Wings and Wheels Society.

The Bluebell Line Terrier Gala 29-7-2022.

The Bluebell railway Terrier 150 event marked the introduction of the LBSCR Terrier 0-6-0 tank locomotives into service in 1872. Star was due to be the return of the Bluebell's own Fenchurch, the first into service, supported by guest Terriers Poplar from KESR & W11 Newport from the IOW. Also appearing was GW 6989 Wightwick Hall. This made 3 new engines to ride behind, so an unmissable opportunity. Rail strikes meant I had to attend on the Friday, but £266 and I still didn't get there for first trains! So travelled up the day before and saved enough to buy my own Terrier (albeit a Hornby OO model). After booking in to my hotel, I headed to the cleverly named Porter & Sorter between East Croydon station and the old GPO sorting office promising live music and real ale. Sadly for me Elvis wasn't appearing until Saturday night and Thursday's live music consisted of the locals on the Karaoke, still the Wainrights was refreshing. Next day saw SR Q class 30541 appear instead of the Hall, which was unavailable with multiple faults. I took this to Kingscote to watch the two guest Terriers run round their two coach train, before setting off to Sheffield Park behind them, with an unplanned stop for the crew to put out a lineside fire. Fenchurch wasn't ready for action but on display inside the shed with her boiler on display in the yard! The return Terrier hauled run up Freshfield bank was unexpectedly stopped so the driver could receive his hat which had blown off as he leaned out inspecting progress! The pair then stopped abruptly at Horstead Keynes with the two coaches just in the platform. Poplar was immobile with suspected bent connecting rods and sister Newport couldn't work alone as it's airbrakes are incompatible with the vacuum braked coaches. Terrier action over for the day I decided to bail out early after a surprising rousingly run with the Q which allegedly started a couple more lineside fires. Back in London ahead of schedule, I popped into the Swan on Bayswater Road for a couple of pints of Fullers Totally Tropical summer ale, refreshing with a hint of Mango! My train home was just over hour late entitling me to a full refund on my £46 single from Paddington. So a Gala that I'll remember well but not for all the right reasons! Thanks to the Bluebell for putting the event on, and credit to the staff on the ground for coping with unexpected problems so well.

Copyright of all pictures in this gallery belong to N Clarke.