Oliver Cromwell at Hove

70013 Oliver Cromwell
Originally uploaded by fred pipes
My latest trainspotting expedition was much closer to home - Hove, Actually. The Cathedrals Express, organised by Steam Dreams was to pass through Preston Park and Hove on its way to Portsmouth on 30 July, so I popped onto the train at London Road, and changed at Brighton for Hove. It was due around 11.30, pulled by 70013 Oliver Cromwell. The Britannias (what we called Brits) and Clans along with the one-off Duke of Gloucester (see my blog account of seeing 71000 Duke of Gloucester here) were the last namers to be built (92220 Evening Star, was named thus as she was the last ever steam loco to be built - in 1960 - and already earmarked for preservation). Oliver Cromwell was built at Crewe in 1951 and when regular BR steam ended, she was one of the locos chosen for the final farewell mainline steam trip, The Fifteen Guinea Special (so named because of the inflated price for tickets) which ran on 11 August 1968 between Liverpool Lime Street and Carlisle, via Manchester. 70013 has recently been overhauled at the Great Central Railway and returned to live steam in May 2008. So, in she steams to Platform 1 at Hove (video here) looking extremely clean and shiny, we all took some photos and off west she went, heading for Worthing and beyond, due to return about 8 o'clock. I was kindly offered a ticket by a bloke on the platform who'd been badly let down, but it was Chrissie's birthday do that afternoon and the BiG meeting later on, so reluctantly I declined.

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