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Great Goodbye at Shildon alert !

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by Great Western, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    I think we are missing a point here . We are primarily enthusiasts on here and have a certain expectation about how we would have liked to see the locomotives

    If we go back to when they arrived I was fortunate to stage a shoot which at least tried to bring some "railway atmosphere" . Subsequently the "stage management" has been managed in house . You cannot say it hasn't been hugely successful given the literally hundreds of thousands who have visited Shildon and York , however in the context of heritage, York and Shildon are at best warehouses. If you consider the remit of the NRM you could argue it is to bring Railways to the masses and not to pander to a small group (in relative terms of Railway enthusiasts) . What the NRM have done is make the loco's the stars , they have become more like pop stars than a Historic steam locomotive and what we lament is our inability to influence the staging in a way that we are happy with.

    The enthusiast chance was Barrow Hill , however the unfortunate fact that the yard is full of class 37's assorted Electrics and Mk2 coaches totally divorced the engines from the one shot at a heritage environment since you could not bring the loco's close to historic buildings and avoid the inclusion of modern traction. Where they were positioned was no different to how I had them at Shildon back in September 2012. The event was successful in that thousands visited but it didn't achieve its "heritage" aims

    Despite my reservations the Great Goodbye photo shoot was actually very enjoyable . I really couldn't pull myself away and the six were a magnificent sight . I can't blame the NRM for the approach taken because the practicality of allowing tens of thousands an opportunity to take a clear picture of all six standing in what would be little more than a 12 foot by six foot slot was never practical. They could have charged £200 for the nightshoots and they would have probably sold out. Anthony and Richard and all at Shildon did a great job on the night and credit to the Durham County Council lighting team for lighting all six so well .

    When we look back what I think people will realise, is that the loco's never got a chance to appear on appropriate stock and with a non working engine you can understand that , it a very tough thing to do . Nor did we see the Coronation beavertail which is under restoration at Nemesis Rail and would have looked magnificent with 4489.

    Overall the return of the A4's has to be seen as phenomenally successful and many of us have got to see two locomotives we would never otherwise have had the chance and for that I'm very grateful to all involved.
     
  2. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Having spent Wednesday night at the (charged) session most of my shots simply replicate many posted by others - BUT for those looking to get a shot of 6 A4s I confirm it can be done albeit with a little patience and waiting until the end of the public session as per below. Shildon is a much better layout than York and the example given shows that with a little patience 6 together can be had; the display changes daily and the best line-ups are obviously the set arrangement being provided for the night sessions but PLEASE don't let that put you off visiting if you can. There will no NO chance after Sunday 23 February !!


    A4s.jpg

    In response to those complaining about the "public" line-up I did check with staff on site and they confirm that the staggered arrangement is caused by the H&S requirements for the steps that have allowed the public to "cab" display locomotives. In simple terms the choice was one of access to locomotives or presenting a photogenic line-up; staff availability and qualification meant that only one option was possible.

    As noted above this is is an event that some will question and some will think should have been arranged differently. As one who paid his money at BOTH venues I accept that things could have been done differently BUT I am happy with what I have seen and photographed (and PAID for !!) and know that I have a set of rare images that will never be replicated.

    I think thanks are due to Steve Davies for his imaginative concept and to ALL NRM staff for their contribution to a TRUE once-in-a-lifetime event now coming to an end.
     
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  3. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    That would have been nice but would also have added greatly to the costs of the event so not surprised it didn't happen.
     
  4. Drysdale

    Drysdale Guest

    I tend to agree with Fred Kerr's comments with the following riders.

    I have attended all the Great Gathering events from the arrival of the locos. back in U.K. starting the night shoot at Shildon in 2012 and concluding with both a night and early morning shoot this week, excepting the Great Gathering 2 at York last Autumn.

    Some events have been better planned and executed than others. Shildon this Feb. suggests to me a poorly executed and flawed plan other for those of us fortunate enough to be able to afford and obtain the night shoot tickets.

    I still think more could have been done, if only for an hour each day, to line up all 6 locos. with barriers keeping the crowds back to enable everyone to see/photograph/ admire all the locos. Even the £15 morning shoots did not facilitate this and were, in my opinion, the worst value for money.

    Lack of toilet facilities was also very noticeable, even with their own (pessimistic and exceeded) attendance figures it should have been realised that Shildon's facilities could not cope and would need to be supplemented by portaloos and the cafeteria only taking cash was also not well thought out.

    One final thought. In virtually all publicity the East Coast main line is quoted as running from London Kings Cross to the North East and Scotland yet there was not one Mallard 75 event held anywhere in London or the South. I know of at least two rail centres that would have been delighted to hold Barrow Hill style events with any combination of visiting A4s yet apparently, when approached, the NRM were not interested.

    Perhaps being based at York with an outstation in Shildon and the proposed outstation at Leicester (GCR) we should rename the NRM the North Eastern Railway Museum.
     
  5. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Oh for goodness sake, the NRM has to be somewhere and as a southerner I have no complaints about it being in the north. We have plenty of national museums in the south so we cannot complain. Shildon was probably the only location - other than Didcot? - where a six abreast line up could be achieved and getting locos in and out there has its problems. As you haven't named the locations that were turned down we can only surmise where and why. The fact that Barrow Hill was allowed to display 8 and 10 shows the NRM was not averse to them being elsewhere.
    Why should the NRM have allowed a "free" shot of all six in a line? If that had been available, how many £90 tickets would they have sold? It's a but like complaining that those in premier dining are served food while those in standard aren't. If you are going to charge for an exclusive event, it has to be exclusive.
     
