Saturday, 22 May 2010

A Hot Summer's Day Post 2: "Fish 'n' Chip Special" at CMES...

Hi all! Well, after chasing "Tornado" along the West Coast Main Line this morning we retired home for some rest. However, this was short-lived as we were soon off out again to attend the much-anticipated "Fish 'n' Chip Special" at the site of my 5" gauge concern; the Ryton Pool Miniature Railway (operated and maintained by CMES). This special event, tied in with a regular late spring 'Steam Up', was organised by the society's very own female driver, Emma, as part of this years '75th Anniversary Celebration's; and what a day it was! What was the weather like? "You couldn't have picked it better!". After a quick drive from home throughout the baking haze, we made it to the Ryton site for about 2pm. Once there, a couple of engine's were already on site, some ready to go, with one in particular awaiting a 'Steam Test'. Later in the day, the 'turnout' of locomotives, members and guests was fantastic and probably conveyed one of the best 'steam up's ever. In this report, I will try and describe as many of the locomotives as no particular order(!)...
Firstly, we see Roy and his fabulous 3.5" gauge 'Molly' Tank; a model of Fowler's fantastic 0-6-0 Class 1F Side Tank design. This model is in 'half cab' form and I can safely say that I've never seen Roy have a single problem with his lovely locomotive. Today, as always, the locomotive flew around the track without delay or mishap and was, as ever, beautifully "turned out" with her LMS Black livery shining in the baking sunlight.

Next, we have one of my favourite models in the club; the 5" gauge 'Precursor'; one of the LNWR spectacular's! The black 4-4-0 clearly echoes memories of an era when locomotive's like these were the king's of the railways, unchallenged by any design. Named "Lady Kathleen", I have driven this engine in the past and she is a joy; the large driving wheels give very good, smooth riding throughout!
Thirdly, we have "Pandora". I personally think this is an engineering masterpiece(!); a 3.5" gauge 0-4-0 battery electric, made as a simplistic yet powerful locomotive. Offering a smart paint job and very good riding for such a short wheelbase, this little engine was an absolute joy to drive...glad I finally saw her running! Must give strong thanks to the owner, Bob, for the oppotunity!
Fourth in this report comes "Trojan". This is Bob's second locomotive and is a Ride-on-Railways 0-4-0 "Trojan" with a Shunter Body. I also had a go at driving this lively little loco again today and it was great fun. Though very much a steam fan, I can see the enjoyment behind these battery electric's, particularly one with as much power as this one!
The fifth engine in this report will remain nameless...well, I suppose she has to...she has no name! This is Paul's powerful 0-4-0 Sweet Pea. Once owned by CMES as the '2nd loco', she was No900; named "Anthony J Large", after a late member. Before sale, the name and numberplates were kept by CMES and so the locomotive remains nameless at present. In recent times the chunky 0-4-0 has received many modifications including a brand new injector and the remachining of many parts. Well done sounds very sweet!

Next on the list, as the 6th loco, is Dave's well turned-out 0-6-0 'Simplex' Side Tank. These substantial 0-6-0s are very common in the model engineering world and provide a sturdy, chunky and reliable locomotive, particularly as a "society engine". This is another one of those loco's that I never see have a problem...must be a tribute to the owner!
The 7th loco "out and about" was this unusual battery electric that I in particular had never seen before. I never actually asked what class it was (I'm not really a diesel person!) but if I was to take a guess then I would have said that this was a model of the Class 15's; designed by Clayton in 1957 with 44 in service on BR by 1961. So I understand, all were withdrawn within 10 years and only one survives today. Lovely paint job!

Talking of lovely paint job's...Jim's "Butch" has received a fantastic one since I last saw her! Designed as a powerful 0-6-0 tank engine which could negotiate very tight curves, the "Butch" is a highly successful and common 5" gauge design, much like the "Simplex" in that respect. The proud owner, Jim, happily rode around the track with his lovely maroon engine all day, without problems. I really like this design; I find the proportions of the type particularly interesting.
Locomotive No9 spotted today was Kevin's black LMS Tank; another "Simplex" with a very nice livery! I always think that the substantial size of these engines can be appreciated when you're "up close and personal" with them; they really are huge for 'model's! Kevin happily chugged around the track for most of the afternoon with his powerful charge, whistling enthusiastically at any passing train!
As you can see, there were a good few engines on the track! I didn't manage to get a usable picture of John's beautiful Hawthorn Leslie 0-6-0 "Trisha"...if I had done she would have been on here too! (Sorry John!). With John's engine bringing the total to 10, we can add the club's "Sweet Pea" (which myself and Eric drove) as well as the club's Class 37 electric and the Petrol Hydraulic "Alacrity". Now, whats that? "THIRTEEN locomotives"?! Finally, we can add a 14th locomotive, Eddie's 2-6-0 3.5" Stanier Mogul which came along for a quick 'Steam Test'. (Even my brother got a go during the day)...
After some very good running, my family arrived and took a ride with us behind the 'Sweet Pea' (No499 "John H Owen") before I handed 'her' over to Eric so that he could have a run too. As the evening light drew in, the temperature dropped a little, though it was still terribly humid but the views across the country park were beautiful and the weather, overall(!), could not have been better. Then, "The Main Event"; Fish 'n' Chips! The dinner arrived at 6:30pm and everyone there enjoyed a 'Cod and Chips' each...very tasty it was compliments to the chef! After dinner, the Class 37, "Alacrity", "Trisha" and "John H Owen" were still running but, by 7pm, it was time for me to go so, after my goodbyes, we headed back to the car after a great afternoon. I must now extend a vote of thanks to CMES for such a fantastic afternoon and for again allowing me to use their locomotive, "John H Owen". Special thanks must go to Bob for letting me drive his two wonderful electric loco's. Finally, the unsung hero of the whole event; Emma; who organised the day and the most important part; the Fish 'n' Chips! Thank you very much Emma...we all had a great time! I'll next be at CMES in a few weeks, hopefully driving on the Sunday afternoon public trains. "Next Outing?"...Next Sunday it's off to Shackerstone again when the B1 will be in action for the Bank Holiday Weekend. Thanks for reading folks, and thanks for Paul Strapps for providing the two images with me in! (Thanks Paul!). Good Evening!...

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