East Lancs Railway Autumn Steam Gala 18/19 October 2014

The Crab
The Crab at Ramsbottom (double headed with the A Clas)
The ELR trains weren't running on the Friday, but I had a quick peep past the Trackside and saw the Crab, resplendent in its maroon LMS livery in Bury bolton Street station. It was also the weekend of the Homegrown folk festival and that evening went to the Met to see Lucy Ward and the Keston Cobblers' Club. It was a standing gig, which meant I didn't see a lot of it - why don't they make the tall gits stand at the back! Had a nice couple of pints of Ruby, however.

Sir Nigel Gresley
60007 Sir Nigel Gresley at Bury
On Saturday 18 October I used my ELR membership card as a platform ticket and spotted the magnificent Sir Nigel Gresley in LNER/BR blue. There were two streaks to be seen and the full line up was:

LMS Jinty 16407
  • 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley
  • 60009 Union of South Africa
  • 61994 The Great Marquess
  • 13065 LMS 2-6-0 Crab
  • 12322 LMS 0-6-0 A Class
  • 16407 LMS 0-6-0 Jinty
  • 80080 Standard tank
  • 0-6-0ST W^D 3163/1943 Sapper and
  • 0-4-0ST May (in Yates Duxbury livery)
I had a bowl of chunky veg soup and a half of Darkness in the Trackside, then it was over to the Drill Hall for the wonderful Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band with Lucy Ward doing three numbers with them, support was squeezebox maestro John Spiers.

Union of South Africa
60009 Union of South Africa at Rawtenstall
 On Sunday it was back to the ELR this time with a round trip ticket. I just misses Sir Nigel going out so jumped onto  train heading for Heywood pulled by South Africa. Two trains were in the sidings just outside Ramsbottom: Sapper, 80080 and The Great Marquess, all in steam. At Rawtenstall it started raining. I jumped off at Ramsbottom, with the aim of catching Sir Nigel in an hours' time. On the other platform was a double header of the A Class and the Crab. I'd been told of the new craft brewery behind Morrisons, so in a very crowded Irwell Works Brewery I had a half of dark mild and a half of milk stout.
The A Class
Double header of the A Class and Crab at Ramsbottom
 Back at the station, Sir Nigel was in, en route to Rawtenstall, so I crossed the footbridge and joined the train pulled by the A Class, with the Crab as backwards banker.

The Crab and Sir Nigel Gresley
The Crab (as banker travelling backwards) and Sir Nigel at Ramsbottom

Back at Bury I just spotted South Africa pulling out en route to Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall. On Monday I took the tram to Manchester, but had to get off at Market Street and walk to Piccadilly Gardens. Train to Euston via Crewe, 73 bus across London, half of Oyster Stout in Victoria Wetherspoon's and train home.

The Great Marquess
The Great Marquess at Bury

Other visits to the ELR:

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