Having turned 17 the day before,December 28th saw us head up to the 16-mile long Severn Valley Railway.Having arrived at Kidderminster at 11:20am after our 1 hour drive we had a look around the museum before catching the 11:45am stopping service to Bridgnorth.ex-GWR 4-6-0 Manor Class No7802 "Bradley Manor" was in charge.Sister 4-6-0 No7812 "Earlstoke Manor" was waiting at Kidderminster with the 12:15pm "Dining Train" to Bridgnorth.The SVR winds its way through one of England's most beautiful valley's and has 6 preserved stations to show off.7802 hauled the 7-coach rake to Bridgnorth on time,passing unique Stanier Mogul No42968 at Bewdley and Large Prairie No5164 at Hampton Loade.We alighted at Bridgnorth after a pleasant journey and saw some of the other locomotives in the yard.(Above you see "Bradley Manor" at Bridgnorth with the 1:35pm to Kidderminster). Above you see the yard at Bridgnorth.Ivatt Class 2MT 2-6-0 No46443 is far left with GWR Pannier No5764 in front of her.Behind 5764 is the replica of "Catch-Me-Who-Can" followed by out-of-ticket Black 5 No45110 (split from tender).Bridgnorth Shed can be seen in the background.7802 duly ran round and I went to the other side of the line via small cobbled road which runs under the trackbed via an underbridge.(Hence the pic at the top).At 1:31pm 7812 arrived from Kidderminster allowing 7802 to depart Platform 2.We then boarded the stock which would make up the 2:15pm "Severn Valley Limited" Dining Train to Kidderminster,hauled by 7812.It was freezing so we were glad of the warmth of the train!Our table for four was set neatly ready for the first of the 4 courses.If you've never dined on a steam train,I gladly advise it to you! Its very pleasant and enjoyable! 7812 ran round straight away and took up her place at the front of the train.The road to Platform 2 was then set again as we awaited the arrival of another service from Kidderminster, this time hauled by 42968.
The departure time of 2:15pm arrived and yet there was still no sign of 42968.At 2:26pm the Mogul arrived and shrewly coasted into the platform.The road was set straight away and 7812 barked gracefully out of Platform 1.Minestronie was served and was duly polished off! The waiters took away the bowls before other waiters brought around ready-heated plates.Yet more waiters then arrived with varying full dishes of delicious food! I finally ended up with sprouts, roast potatoes, new potatoes, peas, carrots, corn, pork, stuffing, sausages-in-bacon and of course, gorgeous gravy! This 2nd course was then followed by rubard crumble and hot custard for desert and coffee/tea and an after dinner mint made up the 4th course. Oh, plus a hot mince pie! By the time we'd received our mince pies we'd passed Bewdley and were almost back at Kidderminster.7802 was waiting in the coaling road as 7812 rolled into Platform 2.
After we'd gathered our belongings we stepped off the train and headed to the front to take a closer look at 7812. She still shone after a full day out on the SVR! I watched her fireman uncouple the Manor from the train, remembering doing that myself at Shackerstone many a time this year! 7812 then moved forward and this is shown in the above photo. The engine wears one-headlamp to denote "light engine".It was now around 3:35pm and we got in the car and headed home.It had been a very nice day and we were now very very full up from the meal! I'd recommend it to anyone! It was also very nice to see the two Manor's out together for the day. Another sucessful and enjoyable visit to the Severn Valley Railway!