If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

2999: Lady of Legend

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Ian White, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,080
    Likes Received:
    1,291
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Very comfortably early retired
    Location:
    1029
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

    I went to Didcot a couple of years ago for the first time in about 20 years. It was a truly depressing experience.

    Why can't they work with heritage railways to restore locos and hire them out rather than having this fixation with building Saint/County/47 etc? Is it a case of a few ego trips?
     
    Spamcan81, paulhitch and Sidmouth like this.
  2. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    4,036
    Likes Received:
    4,644
    Occupation:
    Once computers, now part time writer I suppose.
    Location:
    SE England
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    And if all their fleet were elsewhere then what would be the point of going there? The unique feature of Didcot is that its the only place that resembles a working steam shed. Scatter the fleet round the country and leave the shed empty and that's gone.
     
    black5, MuzTrem, Diamond Gaz and 8 others like this.
  3. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Messages:
    15,153
    Likes Received:
    11,452
    Occupation:
    Nosy aren’t you?
    Location:
    Nowhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Barrow Hill, Swanage and Spa Valley might want to have a word with you on that! ;)
     
    flying scotsman123 likes this.
  4. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    16,508
    Likes Received:
    7,751
    Location:
    1012 / 60158
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Don't think that anyone is seriously suggesting that they hire out all their fleet.
     
    michaelh and Kinghambranch like this.
  5. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    5,591
    Likes Received:
    9,320
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Asset Engineer (Signalling), MNLPS Treasurer
    Location:
    London
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Egos. I think having a few strong willed egos isn't a bad thing. Harnessing them in the right way leads to greatness. Reigning in the dreamers and approaching things practically. But without egos, you don't get the bravery of a few boys buying a 14xx from British Railways...

    There is nowhere else on the entire planet that you can see an almost full development of a specific steam railway, across gauges and time periods, including diesel and gas turbine development. Nowhere else. At Didcot you can go from the earliest incarnations of the broad gauge railways to the last days of steam on the western region. You can do all of that in a safe, carefully organised environment that maintains most, if not all of its original steam era architecture too.

    As an added bonus, with the removal of the power plant cooling towers behind, you really can see Didcot's shed as it was throughout most of its Great Western life.

    The collection is exactly that - a collection. Locomotives that represent many facets of the Great Western system. The GWS has a couple of engines that now go out to other railways whilst the core of the collection remains. That is not a bad thing.

    You can't judge Didcot against everyone else. It's its own thing.

    [​IMG]

    Source: http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=...aw1tseSsfQsT1MIhQ4tZ0GDo&ust=1544261499924657
     
    m0rris, Bean-counter, ross and 10 others like this.
  6. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    17,809
    Likes Received:
    15,440
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    A little off thread, but 1466 has set off this week to be restored by a company (run by a former Didcot volunteer) based at the DFR.
     
  7. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,264
    Likes Received:
    571
  8. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    924
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    As an ex power station engineer I hope we will be able to preserve one cooling tower somewhere. Coal fired power stations are demonised now but the country was very short of power after WW2 and the CEGB made sure that this situation was dealt with.
     
    andrewshimmin, ragl, m0rris and 4 others like this.
  9. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,080
    Likes Received:
    1,291
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Very comfortably early retired
    Location:
    1029
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

    A working steam shed? - whats working there?
     
  10. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,286
    Likes Received:
    1,590
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West London
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    The phrase used was "resembles a working steam shed". I don't think anyone is suggesting that Didcot's shed is a working shed in the way that a loco shed on a heritage railway is. But there's a lot of restoration, and construction, work going on in the workshops next door to the shed.
     
  11. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    17,809
    Likes Received:
    15,440
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Firstly full disclosure, I have no involvement with the GWS bar being a fairly longstanding member and if you have visited in the last couple of years that is considerably more recently than me.

    However I still do not understand what you expect them to do, ultimately unless they are going to act as some manner of spot hire company for the steam market the restoration of a large number of larger locomotives makes little financial sense, and would merely dilute the collection they already hold) as they are not suitable for on-site operation and getting them in and out is something of a ballache.

    I last visited in 2010 (i think) but before then it was probably the early 90's that I had last been (girls and alcohol had got rather in the way) and it was very noticeable that movements within the site were much more constrained at the later date and that manner of risk management is only going to get more strident as times go one, I must confess that I was shocked how much movement was still allowed with people milling around at that date.

    The site has no space for a ride of any length thus it's main appeals are going to be in the educational/historical area and for enthusiasts, I have a friend who lives down that way and likes steam and he admits that if they want GWR steam they tend to take the kids to the GWSR as you get a ride, as the kids find Didcot fairly boring.

    As for the new builds each to their own, the Saint is a very historical locomotive in the line of development, plus my dad loved them as a kid and thus that one has my attention likewise I can imagine my username suggests another area of interest, as for the County I am a bit meh to be honest, I notice that the Churchward County project has been hived out which would suggest a possible change in tack, not knowing any of the parties involved I cannot comment upon ego's however the fact that the 3 Counties project was (and possibly still is to a degree) driven by someone who was/is heavily involved in the Patriot project might suggest where the impetus came from but that's pure speculation on my part.

