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What was the first preserved line you visited, and what is the most recent ? ?

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by martin1656, Mar 17, 2021.

  1. VirtualSteam

    VirtualSteam New Member

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    1st was the Mid Hants circa 1978
    Last was Embsay September 2020
     
  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    First would have been the Bluebell, not sure when but early to mid 1970s. I remember seeing a huge (to a five or six year old!) engine with a shiny dome through the booking hall window - would have been one of the Chatham engines, but can't remember which one specifically.

    Most recent would have been a pre-Christmas Bluebell footplate turn. Last visit as an ordinary paying member of the public would I think have been Mid Hants around this time last year, just before the lock down started.

    I drifted away from railways after I left home to go to University - studying, and bike racing / touring intervened - so apart from a few sporadic trips I have a bit of a blank between the mid 1980s and early 2000s. Do remember a trip on the NYMR ca. 1995, with diesel substitution over the high bit because of the fire risk. I think we got out at Goathland (from Pickering) to go for a day's walk; got the last train back which, because of "operational conditions on the day" was very late, and missed the last bus back from Pickering to York (where I was staying with my then girlfriend). But as is the way with such things, we stuck our hand out and the first car that went past stopped and took us back!

    Tom
     
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  3. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    My first was almost certainly the Bluebell, as a family visit when I was a child (we lived in Surrey).

    The most recent, back in summer 2020, was the SVR for non-operational volunteering. The last for trains might well have been the GWSR in 2019, and a first trip to Broadway.

    Patrick
     
  4. goldfish

    goldfish Resident of Nat Pres

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    First would have been either Crich Tramway, Severn Valley or Dart Valley (Paignton to Kingswear flavour) in the early to mid 70s. Dad not around to confirm the details sadly.

    Most recent was a covid safe trip to the Bluebell last year.

    Simon
     
  5. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Well-Known Member

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    My first visit would undoubtedly have been what is now the South Devon Railway, as my grandparents lived in Buckfastleigh and we visited the railway fairly often. I have a memory of being on a train travelling in to Totnes mainline station but being unable to get off the train? Probably late 1980s.

    My most recent visit was in August 2020 to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, having a compartment to ourselves which was very pleasant on only my second trip to the railway (first was on an August Bank Holiday in 2014 I think and quite unpleasant due to the volume of people present).

    Sent from my SM-G770F using Tapatalk
     
  6. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    First for me was Ravenglass in about 1974/5 at a guess; there is photographic evidence of this but I have no memory of it as I was a baby. First steam memories I have are from Carnforth (4472 in, I think, 1977), or watching a train from GC Road bridge at Loughborough. Couldn't say which was earlier.
    Last volunteering visit was to the GCR around the back end of last year and last visit for a train ride was also the GCR about a year earlier.
     
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  7. Glenmutchkin

    Glenmutchkin New Member

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    My first was a school visit to the Middleton Railway, sometime around 1970.
    I was at Bo'ness for a refresher shift in September 2020. My last ride elsewhere was at Aln Valley in July 2019.
     
  8. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    My first was the Bluebell in 1965 - Hauling the train was 488, and with Birch Grove in steam in the yard. We travelled in the Observation Car and included in one of the trains was the Brighton Saloon. Happy days. After that in 1969 we had a holiday in North Wales which introduced me to narrow gauge, which continues to be my main interest - in the course of the fortnight I had several trips on the Ffestiniog (Earl of Meirionydd (old), Blanche, and Mountaineer (piloted by Upnor Castle until Tan-y-Bwlch where it retreated to a siding emitting as much steam as Mountaineer)), the Tal-y-Llyn (4 engines in steam), and also dropped in at Devils Bridge and Llanfair Caereinion. Also in the 60s I was able to travel on the West Somerset, and also had a ride in a wagon on the Sittingbourne and Kemsley, pulled by a one of the fireless locos, but neither of these were preserved at the time do probably don't count. After a brief spell volunteering on the Bluebell in my teens, marriage and children, demands of work, and little money resulted in me being more of an armchair enthusiast, and even now opportunities to visit preserved lines don't arise as much as would like. The last visit was to the Welshpool and Llanfair a couple of years ago.

    As I've mentioned already, my main interest in in narrow gauge, with standard gauge light railways being a close second, but the Bluebell also introduced me to the joys of pre-grouping splendour, named tank engines, polished brass, and travelling back to an age when trains were comfortable, spacious and relaxing! And where not everything was the same colour...

    Steve B
     
  9. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    For me the first would have been the Mid Hants in the late 70s, as a trip out from grandparents' house, but the first I remember was as a cub scout to the Bluebell on a trip out from the campsite at Downe - probably 1983. The most recent was to the GCR and Mountsorrel in September 2020; as I write, it's still my most recent trip on a train.
     
  10. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    Talyllyn in 1969, followed a day or so later by Ffestiniog from Porthmadog to Tan-y-Bwlch (via Dduallt). My father remembered riding on the Talyllyn during a holiday when he was a boy. (Don't remember what he thought of it.)
    Pat
     
  11. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    My first visit to a preserved railway was when the (now is) Avon Valley Railway got access to Bitton and our restoration team moved from Frys chocolate factory to Bitton. Although technically not a preserved railway as we started with no track. Prior to that visits to the steam centres at Bulmers and Tysley.

    My most recent visit * was the MHR last autumn.

    * A pedant writes: the thread title should read most recent, rather than last unless we are going to peg out before things return to normal.
     
