Great Central Winter Gala 2016

With what has been a wash out over the past few months I was hoping for a spell of decent weather.  Well the forecast wasn't looking great for the weekend.  Saturday started off with light drizzle at 7am as we headed out.  Arriving down at Loughborough I was amazed to see a queue of people at the ticket office before 8am, with well over an hour before proceedings got underway.

The weather was mixed during the day improving around lunchtime.  Thus proving quite a challenge from a photography point of view.  Dad and I walked down the line to Quorn & Woodhouse during the morning.  Stopping for a bite to eat at the station cafe. Then travelling down to Rothley for a couple of hours before heading back to Loughborough.

Here is the gallery of some of the images taken.

Spring Time

With Spring in full swing, I took an opportunity to photograph Daffodils in the in-laws back garden.

Isle of White Private Charter

I booked onto a private photo charter with the Isle of White Steam Railways sole surviving O2 - W24 'Calbourne'.  The loco has worn its BR lined black livery since entering traffic after it's previous overhaul and it's a particular engine, which has been on my bucket list to photograph for sometime.  A previous family holiday proved somewhat frustrating when it was parked up all week during a busy holiday period.

With the two days of charters booked well in advance, you have to take your chances on the day with regards to any weather situation. So upon seeing the forecast for the week ahead,  the two days didn't look promising, with a wet and dull forecast.  So having driven down and made the sailing the day before in mixed  sun and showers as I wasn't holding out much hope.

Waking up the following morning, I was surprised to see sunshine.  This would go on to be the same for 90 % of the day.  Resulting in some memorable photographs for all participants. 

Morayshire to Derbyshire

Following the successful visits to Nene Valley and North Norfolk Railways.  The D49 'Morayshire' paid a flying visit to Barrow Hill Roundhouse on 14th March on it's way back to Scotland.  

Arriving on site, the loco was already set up on the demonstration line.  With recent arrival on loan from the NRM, Stanier 3 cylinder 2500 was stabled in the bay platform.  Heading inside the roundhouse the depot had several diesels lined up including a rather smart 37057 back in original condition looking fantastic.  A couple of original D49 loco nameplates were on display, which was a nice touch.

This event proved to be the last opportunity to see A2 'Blue Peter' before it's new owner collected it for overhaul on the 18th March.  I took an opportunity to visit the footplate, which was open to visitors.  Sitting on the drivers seat looking down the 60 foot length of the engine thinking what it would be like to be on board at 75mph.

NYMR Whitby Moors Railtour

Next up came an outing to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway over the weekend  7th & 8th March.  With the railway celebrating the anniversary of the famous Whitby Moors Railtour 50 years earlier.  The two locomotives associated with this tour were brought together for the weekend to perform a re-run from Whitby to Pickering (originally went to Malton).  61994 'The Great Marquess' piloting 62005.

With the weather forecast, I decided to spend most of the weekend filming using the facility on the DSLR and and external directional mic.  Day one was spent going up and down at Darnholme in the morning.  In between service trains going to the excellent cafe at Goathland Station.

The afternoon was spent at Moorgates, followed by an overnight camp at the Black Bull Inn.  Fantastic hearty home made food and good ale.

The following day turned out to be brighter than originally forecasted.  Heading over to Grosmont, the first train comprising of the K4 & K1 top & tailed ready for the off to Whitby.  This spurred us into buying a round trip on the mainline for a bargin £12.  After a fantastic run in both directions the decision was made to drive back over to Whitby. To see the first time steam occupying the resorts two platforms at the same time.  Pocket Rocket 76079 ready to depart, while Black 5 45428 arrived.  By the time the black 5 was ready to depart the weather had turned and it was time to call it a day. 

Morayshire at the Nene Valley

First outing of 2015 was to see Scottish Museum owned D49 'Morayshire' on its final tour of England before expiry of it's boiler certificate later this year.  The loco is visiting the Nene Valley Railway for the 35A New England Shed gala event over the weekend 21/22 February.  Before moving on to the North Norfolk Railway for the annual spring gala.  Thanks to Timeline Events, the locomotive is calling in at Barrow Hill Roundhouse, Chesterfield on its way back to its Scotland base at Boness.

Portrait of 62712 'Morayshire'


I travelled down to Peterborough, with thanks to my Dad on 21st February.  Arriving at 9am, Morayshire was already off shed and in the process of running round onto its 5 Blood and Custard Mk1 coaches.  Taking up position, the first run of the day was a bit of a disappointment due to the drain cocks completely obliterating the view of the loco.  However, it's to be expected when the loco hasn't warmed up on a cold morning.  The second round trip saw the loco depart under grey dull cloudy light.

Finally the mid-day departure allowed the assembled gallery of photographers to get one in the bag, despite a steam leak coming from the front end. However, compromise had to be made to the composition due to one selfish guy getting in everyone's shot.