Monday, 28 March 2016

GCR: Quorn's Easter Vintage Gathering...

Hi all. Today on this very cold Easter Monday I headed over to the Great Central Railway in order to pay a visit to their Vintage Festival, held at Quorn Station. A few of the road steamer blokes I know take their engines over there for this event and so a social visit looked like a good shout. However, when I got up this morning I did debate whether to go or not as a storm had battered the county with rain overnight and it wasn't showing any sign of clearing up. I did set off regardless in the motor, along the M69 and onto the M1 to reach the A46. It wasn't a bad run over, just a bit windy in places. Arrival at Quorn was, as expected, in the rain and it was difficult to choose a place to park in the field where I wouldn't find my German steed sunk to the wheel arches when I returned. After slogging down the field to reach the road and thus the stairway to the island platform, I purchased my entry ticket and walked over to the goods yard. The yard was certainly holding its water and, though it was gone 10am, many engines lay very much dormant under their sheets. A breakfast was called for and luckily the friendly staff at the Butler Henderson cafĂ© could oblige...
One of my readers said the other day that this blog has turned into a bit of a food-fest...quite right! Having enjoyed the very pleasant breakfast and a hot cuppa', I trudged back across the yard to Phil's engine and living van. The stove was lit inside and the atmosphere was pretty tempting for a chat and a warm as the rain lashed down on the roof. Black Five 45305 shortly broke the sound of the rain as she clanked in from Loughborough...
"Through The Living Van Window"
I did venture outside to catch this atmospheric shot of the 5MT about to depart southward for Rothley and Leicester North...
Quite a mixture of road steamers had showed up at Quorn for this weekends gathering and were joined by a variety of other exhibits including classic cars, stationary engines, a steam carousel and some traders. Steam rollers dominated, and some of the gang are spotted here waiting to be brought back into life after a chilly night out in the elements...
The road steamers all seemed to be having their tubes swept before lighting up, as seen here with the Wallis Expansion engine "Pedler", of 1914...
The rain was off and on throughout the morning, though the sun did break through on the odd occasion. Nevertheless, visitors were not put off and the trains in particular seemed pretty busy. I wandered up onto the platform again to see 8F No48624 roll in with Martyn on the handle. This shining eight freight is a nicely kept machine...
A view of the yard from the Quorn platform...
Slowly but surely, engines were coming to life. The largest road steamer on display was the absolutely immaculate Fowler Showman's engine "Renown", built in 1920. The engine was tragically damaged in a fire at her home workshop and had to be restored all over again, featuring on Fred Dibnah's "Made in Britain" at the time. She is beautiful...
As well as the road steamers, the railway engines of the GCR fluttered in and out at regular intervals. The NRM's King Arthur Class 4-6-0 No777 "Sir Lamiel" was doing the rounds...
A steam roller trio, including Teddy Boston's old steam roller "Thistledown"...
"On A Roll"
One steam lorry was in attendance: the Van Houten's Foden...
Another view of "Pedler", who will be joining us at Statfold next month...
Clayton & Shuttleworth "Enterprise" and a rare Armstrong Whitworth roller...
Aveling & Porter "Rosetta" was sporting her recently fitted chime whistle...
The Ransome's traction engine "Jubilee" leads a line-up...
I stayed at the rally until around mid-afternoon before deciding to call it a day. The road steam line-up was most impressive and I found the Quorn Easter Gathering, despite the weather, to be a very relaxed, social and enjoyable event. There were some very nice engines to see of both the road and rail variety. I must thank Phil and the lads for their company today and for the hospitality - oh the beauty of a living van stove! The motor enjoyed a mud bath as it made a few attempts to drag itself out of the field but luckily we made it to the road without having to call for assistance! Cheers all, Sam...

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