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Foxfield Gala 18th & 19th July 2009

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by Glenalmond, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. mk1hater

    mk1hater Member

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    Well I guess its our turn to post....it'd be rude not to!

    Many thanks go to you guys for making us feel so welcome as ever. After our take-over of the field (we had to make our mark) with tents (and flags) we were straight to the bar as we do and it was great to see familiar faces and also as previously said, new ones too!

    Easy way of doing this:

    Best Bits

    No.47! Fantastic romp up the bank with the sound echoing throughout the valley!

    Florence again a bit of a supprise to see the power she released absolutly fantastic! Funken-banger sounds good!

    The sound of Bellerophon trying to get out of the hole

    The Bar & Buffet


    Ok now I have to say Points for improvements

    The ammount of 'orange' on-site was total over kill, it spoilt a truly fantastic atmosphere. I really dont want to get on the hi-vis rant but it did spoil the scene that is trying to be created....industrial???

    The fact you ran out of larger...even after we requested it! #-o

    All in all a great weekend away. Thanks for the hospitality.

    Chris
     
  2. pennysteam

    pennysteam Well-Known Member

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    Once again another excellent gala battling the Hill and the elements, don't know why but gala week always seems to get its fair share of rain, fortunately Saturday wasn't to bad with only one short spell of rain. With the weather forecast coming true Sunday morning I opted to edit what I had, long way for rain, rain and more rain. Despite that the early start yesterday allowed me to get a load of nice footage. Photo's already up and the part of the film footage is just in production now.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    More @ http://kenneth-f-baker.fotopic.net/c1728201.html
     
  3. Columbine

    Columbine Member

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    Nice photos Ken!

    Having booked the B&B I was always going to stay for Sunday but the cloudburst around 2 really put a dampener on everything. I was at the colliery site and there were a lot of very wet enthusiasts although I did notice the turnout was very much reduced from Saturday. Perhaps, like Ken, folk took a look at the weather forecast and stayed at home.

    This was my first visit to a Foxfield gala (and only my second in total) and I will definitely be at the next one. All the enthusiasts were extremely friendly as were, with one exception, the volunteers. Very much the place to be on the third weekend in July.

    All the best to the Foxfield Light Railway!

    Regards
     
  4. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Just back from a sodden Foxfield. Managed three shots in sun/near sun so not too bad. Sound recordings sound good, especially the 18 waggon job at the end. Would really like to her 47 fully unleashed over the full length of the bank. Excellent value for £13.50.
     
  5. C WALL

    C WALL New Member

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    First ever visit to Foxfield on a gala day (3rd visit in total). Absolutely brilliant day yesterday, will certainly pencil future events into the diary. =D>
     
  6. Glenalmond

    Glenalmond Member

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    Phew !. Thanks to the whole membership of the FLRS for working so hard.

    Thanks for the comments, please keep them coming. All are noted, and all will be fed back to the management team.

    We shape this event to suit you guys ( and ladies ). Plans for next year are in the melting pot, more options for visiting engines than I can shake a stick at, but the bottom line is same again please !. Beyer wont be around next year but Whiston, Heath ( could happen ), Bagnall 2842 & Dubs 4101 are all prospects.

    This forum is a direct link to the heart of the railway so keep the comments flowing - good and bad please. Any links please, most members did not see the show, some are aware of a small part, please share if you can.

    What I like about this forum is direct link with our visitors - after sleep I will take a closer look at your comments and feed back.

    If you like the railway, what it stands for, and this event then why not join us. We will have 363 other days to do what we like with the bank when it opens to passengers next year but these two days remain for this gala in todays format. We will not break what is not broken !.

    Thank you for visiting, we made a modest profit so we can do it all again next year.
     
  7. pennysteam

    pennysteam Well-Known Member

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  8. midwalesstokie

    midwalesstokie New Member

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    Brilliant gala as always. Florence no2 was a big surprise for me. Seemed a bit tame last year but this year was quite a beast with a lovely deep exhaust. The "new" path also confused me for a bit as it was exactly the same as the old one except for a gap in the fence but most people made it anyway. This event is always a highlight for me as I think the spectacle is unrivalled on heritage railways in the UK. I've never been anywhere else where you can have an engine working flat out pass you within a couple of feet.
    The displays at the colliery were also very interesting and showed how big the site used to be and the potential it has.

    One question, how much does an unladen 16t wagon weigh? Also the 21t hopper wagons?
     