  6. duncananderson

    duncananderson New Member

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    I think this is an interesting point. If the A4s had been lined up as people are suggesting they should have been, we would all have come away with the same picture. By having a different arrangement, and one that varied from day to day, some different angles and views were on offer. And with today's technology we all get to enjoy examples of the classic shot anyway, even if we didn't get to take it ourselves.

    I went during the public event yesterday and had a great time, as did seemingly most of the other people there. With the number of people there even if the locos were lined up side by side, I would be surprised if there had been a clear view, and it would certainly have restricted access to get up close and examine them (not everbody was there only to take photographs from a distance). Events of this magnitude are never going to be perfect for everybody but I think the folk at Shildon on the whole did a pretty good job.
     
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  7. TheLairdofNetherMoor

    TheLairdofNetherMoor New Member

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    I'd argue that it was a success if a good proportion of the hundreds of thousands of visitors came away thinking they'd had a great day out and were likely to return again in the future (either to the NRM, or a local preserved line). Nothing to presume that they didn't, but the figures through the door don't necessarily tell us that. Nor does it tell us if doing it a bit better would have increased that proportion and consequently increased the revenue over the longer term. However, everything does suggest that bringing the A4s across has been a great success, and hopefully it attracts a few more people to take an interest in the preservation movement.
     
  8. green five

    green five Resident of Nat Pres

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    Two Daily Mail Articles here:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ocomotive-five-sisters-time-half-century.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...allard-five-surviving-sister-locomotives.html
     
  9. Drysdale

    Drysdale Guest



    I am not going to get drawn into a long debate on this however I will say AS ONE WHO PAID £90 that your analogy is flawed. Taking it you meant railtour passengers then they all pay for what they get, and no one is subsidized. The NRM is paid for by all our taxes and as such everyone, in my opinion, really should have an some chance of seeing/getting what they want. Fine if you want a night shoot pay extra by all means (I should add I am not a great fan of night shoots despite choosing to attend some) but everyone should have had the chance to see all six lined up, which was what the NRM's original publicity stated would happen. I repeat this is a National Museum, paid for out of Public funds and in my view museums and galleries in Public ownership in the UK should be accessible to all U.K. citizens without segregation by either a form of wealth or privilege.

    In view of the revenues collected from the Night Shoot, while not insignificant if these had not gone ahead I am sure that other forms of marketing and or merchandising could have made up these funds.
     
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  10. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    The NRM IS accessible to all. The fact that it chose to charge for prestige events does not alter that fact.
     
  11. Corbs

    Corbs Well-Known Member

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  12. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Well-Known Member Friend

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  13. Drysdale

    Drysdale Guest

    The thing that I like best is the wording on the box "authentic precision die-cast models"
     
  14. Owd Sweedy

    Owd Sweedy New Member

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    Actually Exporail, the owners of D of C, were not comfortable with the idea of their loaned exhibit being trucked all over the UK to venues outside the control (and insurance coverage) of the NRM. The contracted loan agreement was with NRM alone, not the UK preservation industry, and (AFAIK) a special amendment was added later to allow for the Barrow Hill weekend. So you see southerners were not being victimised by NRM, at least not in this case.
    Oh and I would have crawled for a mile over broken glass for the chance of seeing them all together, either in a perfect line or not, because that sight, when it's past will never be repeated again.

    Many thanks to those who have posted all the photos, it is much appreciated over here.
    Cheers,
    Peter.
     
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  15. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Only a mile? :)
     
  16. alisdair

    alisdair New Member

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    I actually think that the NRM would say that they were lined up together at York - they were not in the 'classic lineup', but all six locos were adjacent to each other, and we all went 'wow' at the time; I think only the serious enthusiasts would be concerned about the lack of 'classic lineup' shots - the majority of 'Joe Public' that I saw came away very happy.

    Making the Classic Line-up a larger event would have been very challenging - for most people with an 'average camera', you needed to be at the perimeter of the concrete area, to get all the locos in the picture, which is exactly the area where the thousands of people enjoyed seeing the locos..... I don't think there was an easy solution for this, as Shildon site isn't big enough to accommodate this, and then the public would complain that the locos were like an exhibit in a glass-case, rather than a living/breathing machine which they could explore at close quarters. Even with the small group on Monday night (100 people?), we still had to be patient to get the spot we wanted for our photos, and if you open that up to even double that number, it is just unworkable.

    £90 was an expensive price (but maybe not much more than many pay for a night-out?), and I agree it will have placed it out of the reach of some, but that happens with all sorts of things in life, and the 3 nights raised a serious amount of funding for the NRM; I am sure the NRM would welcome any ideas on how to make events more accessible to all. While the NRM is tax-funded, they do not have to provide access to all exhibits at zero-cost - they are responsible for their custody/conservation, and to display what they are able to at any given time in a cost effective, safe manner, and with the crowds being able to be controlled.

    Cheers,
    Alisdair
     
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  17. Drysdale

    Drysdale Guest



    Pity, as they were so concerned about their exhibit, they did not repaint it, conserve it or repair their self inflicted damage to it in the past 45 years.
     
  18. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Moan, moan, moan, moan, moan.
     
  19. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I agree that the general public were almost certainly happier with the access available at York and Shildon during the general opening times than the controlled environment at Shildon where people getting up close and personal during the night shoot was most definitely not the plan.
     
  20. Drysdale

    Drysdale Guest



    Not a moan more a statement of fact. You really do present yourself as a bully on here, if someone holds a differing view than your own you always seem to try to pick an argument. My view on The Great Goodbye is sincerely held, I hope you position is the same. If it is then we can agree to disagree.
     
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