Sunday, 28 January 2018

Great Central Railway Winter Gala...

Amidst arguably the worst case of January blues I've ever had, I was very tempted not to go out again this weekend. The cold weather has really bitten me this year and has sucked all of my enthusiasm away. However, thanks to a welcome bit of blue sky and sunshine, I summoned the strength to wrap up and drag myself over to Quorn & Woodhouse station this afternoon for a look at the Great Central's Winter Gala line up. The 2018 event featured six of the home fleet, boosted by two visitors: Holden B12 No8572 and Hughes Crab No12065. I arrived at around 1pm and duly met up with Batesy and the crew in the Quorn yard. The sun was shining and the air was still, making for much better conditions than in recent weeks...
All in all it was a quiet and enjoyable afternoon: we had a pint of good real ale, chatted about all things steam and watched many movements pass through the station. The GCR gala's always provide plenty of intensity with little more than 5 minutes between each move. Standard 2 No78018 strides through on a freight train...
I had about 2.5 hours at Quorn getting the Winter steam fix before deciding it was time to head for home as the temperature dropped again. The Southern-built 8F and its GWR stamped wheels was the last departure we saw...
We did see the two visitors briefly as they stomped through Quorn on a non-stop express. The Crab sounded a treat - clearly wound out to make some noise. Unfortunately my total lack of photography skills resulted in a blurred mess so David (who visited the gala on the dreary Friday) kindly sent in some images of the pair. I love the lines of the Holden B12 - a wonderfully quirky looking machine...
"8572 Heads for Loughborough" (Pic - D.Hanks)
The Hughes Crab is also a fine machine - I love the livery...
"The Crimson Crab" (Pic - D.Hanks)
Overall I was glad to have got out today for some steam and fresh air: it was a good couple of hours spent in good company. The GCR certainly seemed to have done well out of it as the trains were absolutely rammed. It was certainly an antidote for my rapidly increasing CFS - 'Cold Firebox Syndrome'. For those not in the know, CFS is a debilitating condition whereby the patient becomes desperate for the sight and smell of an engine in steam. Common around this time of the year when most railways have shut up shop, CFS is a very real condition and awareness should be raised of its symptoms! Thank you for reading, Sam...

4 comments:

Rob Bending said...

I love look of both visitors, especially the Crab.
But were they EVER painted in Red in the 1930s? I thought not?

Sam Brandist said...

Hi there Rob - great to hear from you and great that you're reading! I believe, and I may be wrong, that the Crabs carried the Crimson early in their careers but this was later replaced with the LMS black as this befitted their mixed traffic status and they certainly continued to wear the black under BR. Best Regards, Sam

Phil said...

The idea of drinking real ale whilst different steam locomotives go past every 5 mins sounds heavenly! A midland red loco over here would be good (we do have one in our museum at Cultra, of course).

Sam Brandist said...

Hi there Phil - great to hear you're still reading! Yes you are quite correct...it is heaven. I love the dining trains for the same reason - sit back, relax, enjoy it...sometimes when we're actually on main line jobs or driving the engine you can't savour it quite as much - although I would never give up one for the other ;) Take care, Sam