Couple of photos from Tim Winstanley:-
The significant event of today was the arrival of 35006 with 12 coaches packed with P&O Project Stake Holders and Supporters. First past the post with his copy is Bob Stark!
As you are aware a great deal happened at our station today. However, before the news I must correct a statement made last week that I was AWOL (Absent WithOut Leave). My ex military colleague was in this instance using incorrect terminology – I was AOL (Absent ON Leave).
Before the BIG news of the day arrived at CRC station Ros and I continued with our gardening efforts on Platform 2 and after improving the soil with so called “organic matter” we have started planting out the first area of garden that has been de-stoned by Terry and Maurice. We have planted the donated Primroses and some other colourful plants, but there is a long way to go and any further donations of plants from your garden that arise from thinning would be appreciated.
Just after lunch quite a gathering of folks arrived at our “back” gate by the signal box and were clearly very interested in what was about to happen. I can confirm that it was not to listen to a rendition from the person in the next image, who despite calls from the audience refused to sing the well known George Formby song of “Leaning on a lamp post”
Stopping Camera Shake was the song!
No, the BIG event of the day was the arrival of P&O with her 12 coach train of happy passengers making the first of two runs from Toddington to Cheltenham carrying the many people who have made the wonderful restoration of this locomotive possible.
P&O arrived tender first at Cheltenham with 12 coaches in tow. This I believe is the longest passenger train to come to Cheltenham Racecourse since BR days. (I stand to be corrected, but I believe that the previous record was 11 coaches on the member’s special train on the opening day of CRC station in March 2003).
Following its arrival, there was an outpouring of passengers to the best photographic positions.
Rank and seniority does have its privileges and I think that my position in the signal box was better!
Following the run past I noted that you had changed your position to get a better view of this huge locomotive and I include this side on image of this beautifully turned out machine. I sadly missed the opportunity to photograph Andrew Marshall with the engine. Andrew’s knowledge, drive, enthusiasm and endurance has seen the project through to today.
Apparently there were some minor adjustments to be made before the return to Toddington, or perhaps the lady needed a little scratch??
A great day for all concerned – well done all the members of the P&O Locomotive Preservation Society. It is sad, however, that many of our senior members who have supported this long running project did not live to see this wonderful performance today.
What a well deserved accolade from the HRA – the locomotive wears its “medal” with pride.
PS If any readers want copies of my images of P&O at our station today then please contact me through the contact link above and I will send them to you.