Bristol steam

Diesel weekend at the Avon Valley Railway

I wasn't expecting to see any steam on our Clarion Cycling Club weekend in Bath (full report here), as I knew there was a diesel event on at the Avon Valley Railway. We did however spot the diesel, pulling some coaches that included Angela, which amused at least one of our riders, and I did spot a couple of cold steam locos in the shed at Bitton. Imagine my surprise therefore when we arrived at the Arnolfini gallery in Bristol for lunch, to see a plume of smoke coming from across the harbour. Last time I was in Bristol, it wasn't running, but today my luck was in. After a great lunch of pea soup and a glass of Bristol Exhibition ale, Jim and I wandered over the bridge just as the train was leaving. In the 20 minutes or so it took to return, we chatted to one of the volunteers who was from Bolton and recognised my Clarion badge. Henbury returned and we got into the guard's van (which had a fire going).

  Henbury in steam

Jim was going to see SS Great Britain so he and I bought return tickets (£2). I discovered however that the route to Create was longer and more interesting, so upgraded (another £2), and on the next run by the river was joined by Angela and Anne who'd been strolling along the docks.

  Clarion Bath weekend

Henbury never actually faced forward on any part of the journey, because there were no turning loops and it was paramount to have good visibility because of tourists wandering across the line. The other loco was away for repairs.

  Clarion Bath weekend

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