Happy New Year
One of the best ‘presents’ that 5305la received over the holidays was the presence of all five of the locomotives in our care together at Loughborough – this was due to the return on Cromwell’s boiler from Crewe, fresh from a successful steam test and the arrival of 45305 from Tyseley once the weather relented enough to make loading onto a lorry and transport to Leicestershire possible. Sadly the five did miss out on two trips from London in the week prior to Christmas, but on the positive side, she was able to pick up her duties at Loughborough and put in seven days in a row at the GCR – in addition to Lamiel’s efforts at Christmas.
Work to put Cromwell back together has continued over the holiday, despite the bitter cold, and we hope to see the engine back in traffic soon.
The icy conditions recently have made travel difficult for many, so to cheer us all up I thought I’d share these photos of the NRM’s beautiful engine No. 30777 Sir Lamiel at Ashford Steam Centre in 1975 (rather in need of a clean) and at Canterbury West in the evening sunshine in 1994 as she prepared to return to London.
The pictures were taken by Peter Wilson, brother to Andy Wilson the MOM at Ashford. Peter very kindly went to a lot of trouble to find out the details of the photos – I’ll let you read his words:
“To try and get you the correct information I have dug out the original slides and the processing date on the slide mount is April 1975. I seem to remember it being a particularly cold, freezing day - probably an Easter Bank Holiday Sunday or Monday?
Clan Line, the C, H and French Nord were in steam. We had taken our Grandfather Ted Cuckney with us on our visit and he saw that the chap driving Clan Line was Ernie Hewit - he'd been a Fireman when Granddad was on the railways proper. Despite Granddads age and poorly state he was up the loco steps and onto the footplate like a shot and if I remember rightly spent the rest of the afternoon there - in the warm whilst Andy and I looked around the old shed! At the time it was the only place in the South East to see real mainline steam, sadly confined to a run down, derelict site! In places downright dangerous. Uncovered pits, including a large moss covered 'pond' to the rear of the shed - probably a settling tank for the water treatment plant. Hope that above is of interest”
Wishing you all every happiness and plenty of steamy moments for 2011 from 5305 Locomotive Association.