Friday, 14 June 2013

Wonderful Welsh Weekend

 Bryn Elltyd - Our Weekend Residence

Hi there, six of us on this year's Boys Weekend Away, to North Wales, and what a weekend! Lovely warm, even hot sunshine from start to finish, the hottest place in the country on Friday! Marvellous!!!!!
On the way in on Thursday we stopped off at Betws-y-Coed to have a look round the Conway Valley Railway (71/4" gauge) and had an interesting chat with their engineers in the workshop where there were two super locos, 'Douglas' and an American 2-8-2, lovely, can we have one please? No..they said !......then on to our Bed and Breakast abode, where we were very well and truly looked after by Celia and John....(''... Tel: 01766 6831356/07905 568127), fascinating place in a wonderful location on the side of the Tanygrisiau Reservoir (of Ffestiniog Deviation fame you may recall?) with the railway running around the back of the property 75 yards away, excellent!

 Earl of Merioneth passes on the way up to Blaenau Ffestiniog

Ready to enter the hill climb section (just across the road
               from  our B & B !)

Friday morning, very early!, saw us admiring the fascinating variety of cars starting the hill climb section of the Three Castles Rally, and then later, looking round the Ffestiniog's Boston Lodge works where we were more than impressed with the warm welcome we got and with the work that is done there, what a set up! Thanks to all the staff and volunteers for making us feel so welcome.

 The Boys (less One!) outside Boston Lodge Works ready for action !

Then we popped across to the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway where we had a bite to eat to satisfy the inner men, before having a ride behind Emma (for twas a diesel day) and, what could be called an 'exuberant ride' on their 71/4" line hauled by one of 'Toby's mates !!!!!!! Nuff said ! They have a very interesting museum and shop to browse, which we did, before we heading back to our 'country, environmentally friendly accomodation', where a very tasty evening meal was enjoyed, followed by a nice relaxing evening with a few beers and wines in the conservatory, admiring the view and the setting sun, heavenly!

    'Emma' The Diesel on the Welsh Highland Heritage Line

'Merddin Emrys' ready to depart Porthmadoc Station on the Ffestiniog Railway

The highlight of the weekend was the full round trip on Saturday over the Welsh Highland behind Number 87, in the Observation Pullman car. An amazing journey, twisting and turning all the way through beautiful scenery which we thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. The sound of that loco working up to the summit from Beddgelert, and the start from the Forest Campsite Halt at Meillionen was, as they say, awesome !!!!! Well done the crew !!!!

Ready at Caernarfon for the return trip

Meeting Number 138  at Waunfawr.

So time to head home on Sunday calling in at The Nottingham Club where a lovely lunch was awaiting us and then the Guys made up our very own train, Class 20 hauled, so we could each have a drive! (which of course we did !) The site was busy as they were hosting a 5" Sweet Pea weekend so there was plenty going on! Many thanks to all the members who made us very welcome, but especially to Tony,Liz,Roy and Dennis.

   Dennis explains the controls to Dave
All photos : Brian M


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Excellent Weekend!

 Phil preparing 'Helen' after arriving on Saturday

We had a great weekend thanks to Phil (Coates) and Martyn (Redfearn) for bringing their lovely locos to play! On Saturday Phil came across from his Hemsby week stay, to try out our circuit with his lovely Stafford saddle tank loco (Station Road Steam). All went well and once he had got acclimatised to our circuit,  he helped out with the Birthday Party we had in the afternoon.General and Thunderbox helped out a bit too!

 'Helen' coming in from the Lake on one of her many circuits.

Then on Sunday, our June Open Day, we had a lovely sunny afternoon with a goodly number of visitors who were hauled around the circuit behind Martyn's lovely Romulus, 'BerryHill' (very appropriately painted in green and yellow I thought !!!!), his  very popular 'Spuggy', complete with canopy sunshade (which yours truly appreciated whilst driving!), 

 'Spuggy' all ready for action.

Thunderbox chugged round all afternoon (well done Ben!), and we got the Shay working in the morning after her oil changes, and so this loco came out to play too!. General did a stint before the batteries gave up, and Ken's 'Sergeant' also had a play. Unfortunately, 'Lucille' was failed during preperation due too faulty safety valves, so Keith didn't have much fun during the afternoon as he was really looking forward to the challenge of keeping her in steam for as long as possible!!!!! Should be a minor 'tweak' to put her right.! 
So a great afternoon with lots of happy people, we enjoyed ourselves. Thank you all for coming.

 'Berryhill' being prepared for a busy afternoon.

We were delighted with the visiting locos which as well as being fun for their owners to run on different tracks, give us additional pulling power to take the pressure off our locos, and we are very grateful for Phil and Martyn's help!  See you again Guys (and Gals!)

A very happy Martyn preparing 'Berryhill'