  12. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    My first visit was probably a trip to the GCRN as part of an afternoon at Rushcliffe Country Park when I was 2/3. Loco in action was probably RSH 'Ugly' 0-6-0ST 56, which I had the privilege of helping restore, but never got a turn on, and has now sadly departed for the Epping Ongar Railway (lucky sods)

    My most recent visit to a preserved railway full stop was a turn at the Battlefield Line on Christmas Eve Eve (23 Dec) last year on 5526.

    My most recent visit to a preserved railway in a non-volunteering capacity was to the Strathspey Railway in August 2019 while spending a couple of nights in Aviemore. Ivatt 46512 did a great job and the crew were kind enough to let me ride in the cab from Broomhill to Boat of Garten. That was my first trip to a railway as a punter for many, many years!
     
  13. Davo

    Davo Member

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    My 1st heritage railway encounter and ride out on 1 was when I was 13 years old in 1995 at my local K.V.W.R. behind Jinty 47279 with my dad to from Haworth to oxenhope down to Keighley and return, he was a train spotter and keen shed basher in his younger days between 1961 and 1964 before he left secondary school to start working he went with his school mates mainly to Doncaster cos he liked L.N.E.R. engines but also him and his mates toured the loco sheds in Leeds, and the greater Manchester Loco sheds with Stevenson society shed passes they got from the ABC Ian Allen books by writing off to them for shed passes passes. And got me into railways by talking of his memories of going by steam train to the east coast and watching the countless coal trains going through Doncaster station and can reel all the names and numbers off his memory of the A1 A2 A3 and A4,s pacifics without looking in his ABC book and stood in leeds sometimes watching L.M.S. jubilees Scots 5MT,s coming in leeds city sta from different reigions and them getting raced out of farnley jct sheds trying to cop a a rarely seen jubilee on shed, and on man vic they used to go watching trains been banked up miles platting. And as for myself cos I was really interested I used to read his modern railway mags and his books he has on locos engine sheds and different railway reigions and what companys ran through them and got to understand more about railway companies and different types of locos and tankies there were by dad talking to me about it in incessantly sometime on evenings but didn't really start getting into travelling and funding heritage lines until 2010 so I was confident I knew enough knowledge of steam railway engines of how they worked. I really found the various galas heritage lines I've travelled and senior enthusiasts really educational the enthusthiasts a minefield of knowledge some of them and enjoy every W,end as a educational adventure I can manage to go visit and made me respect my industrial heritage alot more seen as though my grandparents and my dads aunts an uncles worked on the coal mines railways foundrys wool mills and even some bargees on the Calder and hebble canal.
    Davo 56F
     
  14. andykeithharris

    andykeithharris New Member

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    I think Didcot GWS circa 1986/7, following my daughters(!) interest in Thomas the Tank Engine. I do remember going Paignton- Kingswear (early 70's) much earlier but I think that might still have been in Western Region days. The last ones were the SVR in late September 2020 travelling behind Raveningham Hall and signalling a wedding at Fawley Hill around the same time
     
  15. Wyreman

    Wyreman New Member

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    First I think would have been the SVR, as it happens. I've always lived in the Midlands and my parents though not big steam enthusiasts thought it looked interesting. Would have been 1980 or so? I can't remember as I wasn't very old!

    My most recent is Jan 2020, the GCR winter gala. Who knows when (I hope it is when, not if) there'll be a gala like that again. I obviously saw trains on the SVR last summer, but I didn't manage to travel.
     
  16. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Point taken, ;) title now reads most recent :)
     
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  17. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    In my case the first visit I know about would be about 1963 to the Ffestiniog, when I was 6.
    My first as a working member would be July 1972 to Steamport Southport.
    The most recent as a working member would be the NYMR last Thursday 11th March.
    However the most recent as a visitor, I called in at the Wensleydale for a look around and use of the facilities last year in passing.
     
  18. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member

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    My first would have been when I was a child and my father took me to East Anglian Railway Museum to see 814 'Greene King' leaving Chappel. I was to young to fully appreciate what was going on but this was when they used to disconnect the BR 'mainline' and slew the track across to connect to the EARM yard, and then reinstate the mainline after the loco was across.
    My first visit after lockdown should be to NYMR and will be the trip I originally planned for June 2020. Now rebooked for June 2021, we should have a long weekend in Pickering, before moving across to the Yorkshire Dales for a week.
     
  19. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    My first would probably have been The Bicton Garden Railway in the mid to late 1960s, first standard gauge would be The Dart Valley in 1969 - seems that there was quite a NP presence there that year! :D
    Most recent, The Deeside Railway in Aberdeenshire, getting on for a couple of years back now.
     
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  20. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    À la recherche du temps perdu :)

    I can't say for certain.

    Potentially Oak Hill Manor or Bob Symes' house(?). Maybe the Ffestiniog but we normally went via the Severn Valley so that might have been before.

    I have memories of visiting the WSR, Torbay, Dart Valley, Bicton, Seaton, Beer Heights, MHR, Bluebell, Bala, Llanberis, TR, VoR, Fairbourne, Hollycombe. But I couldn't tell you which was first.

    First clearer memories are of the Ffestiniog and Severn Valley.

    I can also remember going to Llangollen around that time but the visit being curtailed because of a sudden death in the family of the friends we were staying with.

    Last visit, I think was to the MHR, SVR or IOWSR.
     
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