Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Bala Gala - 40th Anniversary - Day 2...

Hi everyone. Following a good night at the Eagles last night we awoke this morning to an all too familiar sound...heavy rain falling. The rain was beating down on the caravan as we enjoyed our morning cuppa' and got our overalls ready for the day. Up at the shed I could hear "Trigger" the diesel already in operation and moving things about. As we were at the front of the shed last night, "Holy War" was pushed up the far siding alongside the shed mouth. I wouldn't normally mind this position but it was chucking it down with rain! Mind you, it could have been worse: we could have been on "Alice" in it! As we all stood in the shed looking out on the soaking fleet of loco's, we decided that doing the jobs sooner rather than later was a better plan...I don't think I've ever swept tubes or cleaned a grate so quick! The blue locomotive was soon lit up using both parrafin-soaked and dry wood with rags on top. The raging fire was then covered with a layer of coal to get it going. "Holy War" (having still had a full fire in at 5pm last night) started singing straight away as the rain continued to batter the cab roof...
The days events followed exactly the same format as the day before so I won't labour it by filling this post with every description. However, there were more photographers out with their cameras, which was nice to see. We did try to help them where we could. For example, if we knew that "Marian" and "Holy War" would end up shunted on top of one another then would attempt to get them side by side for pictures. One shot I particularly liked was the carraige shed idea we had. "Marian" had to set back into the carriage shed to pick up the slates and the plan was to push the Yellow Truck out behind "Holy War" by hand. However, we realised that putting "Holy War" in the shed too, on the opposite road, would provide quite a nice shot. The carriage shed could have been a quarry locomotive shed...who knows?...
"Holy War" & "Maid Marian" In The Shed
Later in the afternoon the same 4-engine line-up took place as the day before. However, this time we had managed to get "Marian" onto the loading road so that all 4 engines could be lined up properly. The shots achieved were brilliant. The four ladies looked great.
Our final trip of the weekend (the 4pm with "Holy War") went well and the day ended on a pleasing note with a photograph of all of the volunteers involved. It was a pleasure to work with these guys over the weekend. The photo is the copyright of Bala Lake Railway...
The 40th Anniversary Gala Volunteers (C = Bala Lake Railway)
For your interest, some gala film I took can be found on this link. All in all a brilliant weekend on the Bala Lake Railway. Thanks very much to all of the volunteers for making us so welcome, and of course to the managers (Roger & Bobby) for having us. It was brilliant to be involved in such a historic event...40 years of narrow gauge steam on the shores of Bala Lake. I will remember it fondly. Also thanks to Eddie for putting up with me for a whole weekend in a caravan...he deserves a medal, or just my respect. Thanks guys. Sam...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Sam, I've just had a watch of the film you took of the Bala 40th Gala. I have a question, was Winifred in steam? I only ask because it looks like smoke is coming from her funnel on the shot of the four Quarry Hunslets lined up together.
Otherwise, really good read and photos, really enjoyed it. Many thanks, Emma-claire.

Sam Brandist said...

Hi Emma. No Winifred is ex Penrhyn condition and thus unsteamable pending restoration. However she had oily rags burning in the smokebox for that shot!

Anonymous said...

Ah, I thought it might be something like that! Very clever! I didn't think the loco was steamable. It's a bit of a moot point about Winifred though (IMHO), as it's just so perfectly preserved in ex-quarry condition, and so is very unique. To restore and steam her would lose some of that history. But equally, it would be a real shame to never steam the loco or be able to see her in action. A difficult decision!

Russ Prince said...

current plan i hear is to restore her and have her running in her current livery for the first 12 months then she will be repainted. Should be some info in a rag somewhere