RAILWAY GALA WEEKEND 2005

This year we had four steam locos for Gala Weekend, regulars Polar Bear (Bagnall 1781/1905), Barbouilleur (Decauville 1126/1947) and recent arrival, on loan from the Hampshire Narrow Gauge Railway Society, Wendy (Bagnall 2091/1919).

However, the star of the weekend was undoubterly Sea Lion, Polar Bear's older sister which is still resident on its original line, the rebuilt Groudle Glen Railway near Douglas on the Isle of Man. Here Sea Lion stands at Brockham at the head of the Museum's set of Groudle Glen coaches.

The two Bagnalls at Brockham. The differences and similarities in their designs are evident, the most obvious difference being the shape of the cab spectacle plates.

The larger train, formed of the two Lydd Ranges coaches and one of our Penrhyn quarrymen's coaches was hauled alternately by Wendy and Barbouilleur.

Back to our two little Bagnalls which double headed the Groudle train on every third trip, each taking the train singly in between thus ensuring variety for the many photographers who attended the event.

To show the public just what has been going on behind the scenes, a special shuttle train was operated on the new extension and a stop was made for them to view the new locomotive running shed and the site of the new station. The train was formed of Wingrove & Rogers battery electric loco 4998/1953 and the unpowered Wickham trailer. This train is used on the Museum passenger service on less busy days or on the rare occasion when we are unable to muster a full crew.

Polar Bear had a birthday cake on both days of Gala Weekend. The two cakes were baked by Daphne Beard.

Bill Cubbon from Groudle Glen cuts the birthday cake during the Saturday Calvacade. The cake was then given out to the watching crowds on a first come first served basis - after some pieces had been reserved for the train crews and train operators, of course. I think we all got a bit! The birthday girl simmers gently in the background.

Sea Lion again, this time taking part in the locomotive calvacade.

Sea Lion was followed by Wendy.

And the Wickham power car made a rare appearence - one of several over the weekend.

After the cavalcade, the small Thakeham locomotive was attached to the recently restored (by James Smith) Colne Valley man-rider. Its use is demostrated in this picture.

The group has made up a short train of about 6 small wagons for use on permanent way work and such items as crow-bars, hammers, spanners, track screws, spikes and the Jim Crow are carried on it.

At the end of the weekend when most had gone home, Polar Bear and Sea Lion were posed together on the triangle before .........

.......... they were loaded onto Graham Morris's low-loader ready for the journey to the Island.

Departure was later that evening. Sea Lion was loaded behind Polar Bear - and they arrived on the Island the following Saturday.


Pictures from the Lister event in 2004 are here.


Gerry Cork & Amberley Working Museum - October 2005
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