loco today was 5199 in BR black. 

5199 courtesy of Tom Evans
As with the Welsh Highland, footplate rides were available to two of us today and myself and Philip Bulford decided to take up the opportunity. Philip would be on the footplate on the way to Corwen and myself on the way back to Llangollen. However it didn’t quite go to plan for me, as being one who travels light I didn’t have the right footwear – that’s something I shall have to remember for next year. So I took my seat with everyone else to admire the scenery once again as we set off to Corwen.

Footbridge over the Dee. Photo by Malc Mackemsley

Photo by Malc Mackemsley

At Berwyn, crossing the B5103. Photo by Ashley Haines
 Tunnels always make a nice feature of a railway and Llangollen had its own to add to the enjoyment of the trip. Before entering we were all instructed to close the windows to stop the soot and smoke coming in but it seems like someone else forgot about one. It made for a very spooky looking photo, especially as it was Halloween just the night before – had a Spooky Special spectre overstayed its welcome?

Photo by Ashley Haines

On the way back from Corwen the mist and cloud cleared just enough for Tom Evans to capture this shot of this area of outstanding natural beauty.

Smile, you’re on camera! Photo by Malc Mackemsley

Tickets please! Photo by Malc Mackemsley
 Back at Llangollen it was time for a tour of their workshop. The first thing we were greeted with was 5952 Cogan Hall and its tender looking a bit unloved. It did look as though it was receiving some attention however.

 Inside the shed it was almost like déjà vu as they had their very own GWR 2-8-0 Heavy Freight Loco 3802 undergoing an overhaul. The 3850 at Toddington is having its own overhaul as we speak.

3802- A bit familiar
 Meanwhile Ashley found the best place in the shed to stand, right in front of a fire.
 Elsewhere in the shed there was a very impressive new build taking place – that of 6880 Betton Grange.

Shiny new rivets – It’s a shame they’ll eventually be covered with paint!

Boiler to the left, cab to the right
Amongst all the shiny bits was its boiler having some work done to it.

You can find out more about the 6880 ‘81st Grange’ project here:

After our tour it was time for some lunch at the café, and then the long journey back to Toddington started. I think we were all quite tired with most people falling asleep at some point but I thought it best not include photos of that!

This weekend had been absolutely fantastic and as I am still fairly new to steam I can happily say that I learned some new things along the way.

I am sure we are all very much looking forward to next year’s trip, wherever it may be.

Something came up, preventing me from getting to the GWSR on Saturday, but Donna has delivered the goods again, by providing me with the next three photos, one of Dinmore Manor, which aside from being decorated with the usual tinsel etc, was to be seen with a Christmas tree perched on the running plate.  No news regarding how it may have been secured in place, or even if it survived the day.
Pagan symbols on the running plate, photo courtesy of Donna Ludlow
 Donna also included these two photos showing the star of the dismantling of 3850's valve gear, although not seen in the shots, Roger removed the eccentric straps and rods.
A bit of light on the scene of the crime
Removed eccentric strap.
Many thanks indeed to Donna for kindly volunteering to write the three reports on the weekend away.

Dinmore Manor Locomotive LTD have kicked off a new blog to cover the restoration and hopefully in the not too distant future, the running of 3850.  It will probably feature a more in depth view of what is going on with it than will be covered in this blog.  If you want to know more about what is going on with 3850, then please click on this link.

And finally, I managed to get a bit of free time on Sunday and chose to spend it visiting the Steam Museum in what used to be part of Swindon Works.  Amongst the many exhibits, such as City of Truro (once based on the GWSR of course), KIng George V and the delightful Dean Goods, is a stunning selection of GWR nameplates and cabside number plates.  This small selection shown in thephoto below includes no less than 5 cabside number plates from Kings, which if you add in the two on King George V, means that over ten percent of the total ever made currently reside under the one roof.  That wasn't the reason for mentioning this though, a closer examination of the cabside number plates on display includes our own 2807.  You may recollect that Brian of the Cotswold Steam Locomotive (2807) LTD recently bought one of 2807's cabside number plates at auction, well here it seems is the other one.  I expect that the owning group knew that the other one was here, but I didn't.
A Bob or two's worth of brass!


  1. If I recall correctly 5952 escaped Barry and found itself at Toddington originally in the early 1980s and not much has changed on her since. Graham

  2. Interesting about 2807 "other" cab side number plate. This is not the one purchased by Brian G as that is on his lounge wall!

  3. Happy to report that the tree is still attached to Dinmore via cable ties!

  4. IIRC 5952 is the provider of 'stuff' for 6880 new build. It will be rebuilt eventually I think. How did you miss 4709 in the corner - she's big enough!!! ?
    Many thanks to Donna, it was the same weather when we went!