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Watercress Line Autumn Steam Weekend: 7th - 9th October 2022

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by WesternRegionHampshireman, Sep 10, 2022.

  1. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman Member

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    Home fleet only event.

    Line-up:
    506.
    30925 "Cheltenham".
    41312.
    53808.
    76017.

    Those that are going, have fun. :)
    https://watercressline.co.uk/autumn-steam-gala/
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2022
  2. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Well-Known Member

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    Disappointing that there is no visitor , but many railways would be happy to be able to field that line-up as a home-fleet
     
  3. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman Member

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    I know galas in general don't solve finance issues, but they only hold two steam events each year, surely you can afford a visitor or two?
    Besides two of their engines went to railways that have Southern engines, who here would have loved to have seen P&O and 30541 visit again?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2022
  4. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Well-Known Member

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    It's been 5 years since I last went to the MHR for the End of Southern Steam event, but while visitors are always nice, for me there's more than enough on offer from the home fleet if I decide to attend the gala, even if I plan to visit other galas either side that possibly feature MHR locos (41312 at the GCR and potentially 76017 at the Bluebell).

    Cheltenham's final Gala appearance, a first run behind 506 and a 2nd experience of 53808 (it was fantastic hauling the WSR leg of a charter I was on a few years back), are all reasons to certainly tempt me to pay another, longer overdue visit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2022
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  5. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman Member

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    Look, I know right now, I am going to sound incredibly selfish, so I do apologise.
    I do not agree with galas being "home fleet only", it is a simple fact that these events are supposed to big gatherings of both visitors and home fleet, where you buy tickets to ride behind engines that you would never see otherwise.

    If you do a "home fleet event", the simple thing would be to just run a 3 train service with:
    53808 + 76017 on set A.
    506 + 30925 on set B.
    41312 on set C.
    Then you could charge "standard prices" for it.
     
  6. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    and how does that cover its costs then ? another 5-10 ton of coal at £500 a tonne plus £500+ steam fees . Some individuals really do need to move on from Fantasy gala's and understand the real economics of railway preservation and events
     
  7. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Just to say, primarily to one person, that this is a thread about an upcoming gala and what is actually planned not what might have been planned or what it would have been nice to see. So please stay to the point.
     
  8. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Well-Known Member

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    Plus availability of locomotives and whether it's needed on the mainline or it's home railway (to use one of WesternRegionHampshireman's examples, 30541, would be needed on the Bluebell, as it's one of only 4 of the home fleet currently in service and the railway has already had to bring in another loco on hire to help out for a few months). Then add the costs of transportation (either by road or rail), on top of the other costs you mention.

    Look at the Gala scene this year and it's generally been the same few locos moving around (419, 75069, 73156, 41312, 80078 to name a few examples), which shows how difficult bringing in visiting locos has been, especially in the face of the coal issues earlier in the year, E-Coal trials (I think E-Coal was also somewhat expensive) and now the rising costs of everything.

    Getting back to the MHR, again I still hope to attend the event and have a good day regardless.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2022
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  9. cymroglan

    cymroglan Member

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    I think this gala is a smart move and I’m looking forward to attending.
    I don’t know if I’m in a minority of one, but I really love it when named train headboards like the ACE or Pines Express make an appearance at Galas or indeed any day. Especially if they have a link to the line or the locomotive.
     
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  10. John Petley

    John Petley Part of the furniture

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    I'm with Dan and Cymroglan inasmuch as the lack of a guest loco won't put me off going to the Mid Hants autumn gala. Having said that, I really enjoyed Bahamas two years ago and City of Wells, 80151 and the two visiting 2-8-0s in more recent events.

    For me personally, all the features that make a Mid Hants Gala worth attending will still be part of this gala. I try to arrive early and combine travelling on the trains with some photography. The chance to be able to enjoy sitting in a carriage listening the sound of engines working hard on the 1 in 60 gradients - and never to have to wait long for a train - is something I always appreciate. The extended timetable offers a chance to take some pictures which aren't normally possible. I also enjoy the buzz of the day - plenty of other enthusiasts to talk to, not to mention having the chance to look round Ropley and chat to volunteers manning the various stands (and hopefully give some of them something towards the various restoration projects!)

