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

45212: the Great Britain XI

No, not a football team – it’s the eleventh year this round Britain tour has run. Today the train passed through Shropshire (eventually – it was nearly two and a half hours late, as a result of signalling problems further north), heading for Cardiff via the Central Wales line. As I write this, the train is still moving (I hope) after further delays – it’s due to arrive at about 9.45pm. There are (two) more photos and video on “Geoff’s Rail Diaries” – visit “GBXI: 45212” – now!

The steam rally revisited

CJ 9720 – 2017
CJ 4526 – 1972

Last time we went, it was the Bishop’s Castle traction engine rally – shame on you, did I hear? That could be around 30 years ago! It’s been held at Onslow Park, near Shrewsbury, in recent times. We’ve often thought about going, but seem to be tied up elsewhere at the end of August. Today – we made it. What a show! There’s so much to see, and so much going on, that it’s almost impossible to take it all in. We’ll have to go again next year.

More photos will appear in due course; in the meantime, here’s a taster. “Rusty Nuts” is in Herefordshire County Council livery, and bears the Herefordshire registration CJ 9720. In 1972 I met – and photographed – its sister engine CJ 4526 – working for Herefordshire County Council. It was the only steam roller I ever saw in normal service.

Shrewsbury Steam Rally

Statfold; 1 megapost

Saturday 10 June: the latter is nothing to do with the former. This just happens to be the 1,000th post on this blog (which started life just over 11 years ago, on Blogspot*). What better way to celebrate (given that I noticed quite by chance that no. 1,000 was approaching) than a coincidental trip to the Statfold Barn Railway, for the June open day. It was a lazier day than usual – not good weather for photography (though the rain held off), and the increasing numbers attending make photography more and more difficult too, in more ways than one. It’s still a great day out though!

Statfold Barn Railway

*I moved the posts across to WordPress

Steam in the streets

Sat. 13 May: as part of the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum, around 30 steam road vehicles – traction engines, steam rollers, steam lorries – have assembled at Blists Hill – and at 10am, they’re off to explore the local roads. They’ll be coming up Bridge Road into Broseley, down the High Street, then down the Ironbridge Road and off to the Half Moon for lunch. At 2pm, they’re off again, past Craven Dunnill’s, over the level crossing (it’s an awfully long time since so many steam engines crossed here!), past the Black Swan and back across the river. I’d better get out with the camera – record this wonderful one-off event, and perhaps incorporate some of the local landmarks to complete the picture.