To break the winter shed time up a day trip was planned recently by five club members, P Narrowly, S Hutson, H Cotgreave, F Cooper and T Leverett. Where better for five deranged steam heads to go but a steam gala at the Great Central Railway, Loughborough.
The G.C.R had eight locos in steam at their Winter Gala and was very well attended by thousands of enthusiasts, rivet counters and normal people (T.V.T.E.C members)(Don’t laugh you weren’t there, we are normal in comparison)
We know steam railways aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, however if you fancy a trip somewhere different then I for one would highly recommend it. As with many preserved railways the small details really make it a great experience. G.C.R has really gone to town setting the scene of a working railway of the 1940’s, gas lighting, period dress, great authentic buildings with fires roaring inside and impressive displays on track too. Steam hauled freight trains touching 60mph ran throughout the day, continuous and stopping passenger services and perhaps the star of the show the T.P.O (Travelling Post Office) flying through collecting post three times a day!
For me, the highlight of the day was the shed area at night, here locos are brought in for fire disposal and maintenance by the shed gang. As someone who never got to see the real thing when the railways were run by steam it was fantastic. Engines arriving being met by the shed master, maintenance noted, fires dropped and steam hissing and leaking adding an atmosphere which to be honest is difficult to describe how great it was.
Much fun was had, some beer was tested and passed T.V.T.E.C standards, so we all came away thinking what steam trip can we go next before the rally season kicks off!