Duchess of Sutherland at the ELR

It was October and time to travel Up North for the East Lancs Railway's autumn steam gala on 19 and 20 October (and see the relatives, of course!). The Manchester train was diverted via Crewe, so I managed a glimpse of the Duke of Gloucester on the way up, plus a couple of black locos in the sidings. The draw this year at the ELR was a visit by 46233 Duchess of Sutherland, a never streamlined semi. In fact I don't think I have ever been on a train pulled by a semi, ever!

With a couple of days to kill, I had a wander round Bury and was sad to see that demolition of the Art Deco Odeon had started. I visited Bury art gallery and eavesdropped on a class of  primary kids getting a talk about Bury's coat of arms and industry. Thankfully, the Art Picture House is now a JD Wetherspoons pub, so I admired the interior as I supped a bargain pint. On the Friday I was taken out by my niece to Bolton - for fish and chips ('just enough' portion) at the Olympus, and a visit to Bolton FM. In the evening we went to see Seth Lakeman and others at Bury Drill Hall, a building I'd never hitherto been in.

61994 The Great Marquess

On Saturday, at Bury Bolton Street, I was greeted by a plethora of locos in steam: jinty 47584 and 61994 The Great Marquess were in a double header, and standard tank 80080 was also in the station, both trains heading for Rawtenstall. I caught a flash of green through a carriage window heading of Heywood and in a panic thought it was the Duchess, so I crossed the footbridge and jumped aboard. But at Heywood I discovered it was just a couple of tanks: W^D 132 Sapper and the guest GWR pannier 1501. After studying my timetable, I discovered that the Duchess would be back at Bury, as the next train to Heywood, so I travelled back and - at last - was being hauled by one of the most beautiful locos ever built! This was a bit naughty of me as I'd only bought a round trip, not a Rover, but my ticket hadn't been clipped, and I got away with it. So, I travelled to Rawtenstall and back with the Duchess, double headed with 80080. Finally a pint or two at the Trackside with nephew.

Duchess of Sutherland

On Sunday I was back for more. This time I'd studied the timetable properly, and set off on the 12.05 to Rawtentall with the Super D 49395 pulling and the Duchess at the back as banker. Just one round trip this time, and back at Bury from Heywood I positioned myself in the photographers' pit to catch The Great Marquess double head with the Duchess out of Bury, heading to Burrs where my sister and brother-in-law walk the dog (Issy) and on to Rawtenstall. The photo of them under the bridge was against the light so looked bit arty - plus my phone had changed the setting to 'noir'!!

The Great Marquess and Duchess of Sutherland double header at Bury

On Monday I travelled by bus to Manchester to see the Jeremy Deller exhibition All that is solid melts into air. Is it art? Might be! Basically he's curated an exhibition about the industrial revolution and the disgruntled working class, along with various family trees of Noddy Holder, Brian Ferry and Shaun Ryder. In a film, someone sings a lovely broadside about how wonderful it'll be in 1973. Thence to New Mills to stay over with my old friend from Guildford, Lois. It was raining on Tuesday so I got the scenic train to Sheffield - via Edale and Hope - to visit the Millennium Gallery and its Ruskin collection - unfortunately the Graves gallery where the Victorian collection resides was closed. Back to Bury on the 135 bus and home to sunny Brighton on the Wednesday.

Previous visits to the ELR:
April 2013
August 2012
October 2012
September 2011
October 2010
November 2009
April 2009
October 2008
November 2007
September 2006

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