Posts Tagged ‘steam loco’

A 1940s day on the Isle of Wight

September 23, 2013

Sometimes your luck is in. When we travelled on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway back in July 2004 it was a 1940s themed day. The railway, of course, is utterly delightful. It forms a part of the line between Ryde and Newport and on to Cowes and that was a route I knew and loved from train spotting days. But with the added 1940s theme it was a wonderful day even for non railway nerds.


We can start in the forecourt at Haven Street where supporting vehicles were available to admire. I do not know if bus trips were available, but I expect they were.


What a fine vehicle with an interesting history. She was new in 1937 and I quote from

This Bedford WTB with Duple coachwork was new to South Dorset Coaches at Corfe Castle in Dorset, and stayed with the company for thirty years.  It then passed to Adge Cutler of The Wurzels, who used her for band transport, but he was also interested in vintage vehicles, and took her to a number of rallies, including the London to Brighton Historic Commercial vehicle Run.  Following Adge’s untimely death, she passed to new owners in Gloucestershire in the mid 1970s.  She became semi derelict before passing to Pearce, Darch & Willcox, at Cattistock in Dorset who restored her, and recertified her as a PSV in 1987.  After two or three years the company and its modern coaches sold out to Southern National, but JT 8077 remained in the old garage until 1992 when acquired by John Woodhams Vintage Tours in Ryde, Isle of Wight. Very few WTBs survive today, and JT 8077 is the only known example in passenger service.

On the railway there was a demo ammunition train which pootled about.


But it was the extras which made the day for me.

image008 A 1940s lady, complete with pram, enjoys a picnic.


This is a 1909 Marshall steam traction engine.


A couple of pictures of a 1940s motorcyclist



A display of 1940s goods as a kind of shop counter.

But now you’ll have to forgive my nerdism. The Isle of Wight line has two of my favourite class of loco. Neither were in steam, but they are still fantastic engines. They are the 1872 designed A1x class of the old London Brighton and South Coast Railway – always known as Terriers. Quite a few were still operating in the 1960s. They had spent working life time on the island so there is a rightness about them being there.


Number 11 was sold by the Brighton company and used on the Isle of Wight. She returned to the mainland and survived until 1963 when Butlins bought her as a static exhibit at Pwllheli. She returned to the island in 1972.


Number 8 was also used on the Isle of Wight for many years before returning to the mainland. She was withdrawn in 1963 and became a pub sign on Hayling Island before arrival back on THE island in 1979.

The Vale of Rheidol

May 10, 2013

The Rheidol is a river in mid Wales. It’s probably fair to say that the river begins its journey on the mountain called Plynlimon but we are looking at a lower stretch – between Devil’s Bridge and Aberystwyth. And actually, there won’t be much sign of the river either, for along that stretch of the valley, a railway runs – The Vale of Rheidol Railway.

The line was planned, mostly to carry lead ore and other produce from quarries up the valley down to the coast for transhipment elsewhere. The line opened in 1902 and by then the lead trade had declined.

Almost from the start the line was used for tourists and trippers. These days that’s the sole purpose of the line.

It’s narrow gauge – one foot eleven and three quarter inches (603mm). Little old steam hauled trains work hard up the valley to Devil’s Bridge but can have a more relaxing downhill journey on the return. Three locos work the line. They are all ‘original’ – built to work the line. Here’s one of them awaiting a turn of duty at Devil’s Bridge.


This is Prince of Wales an original 1902 built loco. Its boiler is dwarfed by its water storage tanks.


And here’s the Prince out on the line earning its keep.


What fabulous scenery.


The driver makes sure he gets a clear view as he passes the lower quadrant signal. He’s reaching a passing place at Aberffrwd. For those who find Welsh words impossible to say, the Aber part sounds like the Super Trouper group ABBA and ffrwd rhymes with the English word good – like frood.

The Prince has taken his train into the right hand line at the little station. LLywelyn waits on the other side.


And here comes Llywelyn with his train. LLywelyn is newer than the Prince, being built in 1923. He is now painted in the colours of the old Great Western Railway.


What great steam in a wooded Welsh wilderness.


LLywelyn crossing the little road. Down below there’s my wife snapping a picture as well.

We were lucky that day during what was a rather wet August in 2007.