  9. basher

    basher Member

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    Guys -

    Seriously what a cracking event! There was a real buzz about the event, with everyone (staff and punters) going around with giant grins on their faces. The timetable was impeccable (you're onto a good thing, with that system of rotating loco diagrams etc), the weather wasn't too bad (well, thats a lie, but I was enjoying myself too much to notice!), and the locos both looked and sounded on top form. Although I never quite got around to seeing steam at places like Maesteg, I gather that some of the spirit of those sorts of locations was alive and kicking (with a roar!) over the weekend - so top marks to you, for recreating history, 'as it was'.

    Do you mind if I give you guys some constructive comments please? PLEASE don't take it as criticism (its not!), but there are a few pointers you could think about for the future.

    Firstly; The Good Stuff

    1) The locos - you should all be on a high about how immaculate they were. It was hard to say which was cleanest, although the mean-looking blue pair ("Wimblebury" and No.49) looked absolute beasts together - they really looked the part. They sounded on top form all weekend - for fans of thrash, it was certainly a field day! Standing at the colliery, listening to a loco (or locos...) attacking the bank with vigour was hugely impressive, and far more than you get at most preserved lines. Definately a unique selling point, and one to savour....

    2) The Timetable; which ran to time all day! It is inevitable to arrive in the carpark at lunchtime on a Gala, and find that trains are running 30mins + behind schedule. Not so here! I don't know if this was the case all weekend, but it definately was on the Saturday.

    The system of rotating locomotive diagrams all weekend definately seemed a good plan too; you're onto a good thing with that! It was wonderful to see all the locos getting a turn working up the bank, down to Blyth Bridge, on layovers at the colliery for photos etc, or out on passenger trains. Many people commented favourably - it was great.

    3) The coaches; externally, your Mk1 are immaculate! Something a lot of preserved railways would kill for. Wishing you all the best with your vintage carriage project.

    4) The station building; the atmosphere at Caverswall Road (particularly around the One Legged Shunter) was one of good natured banter, old and new friends, and happy, likeminded conversation. A real highlight, to just sit and drink it in - literally and metaphorically!

    5) What was the story of that mock-up vintage coach on its side, halfway up the bank? What a wonderful (and surprisingly solidly built) bit of kit. Does it have a future, or is it just dumped? I know a few people who'd be very interested in it, should it ever be disposed of. It certainly made a good viewing shelter for the bank, in the rain! What a wonderful private grandstand \:D/

    Now, some of the not-so-good stuff....
    (meant not as criticism, but as points you could work with - take it in the spirit its meant!)

    1) The lineside vegetation was a real problem, particularly on the Caverswall Rd platform side. Whilst the train was in motion, the sides of the coach were being continually pummelled with long grass, branches, weeds etc - not so much a problem (assuming its not scratching your paintwork...), but more a pain, and one that should be high on your to-do list. The clearances were far too tight for comfort, and many ended up with bits of flowers etc in their eye. Something to think about?

    2) Decide on a policy for walking on the track; and stick to it. On the Saturday, there were many conflicting attitudes/opinions on what was considered safe or not, in terms of walking in the four foot. Particularly from the staff; I saw more than once a member of staff at Dilhorne Park advising photographers to jump off the side of the platform (or walk down the ramp), over the track into the field; or even straight down the four foot, towards the bank (as a timetabled train was due up). Not so much a problem, but other members of staff rebuked them for it; so decide on a policy and stick to it.

    The booklet with the working timetable stated (in bold);"Please do not attempt to cross the tracks at Dilhorne Park" - yet uniformed members of staff were actively encouraging it. Conflict...?

    The 'free and easy' atmosphere was prevalent (and great! Dont get me wrong) and very reminiscent of industrial railways past. However, some situations were downright dodgy, and anyone who works (in whatever capacity) on any operational railway should've been uncomfortable watching it happen. I know I certainly was! Was the only entrance to the main field (halfway up the bank) by walking down the track, through a limited clearance cutting etc? Also, was it necessary to allow passengers to wander off the ends of platforms/over loops etc, whilst loco movements were taking place? Nice. But scary.

    3) It should be made much clearer that the bank is only accessible via a lengthy walk, over rough terrain (and over/under barbed wire etc!). The booklet stated (misleadingly?); You may like to break your journey at Dilhorne Park station, to experience the spectacular sight and sound fo our gutsy locomotives doing battle with the famous Foxfield Bank out of Foxfield Colliery. No mention made of the long walk, boggy ground (nothing you can do about that I know!), the barbed wire fences or the unsafe walking routes down the pway.

    Many appreciated the bus-link you laid on, to get to the colliery. However, it would've been far more effective to state (clearly!) that this was the quickest, easiest and safest route to view workings, rather than the 'traditional' lineside route - many first timers I saw travelling were disappointed by this, and wasted a lot of time as a consequence.