    As noted in an earlier thread I believe there is a change of Chairmanship shortly and that might change direction, likewise it might not? There is a pipeline of small locomotive overhauls moving forward which should lead to more on site 'action' in the coming years, good luck to them I say.
     
  12. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    10,406
    Likes Received:
    17,826
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Likewise when I visited for their 50th anniversary bash a year or 2 ago, which is still my only visit and was very enjoyable, probably helped in no small part by some behind the scenes access from 2 very kind members of this parish!

    I tend to side more towards the "it's a collection, it should say as a collection" argument for the locos, I agree it does as good a job as it is possible to do at allowing me to wander round a steam shed on a Sunday, but it is good to have one larger loco that is seen elsewhere, the King being out and about this year has been absolutely brilliant, I rode behind it on 2 railways and would have gone to Dartmouth too if I had the chance. Hopefully the Saint will perform a similar function in being an attraction for Didcot but also an ambassador.

    I feel more sympathetic towards the hiring out argument when it comes to the carriage collection. As I said, the only time I've visited was on the 50th anniversary. In use were 2/3(?) GW coaches on the main demo line, the railmotor and autocoach, (all of which I understand is used reasonably often) plus the 2 clerestories which come out once in a blue moon. There was plenty hidden away which wasn't visible to the general public, let alone available to go in or ride. Wouldn't it be brilliant if some sort of arrangement could be arrived at where some of the coaches currently not really used or even viewable to most people were loaned out with a "use and refurbish" type clause? I'd love to see some GWR carriages on the GWSR, we've a large workshop staff and in a couple of years' time we'll have a nice carriage shed to look after them in. I'm well aware I'm playing WIBNism with other people's stock, but I can dream!
     
    jnc likes this.
  13. huochemi

    huochemi Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,745
    Likes Received:
    1,391
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    UK
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    ISTR that a number of the Didcot coaches were originally at the SVR, but the then owner for whatever reason decided to move them to Didcot. Of course, back then the GWS had a set of GWR coaches approved for use on the mainline. I am not sure that Didcot has ever come to terms with its current diminished stature.
     
    paulhitch, mgl, michaelh and 4 others like this.
  14. Mr Valentine

    Mr Valentine Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2018
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    813
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Titfield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    More importantly, I think, is that the board structure as a whole is undergoing a fundamental reorganisation, to make it more fit for purpose. Strategy has never been one of the GWS' strongpoints, but obviously any organisation needs to know what its purpose is, where it needs to go, and how to get there, in order to survive. Hopefully the GWS will be successful in recruiting someone capable of making positive change:

    https://didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk/...chief-executive-great-western-society-limited
     
    jnc, huochemi and flying scotsman123 like this.
  15. Mr Valentine

    Mr Valentine Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2018
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    813
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Titfield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Sadly, I think this is very true. The world has changed, but not everyone has realised it. It's not 1978 anymore.
     
    evilswans, Matt37401 and michaelh like this.
  16. huochemi

    huochemi Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,745
    Likes Received:
    1,391
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    UK
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Isn't that what they are doing at Willington? Closed 20 years ago and the cooling towers are still there. ;)
     
    ragl and RLinkinS like this.
  17. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2016
    Messages:
    14,078
    Likes Received:
    7,588
    Occupation:
    Layabout
    Location:
    Lurking
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I think that was the last time I visited Didcot?
     
  18. fisher

    fisher New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    50
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

    As someone who is just about to join the GWS, my take on this is that it is an organisation which is moving in some good directions. I have been reading the quarterly magazine for about a year and a half now, via a friend, and in my opinion it is the best membership magazine amongst societies by some way; it is that which has made me become a member. In addition, there seems to be an increasing focus from what I have seen around improving the quality of the product, particularly carriages with some sensible and good intermediate overhauls, together with new interpretation such as the new signalling centre. Hopefully a shift in governance will make it an even better product.
     
    Kinghambranch likes this.
  19. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    9,597
    Likes Received:
    8,213
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alderan !
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Didcot should and still could be a very special place . The completeness of its collection of GWR rolling stock , demonstration lines , engine shed etc plus its location so close to London are all ingredients which should contribute to its success. Something though seems to be missing

    From a GWR perspective preservation has caught up and overtaken it . Lines like the Severn valley , South Devon, Toddington , Llangollen etc offer a real GWR experience , a longer train ride and better scenery ! Vintage Trains has grasped the opportunity of GWR motive power on the main line

    I supported with photo charters for a number of years until politics got in the way , now I am excluded . More recently I got thrown out of the facebook group . Hardly an incentive for me to visit or put any money their way
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    Bean-counter, green five and michaelh like this.
  20. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Messages:
    14,116
    Likes Received:
    16,153
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired, best job I've ever had
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I
    It says a lot about the current situation with The GWS that they can afford to be so childish as throwing potential supporters off their FB page. Another case of those at the top forgetting what our hobby is supposed to be about
     

Share This Page