Steam at the Bluebell and Bury

Originally uploaded by fred pipes
There were two steam galas on the trot, last two weekends: first on the Bluebell, then on the East Lancs. I made use of the vintage bus to get to the Bluebell on Sunday 19 October. Star was GWR Prairie 5199. Jinty 47493 had broken down, so the only other locos in steam were Southern Railway U Class no. 1638, Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway class 7F no. 53809 and South Eastern and Chatham Railway O1 Class no. 65. I didn't take many snaps, concentrating on Flip videos, which can be seen on Vimeo. I met my friend Karen and 3 kids (and Johnny) there and we travelled back to Brighton on another vintage bus.

Up in Bury I was joined by my sister and brother-in-law on the Saturday train to Rawtenstall. It came in as 61994 The Great Marquess, but as we pulled out, there she was on another platform! Andrew Barclay 0-6-0ST Austerity no. 2183 was chuffing up and down taking footplate passengers for a tenner. At Ramsbottom, we found out we'd been pulled by Jinty 47324 (I still don't know why they're called Jinties!) and they jumped ship and headed back to Bury - pulled by 71000 Duke of Gloucester, the lucky things! I carried on to Rawtenstall where I headed off to the R Lowry exhibition. After missing the Duke again on the way back I had to be content with a double header of L&YR 0-6-0 Class 27 no. 1300 and the Jinty. On Sunday I met my friend Lois, Pete and little Joe. I'd calculated that we'd get the Duke this time, and in she came from Heywood. But... again she was detached and we ended up leaving Bury with 61994 The Great Marquess! At Ramsbottom we saw pig's ears at the car boot sale, had black peas in a polystyrene cup (60p) from Ye Olde Black Peas stall and a chocolate drink in the strangest footballers' wives cafe. It was a cup of frothy milk you had to dissolve a bar of German chocolate in and whisk up (3 quid)! I can't see it catching on! We continued to Rawtenstall pulled by Black Five 45407 and back to Bury. On the way back I was filming the Duke stopped at Ramsbottom when a torrent of rain came off the roof of our train and soaked me! Took some more films back at Bury, then went for a pint of black stuff in the well stocked Trackside bar. Lois had a black pudding bap and then drove us through the rain to New Mills. Pocket rocket BR 2-6-0 Class 4MT no. 76079 (running as 76001) was also in steam but I couldn't get a decent shot of it. Next day I travelled to Liverpool to sample some Biennial art (not that impressed by the videos at FACT or the paintings at Bluecoat) and visit and photograph various houses my Grandad lived in - in Toxteth and over the water in Egremont.

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