    4) Hire a second bus, to have on stand-by? The bus-size was an issue, leaving quite a few paying punters behind on each trip that I saw. Having a spare driver/vehicle is more expensive I admit (espeically if it spends half the day sitting around), but it pays to have a contingency plan.

    5) Take this in the spirit its meant.....but the 'home made cakes' at the Colliery certainly weren't home-made! We're not fools enough to not notice a Mr Kipling viennese fancy when we see one; as well as the cherry bakewells, and the 'angel slices' (which were still in their 'two pack' plastic containers!). The crisps were also Sainsbury's finest 'multi-pack only, not for resale' variety. Not having a go (you have to feed the masses, after all!), but if you're going to the effort of advertising home-made cakes, then tell the staff to hide (or at least disguise) them taking the 6-pack cakes out of the carrier bag, wrapping each one individually in clingfilm, before selling to a customer (for 60p). I'm guessing you hadn't run out of home-made cakes, as that was the situation at 11am on Saturday, and stayed that way all day!

    -------------

    Sorry for the criticisms. It was still a bloomin' good event though! What a wonderful day - and great that so many people were enjoying themselves.

    To end on a slightly sour note; was anyone around on the Saturday lunchtime at Foxfield Colliery, to witness the departure of the 1250 freight (hauled by Bellerophon and the Beyer Peacock)? A sizeable gallery formed by the top points, as well as further up the bank, on both sides of the line. As the train departed, a genial old gent (who'd been leaning on the wall of the colliery, with his camera) stood forward a foot, to get his photograph. Cue some good-natured banter from some of the photters present (fair dos), and he stepped back. All apart from a small contingent of middle aged men (perhaps three or four in the gallery, who were friends), who persisted in yelling insults at him. One of said gents wanted a 'wide angle' shot of the colliery - and starting screaming, really screaming insults and swear words. Not shouting; literally shrieking, at the top of his voice, really going for it - to the point that "Bellerophon"'s driver shut off temporarily, looking forward in astonishment (no doubt thinking it was a danger signal from a staff member!).

    The train stormed by, the photos were taken, and the gallery dispersed. Said mad however stormed over to the old gentleman however, and (egged on by his pals over the line, with cries of 'go on! Give him some!') persisted in giving him the most noisy, confrontational, abusive tirade I have ever witnessed. The sweaing was appauling, and the shouting loud (quickly catching the attenion of those in the near (and not so near) vicinity. Much waving of arms from this sad git, and poking fingers at the old gentleman. Two 'sides' quickly formed up; one of people supporting the old man (who had, by rights, paid his ticket, was stood out of shot of everyone, and had every right to be there), and those supporting the abusive little man (namely his friends). When it was realised he was in the minority, his friends urged him to back off ('you're wasting your time!'), looking particularly anxious; he eventually backed down, but not before he gave the old bloke a shove (admittedly gentle, but still), and told him exactly what he'd do, should the old bloke get in one of his photos later. I heard mention of the threat of the Police being called - and who can blame him.

    I have photos of this lowlife, and (if anyone can tell me how to post them on a forum page), I will happily post them here, as well as sending a copy to Danny at the Beano. It really put a sour note on my day, how confrontational he was.

    ---------

    Nonetheless - great gala chaps! The sound of the 18 wagon freight ascending the Bank is one that I will be savouring for many months to come - what a show. The bank certainly makes the railway, and you do well to play up to it. What a wonderful event - I can't wait next year!

    Best wishes to all the volunteers there =D>
     
  10. Corbs

    Corbs Well-Known Member

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    No.47 is possibly the best thing I've seen all day. A truly stunning machine.

    Basher - create an account on http://www.photobucket.com , follow their instructions to upload photos, then once that is done, select the photo '[​IMG]
     
  11. SteamGalore

    SteamGalore New Member

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    Great day out on saturday in spite of the Foxfield microclimate of cloud and heavy showers when everywhere else in the midlands was bathed in sunshine.I saw no fisticuffs thank goodness but there were big crowds down at the colliery which made thing tricky at times.Anyway well done to all.

    My pics are at http://steamgalore.fotopic.net/
     
  12. Columbine

    Columbine Member

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    I have uploaded the first part of my coverage of the event.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD0UNIlPMsE

    Regards
     
  13. shredder1

    shredder1 Member

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    "I have photos of this lowlife, and (if anyone can tell me how to post them on a forum page), I will happily post them here, as well as sending a copy to Danny at the Beano. It really put a sour note on my day, how confrontational he was. "

    train spotting rage, get his picture up mate, he needs identifying and err having a word with [-X
     
  14. Columbine

    Columbine Member

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    Re 'Basher's posting earlier.

