Lord Dowding

34052 “Lord Dowding” (he’s really 34046 “Braunton”), in action this morning near All Stretton. He’s hauling the “Welsh Marches Express” from Crewe to Cardiff, and going well. The train left Shrewsbury 4 minutes late, but by Marshbrook, just a few miles to my south, it was on time. No diesel on the back either. Sunshine, steam on – great!

Northern Mill Engines

Friday 28 December: it’s a “get away from the turkey” day out, to the Northern Mill Engine Society’s museum in Bolton, Lancs (I should say “Greater Manchester”). It’s open to visitors on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the year – and has five two-day steaming events such as this one. It’s a magnificent collection of machines which, in motion, are quite mesmeric – it’s a real pleasure just to watch and listen. So instead of photos, here’s a video compilation of preserved steam-powered northern mill engines in action.

Northern Mill Engine Society: Bolton Steam Museum

Watermills in border country

A good day out – the steam-hauled “Welsh Marches Express” (see “Steaming through Stokesay” for more pictures and video), followed by visits to Herefordshire and Shropshire watermills, open to the public on “National Mills Weekend”. We’ll have lunch out too, in the black-and-white village of Pembridge.

The mills are:
Staunton Mill, at Staunton on Arrow (Herefordshire)
Court of Noke Mill nearby (with mill-wheel turning)
Wrickton Mill, near Neenton, Shropshire (also with a turning wheel)
Charlcotte iron furnace, near Neenton (no, not a mill, though its bellows were water-powered – many years ago…)

National Mills Weekend

Video on Youtube: Court of Noke and Wrickton mills