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Countdown to July 9th: 10/1 to 9/2

Discussion in 'Bullhead Memories' started by Big Al, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    It's just six months until a date that no Southern steam enthusiast will forget. More to the point it is just six months until an anniversary pure steam charter departs from and returns to Waterloo. The fact that the Waterloo Sunset will be hauled by Clan Line and enjoyed by many, but sadly not all, of the founding members of the MNLPS is definitely something that dreams are made of.

    By way of a lead-up to the main event, I'm going to capture a few headlines from each of the final six months on the Southern. Nothing that will turn into a tome; just a few of my memories to include the mundane, interesting and amazing events with the occasional 'bizarre' thrown in for good measure. Obviously I wasn't around for everything that was going on but occasionally the bush telegraph meant that I was in the right place at the right time and without the benefit of any concessionary fares there was also a limit to what my finite resources could manage. So here goes with January 10th to February 9th.
    • Jan 18: 2051 arrival with 35013. An average of 88 mph between Fleet and Brookwood with 91 max. Held in Woking after taking 57+ minutes for the 55 miles and that includes the 17 mph tsr at Weston on the bank. Only a few minutes down at Waterloo after further checks in the suburbs. A lively run.
    • Jan 22: The Bridport Belle Rail Tour. Everything happens in threes. A gauge glass blows on Lapford at North Sheen. A body is discovered in a toilet having remained there from the previous day's service with the stock. (So much for Clapham Yard maintenance and cleaning.) The two Ivatt tanks (41295/41320) then stalled on the return from Bridport and were rescued after two hours by a Crompton. We were so late that we came home directly from Salisbury rather than the planned Pompey Direct route.
    • Feb 4th: 2051 arrival with 35030 and Roy Sloper about whom an Obituary appears in Heritage Railway Magazine No. 224 on page 39.
      Not the fastest running time from Southampton to Waterloo - it was 'only' 81 min 18 sec - but at 72 min net it was one of the best on record. 72 mph by Winchester before a tsr. 97 before Fleet and a tsr at Farnborough. 85 through Woking which is rare in itself and an average of 82 through to Surbiton. Oh, and we were 15 early at Waterloo which was four minutes early against the old two hour schedules.
    More in a month.
     

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