26-28 May – There’ll be another one along shortly….

Blimey it’s like a real railway line! Second blog of the weekend and approaching the Racecourse Station on a Monday morning – albeit a Bank Holiday and a Festival Weekend – one does not expect to see the car park 2/3 full with overflow already in use at 0830!  And it wasn’t just spotters in evidence there were passengers wanting to use trains – lots and lots of them. And it’s been like that (or worse/better) all weekend.  I won’t overdo the negatives (noticeable queues and frazzled volunteers) but the positives are that, for much of the day, there’ll be another train along (fairly) shortly and, what’s more there was plenty to see and do when not actually getting on or off the train.


Oliver Cromwell – in black naturally!

Not least the fact that all the trains I saw this morning were executing a stately dance up and down the platforms, through the points and back.  Now I am not aware whether this was intentional to provide the punters with lots of footage of steaming in progress, or was some delicate manoeuvring required by the complex timetable.  All I can say is that, at times, it looked rather like me trying to reverse into a parking space!

With all this going on it wasn’t the day for intrusive maintenance activities but I engaged briefly in what my good colleagues John Leeson refers to as the ‘extreme sport’ of stump removal.  Here’s this mornings haul:IMG_20180528_111848

Tough work but cheaper than gym membership

Elsewhere the garedens looked very fine – benefitting from the weekend’s rainstorms and here’s a composite of the Platform 2 gardens:

Equally impressive are the views of Mary’s work on Platform 1 gardens now that we’ve managed to unlock the photos (it was an IT issue – so we had to find a suitably qualified 7 year old to tell us how to do it!).Capture 2However if that’s the flora then the fauna is coming along too:IMG_20180528_111638

Here’s the inhabitants of the ‘des res’ (see blogs passim) which I managed to swiftly snap without disturbing mum and dad.

However, since it was a train festival here’s some more engines:

And as a special treat:


Yours, exhausted just from writing the blog!


Cotswold Festival of Steam


The annual GWSR Festival of Steam has drawn to a close for another year and many agree it was the best yet! If you measure success by visitor numbers or just smiling faces it has to be in the top rank of GWSR events.

The visitor numbers on Saturday were tremendous – I have never seen the  Racecourse Car Park so full.  I think this was boosted by the good  Saturday weather forecast, but even thundery downpours  on Sunday did not deter the diehard enthusiasts.


It was great to see Platform 2 in use, both by enthusiasts and trains. Roll on the time when the station  has a   P2 shelter, and a footbridge spanning the tracks so that this can be a more frequent occurrence!

Of course there were many loco “stars’ of the show, which were helping to draw the crowds in. Not least of these was the presence of King Edward II. Presence is the mot juste – it is so large and grand. That said I’m still not sure about the blue colour!




Not withstanding the presence of a King the  prior arrival of Britannia Class  Oliver Cromwell set a few pulses racing. This 1951 British Railways loco, now heading for retirement,  looked resplendent.


Here running around its train on Monday afternoon train:-


The orchestrated running around of the locos would have been the envy of Strictly Come Dancing!


The finale of the day was stalwart Dinmore Manor double heading with the King –  a sight for sore train enthusiasts eyes!


There will be more CFOS action to see on the other blogs so please seek it out. Finally a sincere thank you to all the effort that went into the preparation and running of the Festival.  It is no mean feat and was enjoyed by one and all.