Friday, 24 July 2015

Old Locomotive Committee A.G.M. 2015

The Old Locomotive Committee (OLCO) is the 'Supporters Club' for the 1838 locomotive 'Lion' and 'Lion' models. The full-size 'Lion' now has pride of place in the Museum of Liverpool adjacent to Liverpool's Pierhead.

'Lion' in the 'Great Port' Gallery at the Museum of Liverpool.

The 31st Annual General Meeting of OLCO was held in the Museum of Liverpool on Saturday, 30th May 2015.

The Museum's Curator of Land Transport & Industry, Sharon Brown, was unable to attend this year's meeting but Sharon's colleague Claire Hunter (Assistant Curator of Urban History) made OLCO Members welcome and we are grateful to Sharon and Claire for providing the venue. We were in Education Room 3 on the first floor, which provides spectacular views over the River Mersey.

This was the Fourth time that the A.G.M. had been held at the Museum. There are brief reports on the earlier A.G.M.:-
The Annual General Meeting

The Chairman of OLCO, John Brandrick, opened the formal A.G.M. at 1.00 p.m. and welcomed those attending. This was the first A.G.M. since the death of our Founder and President E.F. Clark and, after a few moments silence, the meeting continued.

The Agenda items were dealt with promptly and the Election of Officers (once again) resulted in no changes to those serving during the previous year. There was lively discussion during 'Any Other Business' and the Chairman closed the meeting at 3.05 p.m. Members of the Old Locomotive Committee have been sent minutes of the proceedings as part of the July 2015 edition of the magazine 'Lionsheart'.

The magazine is currently produced by the indefatigable 'Lionsheart' Editor John Hawley and this publication, alone, is worth the OLCO Membership Fee, which also gives access to the special Members' Area of the OLCO Website.

The River Mersey

I'm afraid I didn't make a photographic record of the proceedings this year. I took a few pictures of the River from our vantage point (which I've added to my album Liverpool). The Mersey Ferry 'Snowdrop' was operating the service but has received a 'paint job'. Last year, 'Snowdrop' was in a dignified livery but she is currently transformed by a 'DAZZLE' livery which is not to my old-fashioned taste. This commission is one of the Word War I Centenary Art Commissions. 'DAZZLE' painting was used extensively in WWI, but the interesting Wikipedia article here seems dubious as to its value.

'Snowdrop' looking like a Mersey Ferry in March 2014.

'Snowdrop' in her current 'DAZZLE' livery in May 2015.

More about 'Lion' on my website

The Old Locomotive Committee (an introduction to 'Lion' and OLCO).

All my posts about OLCO activities are here.

More about 'Lion' on OLCO's website

Lion & Old Locomotive Committee (the website of the Old Locomotive Committee).

My OLCO Pictures

All my pictures showing OLCO events are in the collection The Old Locomotive Committee and Lionsmeet.

The Heritage Railcar at Shackerstone, 2015

The Heritage Railcar runs midweek in the season at the Battlefield Line, either as a single-unit 'Bubble Car' or, where additional accommodation is desired, attached to half of a 2-car set (the other half of the 2-car set is currently in the 'Works'). The railcar also operates on various special occasions and, most importantly, can provide a 'Backup' service (sometimes at short notice). This was the case on Easter Saturday this year when '3803' broke a spring hanger and the diesel railcar 'deputised' whilst repairs were carried out to the steam locomotive. There's a description of the day here.

Sunday 7th June 2015

This was another day that didn't quite work out as planned. Originally I was rostered as steam driver but I was informed that a fireman was not available and asked to operate the service with the diesel railcar instead. I turned up to drive the diesel railcar to find Andy, Carl and Dave preparing '3803' to work the service. Although 3803 was booked to do 5 trips, delay in bringing her into steam meant that I was asked to operate the first trip with the diesel railcar. Andy, Carl and Dave worked the second, third and fourth trips with '3803'.

'3803' leaving Shackerstone.

The day was very hot so, on the 4th trip, '3803' was found to be setting the grass alight.

Aftermath of a previous grass fire photographed on 7-Sep-2014.

