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Spring Galas 2024

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by 6026 King John, Jun 11, 2024.

  1. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Hampton Court, Surrey
    It feels like time to draw breath after a pretty intense few weeks of galas. Is it my imagination or have this year's Spring galas been some of the best ever? I have been to 5, the most I have ever attended by this stage in the year. Highlights for me were:

    1) Severn Valley - the Stanier mogul in its new livery. Fenchurch's feisty performance on the Hampton Loade shuttles.
    2) Mid Hants - Leander creating a superb noise over the alps!
    3) Bluebell - The rare sight of four GWR locos working in deepest Sussex.
    4) GWSR - The long awaited gala debut of Betton Grange
    5) Swanage - The sheer scale of the event including double headed Merchant Navies

    What do others think? What have been the highlights of the Spring gala season for you?
    acorb and The Gricing Owl like this.
  2. The Gricing Owl

    The Gricing Owl Member

    Sep 29, 2023
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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    As a dedicated SR steam man, my Galas this year have been;

    1) Spa Valley Railway - the early Spring (winter!) gala . The highlight of which was 34072 running as 34066, allowing me plenty of photos of a loco I timed a number of runs behind in the 1960s. Best part was getting 34066 in the night at Groombridge - made so much better by heavy falling rain.

    2) Spa Valley Railway - Standards weekend with 80078 and 78019, highlight being those two doubleheading a train to Eridge at Groombridge Junction, allowing me to repeat a photo I took of doubleheaded standards (both BR 2-6-4 tanks) in April 1962.

    3) Mid Hants - 34070 looking as those locos used to look in the mid 1960s.

    4) KESR - A chance to build up my stock of photos of 31806, a loco I photographed twice in the 1960s, and had one run behind back then.

    5) Swanage - The most incredible steam loco event for me since 9 July 1967. I cannot think of any other steam event that would have kept me up for 21 hour day, 12 of which were at Swanage, and of those, 11 hours on my feet - standing or walking around based on the bridge overlooking the station, getting multiple photos of each Bulleid pacific.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2024
    Sunnieboy and 6026 King John like this.
  3. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

    May 27, 2019
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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    My highlights so far are

    1) Severn Valley Winter Gala -43106s bow out saw some memorable performances up and down the line

    2) Spa Valley Winter Gala - 78019 was one I wanted to see at Spa for a bit before it was announced and that SpVR is always enjoyable anyway.

    3) Bluebell Branch Line - I waited for this line up for well over a decade and it just didn't disappoint especially with a complex timetable.

    4) KESR - Again seeing the U, Knowle and 76017 again is a highlight itself.

    5) Swanage Bulleid Gala - was amazing to witness and be part of something historic. Definitely the gala of the year in my book so far.

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