    Clearly that combination doesn't appeal to one member of this forum, but I'm pleased that I'm not the only one who hasn't been put off by the lack of a visitor. I must say that I'm not at all keen on headboards, however, and very much hope that as, apart from 53808, none of the other locos ever worked a named train, they will be conspicuous by their absence.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2022
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  11. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Well-Known Member

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    As I said before the lack of a visitor is disappointing but not a show stopper. On the one hand I have seen and travelled behind all of the locos several times (and in the case of 506 even driven it!) but on the other it's not every day that all 5 will be in steam and it's a good opportunity to see the railway at its busiest. Mid Hants is blessed with an good home fleet (same as the Bluebell) and will I'm sure put on a good show.

    Totally agree with you about headboards - if they are authentic then fine, but the kind of thing I don't like is when they stick something on the front that is basically an advertising hoarding (Steam Railway magazine did that on one occasion and ruined the appearance of Bittern) or do something silly like put "The Atlantic Coast Express" on the front of the Ivatt. I like a degree of authenticity so for the same reason no silly double headers please!!
     
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  12. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    How would you feel about a Prairie with a ‘Cambrian Coast Express’ board then? ;)
     
  13. Wagoniester

    Wagoniester Member

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    Headboards are an interesting topic - some railways avoid them altogether, others welcome them. A few railways I'm involved with treat galas as a thank you for volunteers and allow them to (within reason) 'play', so often headboards on odd locos appear. My personal take is that unless a Gala is specifically themed then it's fair game for those running it to put on what they want - double headers and all.
     
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  14. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

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    If the FULL line up including Kilmersdon then it is just as tempting as guests. 30925 and 53808 is tempting enough for a last chance to get for a while. £30 for that if booked in advance is very much worth it in my eyes.

    I was saying to a group of mates recently regarding the future of galas. With the increased prices due to understandable reasons and other logistics it will seem that some railways could potentially end up with 1 gala focusing on home-fleet only and one with guests.
     
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  15. Wagoniester

    Wagoniester Member

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    Or those that currently have multiple galas reducing it to one, and being very careful about what, if any, guests they get for them.
     
  16. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

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    Yeah that was what I was trying to say but couldn't word it
     
  17. gricerdon

    gricerdon Well-Known Member

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    As it’s our local line we will of course be attending which will make it our fifth visit this year. 30925 is running effortlessly at the moment.
     
  18. cymroglan

    cymroglan Member

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    I’m with you in this, I like a headboard and am personally not at all fussed about authenticity.
    In my earlier post I did try to add something about headboards being authentic to the line or loco in the hope of not eliciting a negative response from traditionalists, but that didn’t go to plan! So yeah, an industrial tank with Atlantic Coast Express headboard is fine with me! I’ll maybe run for cover now.
    Interestingly the RHDR has a side hustle in producing personalised headboards (for about a £100 I think). The idea is that it’s used once on a departure chosen by the purchaser and the board is then theirs to keep as a souvenir….
     
  19. John Petley

    John Petley Part of the furniture

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    I must admit, I'm probably Nat Pres' headboard-hater in chief. The subject has particularly raised my heckles after the recent Spa Valley gala where my initial excitement that 34092 - one of my favourite engines - was visiting was dashed by the knowledge that she was to spend the entire period dolled up with the Golden Arrow regalia or some other headboard. I hoped for better with 75069 but this fine engine also found itself festooned for some of the time with headboards. Let's remember after all that in the mid-1960s, even the Bournemouth Belle usually ran headboard-less. I'm probably in a small minority and as mentioned, am aware that it happens just to be a bee in my particular bonnet, but I do like steam hauled trains to be as authentic in appearance as realistically possible and the presence of absence of headboards can be a determining factor on whether I will visit a given heritage line. With the exception of those occasions when you've got the right class of loco, the right route, a genuine steam-age headboeard and the right stock as in the picture below, I loathe them. Full Stop. (rant over!)
    35028 Martin Mill small.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2022
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  20. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    For a gala, £30.00 isn't too bad, depending on what the format is, assuming enough stock is available to run at least two full rakes and a shorter, stopper rake with an PMV, but what to put on what? I would like a mixture of locals, freights, and recreation of express trains, that run non-stop, brake van rides at Ropley, or Alresford, for instance the freight could have the 7f one way, 506, the other, changing locos either at Alton, or Alresford,
     

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