To prevent further problems, I was asked to 'fire-up' the diesel railcar again for the last trip of the day, allowing the crew of '3803' to take an 'early bath'.

The two DMU trips used the single-unit 'Bubble Car'.

Tuesday 7th July

I prepared the 'Bubble Car', swept out the passenger areas and moved down to platform 1 at Shackerstone in plenty of time to work the 11.00 o'clock departure. Unfortunately, because of a misunderstanding, our Guard did not appear. Ritchie Marcus, who owns the railcars and was working on the half of the 2-car set currently in the 'Works', volunteered to act as Guard temporarily. Meanwhile, the Signalman made attempts to contact the rostered guard by telephone. Later in the day, the rostered guard appeared, allowing Ritchie to return to his repair work. The weather was generally good with some intermittent rain and we had a reasonable number of passengers during the day.

Tuesday 21st July 2015

We enjoyed bright sun and an excellent day for passenger numbers. Fortunately, the single unit 'Bubble Car' had been reunited with the in-service half of the 2-car set so we'd sufficient seating available. At Shenton we were joined by a party from a Leicestershire Care Home so the Guard's Compartment became full of wheelchairs and walking frames. The party spent some time at Shackerstone station before posing for a group photograph and travelling back to Shenton and their waiting road transport.

A party from a Leicestershire Care Home pose at Shackerstone for a group photograph before taking the train back to Shenton.

Each of the trains was quite well patronised amd we carried a number of children and parents. At Market Bosworth, railway volunteers were making preparations for the Rails & Ales Event on the 24th, 25th and 26th July. On one trip, the Guard's Compartment carried a Freezer from Shackerstone to Market Bosworth and on the last trip two large, metal wheeled bins were carried!

The DMU pauses at Market Bosworth on its way back to Shackerstone.

Related posts on this site

Diesel Multiple Units.
Midweek Diesel Railcars at the Battlefield Line (2014).

My pictures

Shackerstone, June 2015.
The Battlefield Line, Summer 2015.

Waterman Railway Heritage Trust

I was intrigued to read the following press release:-
PRESS RELEASE - 12 MAY 2015 Dr Pete Waterman OBE DL is delighted to announce that he has reached an agreement with Peak Rail to base his Waterman Railway Heritage Trust assets at its Rowsley site. Over the coming months, Pete expects to announce exciting plans to overhaul his trust’s steam locomotives, return them to active steaming and in the process provide structured training opportunities for young people interested in a career in the railway industry. It has always been Pete’s passion to see young people given the chance to learn engineering skills and over the last 30 years or so, he has provided such opportunities to dozens of people via apprenticeships. Pete said “I have long been an admirer of Peak Rail and they were a natural choice for me when I decided to relocate from the Crewe Heritage Centre. In my time at Crewe, I’m proud to have created hundreds of skilled jobs by providing investment that no-one else had the vision or foresight to do. I intend to work with Peak Rail to continue that tradition”.
Pete Waterman on the footplate of 8624 on 1st May 2010 when he inaugurated the new turntable at Peak Rail.(Photo: Sheila Rayson).

On Sunday, 21st June 2015, I was able to have an initial, brief look at two of the Waterman Railway Heritage Trust locomotives now at Peak Rail. This was the day of the Peak Rail Preserved Bus Gathering 2015, which is described here.

Number 5224

This is a Great Western Railway 2-8-0T of the 5205 class, built by Collett in 1923. The design is based on Churchward's 4200 class built between 1910 and 1923.

5224 outside Rowsley locomotive shed.

Number 5553

This is a Great Western Railway 2-6-2T of the 4575 class, built by Collett between 1927 and 1929. The design is based on the earlier 4500 class. I believe this locomotive claims the distinction of being the last locomotive out of Barry Scrapyard. There's an excellent series of articles on the remarkable story of Barry Scrapyard on the Great Western Archive website, starting with The Barry Scrapyard story, part 1.

5553 in the sidings at Rowsley.

My pictures

G.W.R. Locomotive 5224.
G.W.R. Locomotive 5553.