    I think I would support most of the comments he made, and made in a well phrased manner. Nicely constructive. I didn't see the incident with the 'old gentleman' so I can't really comment except to say that bullying of this nature by the younger generation seems to be increasing. I had an incident last year with an abusive, foulmouthed volunteer on the GCR. Most regrettable, but I'm pleased that many people seemed to have supported the 'old gentleman' and stood up for civilised values, well done to them.

    An the subject of the 'path' from the colliery to Dilhorne Park. I took this route yesterday for the first time. When I arrived at Dilhorne Park I asked a volunteer if I could cross the tracks? "Yes, and would I like him to hold the tripod and camera while I climbed over the fence". Brilliant! He won a friend for the Foxfield. When I wanted to do the return journey I asked a similar question of a different volunteer I was told that the way to the colliery was to get the next train to Caverswall and then the bus to the colliery. This person would have lost the railway friends. I agree that the railway needs to have a consistant policy on this matter and perhaps a foot crossing at Dilhorne Park, with appropriate warnings, and a style would help.

    Regards
     
  15. R Barnett

    R Barnett Member

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    Hi all, glad you all enjoyed our gala and thank you all for coming and enjoying the sights and sounds.

    But also thank you for you constructive comments. Until recently we really had little issues with paths etc, but due an awkward land owner has meant we have had to change the path. But unfortunately this was last minute and the gates did not arrive until the Friday of gala. Gates are to be fitted opposite Dilhorne Park station with a foot crossing to get you into the field. So their will be no issues with that, but also hopefully with the opening of the bank REALLY on the cards for next year their will be a steam shuttle service to and from the colliery. Fitting around the the popular freight trains up the bank.

    The pictures and videos look great, hope to see you all at next years premier industrial gala on the 17th & 18th July 2010

    Rich
     
  16. C WALL

    C WALL New Member

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    Really sad to hear about the ranting photographer. These instances seem to be on the increase [-X . Need a good course in manners some of them.

    Excellent if Foxfield do run to the new colliery platform at next years gala. If not though its good to hear that there are plans to allow people to cross onto the path at Dilhorne station. As a first time gala visitor on Saturday I was a bit confused as to how to get to the colliery and rightly or wrongly just followed the crowd! Hopefully a sign post or walking directions in the timetable would alleviate any confusion.

    Really great day Saturday, not enjoyed a gala that much in a long time, well apart from D1062 at the Lancs couple of weeks ago \:D/
     
  17. Avonside1563

    Avonside1563 Well-Known Member

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    The reason Florence was tamer last year was down to being run in as she was having on going trouble with axleboxes running hot, whereas this year she is settled down and the opportunity was there to give her some work to do, so she did! =D>

    Can't answer your question regarding unladen weights, but the 18 wagon run was the heaviest we have done, as it had a 21T tippler in place of a 16T and also one of the 16T's was 2/3 full of loco coal! Maybe we should have loaded wagons on the bank next year :-k Now there's one for the charter boys to fund \:D/
     
  18. 3155

    3155 New Member

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    Empty 16ton mineral wagons vary between 6.5tons & 8.5tons, dependent on the manufacturer & lot number, & nowadays by how much good metal has turned to rust. Many years ago, at the Chatterley Whitfield auction, one of the scrap dealers left his son in charge of the bidding at one stage, & when the 16ton minerals came up for sale, he outbid all others, including the Foxfield lads, as he thought that they weighed 16tons. 16tons is of course the carrying capacity. Can't comment on the tippler weight, but should be more than an empty 16 tonner

    Dave

    GH4 & others
     
  19. Columbine

    Columbine Member

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    A typical tare weight for a 16T mineral would be around 7-2 to 7-8 for an unfitted example with the fitted ones about a ton heavier say 8t 10cwt, but they did vary even within the welded and riveted varieties. The odd thing is that the earlier 14T minerals seem to have been in a similar range. The 21T coal hopper was about a ton or so heavier, but again it would vary.

    HTH
     
  20. tfftfftff86

    tfftfftff86 Member

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    No word (or rather no pics) from Basher yet. Basher, if you've decided against posting the pics on the forum (legal advice perhaps?), at least PM them to The_Shunter. You never know, he may be in a position to get this **** banned by the organising committee from future Foxfields. Behaviour like that needs a sanction.

    Still think the pics would be better here though, as other event organisers might like to know about this "Lord of All Photters"
     

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