Friday, 22 March 2013

Completely In Awe...

Hi guys. Just a short one today. I nipped into Statfold after work for a few hours, ready to do a bit of cleaning before an invited firing turn at the March Open Day which takes place tomorrow. Weather forecasts are not looking good but Statfold will, I'm sure, do their best to provide a brilliant show regardless. As usual, when I walked into Statfold I was completely in awe. There is so much to see and yet the equipment and storage facilities on offer there seem completely mundane to those regularly involved with it. To me, it is absolutely fabulous and every engine is a unique jewel in the Statfold crown. A brilliant place, really, fantastic. Below, one of the two newly restored engines being released tomorrow...Large Quarry "Sybil Mary"...
The other engine being released tomorrow is No19, a Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0 which returned from Fiji last June in a poor state. Since then it has been lovingly restored and looks brilliant...
In the main engine shed there were familiar engines and also newbies. It was the first time that I had seen "Sybil Mary", and the first time I'd seen No19 restored (I saw it when it arrived last June). Another new engine was "Josephine" which is a modified 0-4-2 Hunslet (sister to Statfold's 'Trangkil No4') and has been purchased in working condition (unusual for Statfold). Below, we can see "Sybil Mary" and Avonside "Marchlyn", with new build Quarry's "Jack Lane" & "Statfold" behind...
During the afternoon, my mate Phil took me for a jaunt on a rattling 0-6-0 diesel engine that was purchased along with "Josephine" from a private railway collection. The diesel originally operated in a German concentration camp which gives it a slightly unsettling potential history. Below, we are leaving the multi-gauge Statfold yard, bound for Oak Tree (no snow yet!)...
Down in Oak Tree storage shed I saw many engines, including the Bagnall "Isibutu" (a beautiful machine), Peckett's "Triassic" (formerly of Bala LR) & "Liassic", Alice-class Quarry's "Michael" & "King of the Scarlets" and a few more non-British steamers. Outside the shed were two Baldwin locomotives, recently returned in a poor state, from India. Oak Tree is yet another gem and you could spend ages looking around the various engines in there. Back at Statfold, "Sybil Mary" is waiting in the heated shed...
After doing some cleaning and ashing out on "Sybil Mary", I decided to head home as we are out for a meal tonight. I will return to Statfold first thing, hoping that the snow is not too bad. Cheers guys. Sam.

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