A selection of snapshots from visits to members' railways during this year.
Indoors in January
The Barley Pit Light Railway in February
The National Garden Railway Show at Peterborough in April
Stiperstones Tramway in September
We took the opportunity to gather in Steve's cow shed at Temple Balsall on 2nd January to run on the group's portable layout (and to ponder some minor tweaks needed to the dual-gauge points - nothing too serious.)
Sunday 22nd November saw us return to Matt and Jodi's Barley Pit Railway for the final time this year. A pleasant afternoon was had with a variety of locos in attendance, sausage sandwiches, and heating provided by the fire pit. We ran until the light had faded and the fire had died (or in other words, we couldn't see and were frozen!). Matt's Meths fired loco 'The Fox' attempted to help keep everyone warm by dropping its burner, although no flash fires occurred and the loco came to a safe halt when the burner hit a sleeper - This did force the loco to retire and a mechanical overhaul and repaint has been ordered. Thanks to all who came, we loved it!
We returned once more to Matt & Jodi Towell’s Barley Pit Light Railway in September for a relaxed afternoon which featured some larger carriages – Laurence Smith presenting the Leek and Manifold Light Railway stock, Matt the Lynton and Barnstaple while Doug Roberts brought his latest project set - on a test run prior to being transformed from their continental personas to Welshpool and Llanfair look-alikes.
A glorious late summer afternoon greeted us upon arrival at Alan & Gill's Durley Dean Railway. This was our first visit to the railway and a truly enjoyable experience was had. The Railway has been skillfully laid and runs around the perimeter of the lawn and pond with a raised steam up/ shed area to the side of the patio. Visiting motive power for the afternoon was provided by Ian & Matt while Alan provided his home fleet. Tea and Cake were plentiful and with wives and kids also in attendance there was a great atmosphere as trains ran by.
Sunshine and showers greeted us for our visit to David and Catherine Lewis’s spectacular garden in Oldbury. The August steam-up has been David’s birthday treat for many years and it was a privilege to join him and his family to celebrate. David says they do not take themselves too seriously, which is born out by the plentiful quirks and follies dotted around the garden where the railway is situated on the lowest level of several beautifully landscaped terraces which make up the steep slope down from the house. Visiting trains were provided by Alan Larigo and Steve Hammett as well as those from David and his family, but mostly the afternoon was spent in pleasant conversation and enjoyment of the tranquil atmosphere.