15th November 2003
Lakeside & Haverthwaite Diesel Gala

Paul Cunday describes.....

Weather:
Despite the mid November date the weather on Saturday was mild and dry with some late Autumn sunshine helping to keep temperatures at a comfortable level.

Arrival at Haverthwaite:
Following an uneventful journey up the M6 with a detour via Lancaster to pick up a colleague we arrived at Haverthwaite.

Upon arrival the Class 110 DMU was already stabled in the platform and after purchasing rover tickets at the very reasonable price of 10 and checking the roster we took the opportunity to look around the yard before locating both 20214 and D5301 inside the shed.

With half an hour to go before the scheduled departure time of the DMU we decided to pay a visit to the comfortable Station Restaurant for breakfast to set us up for the day ahead.

The Services:
All the rostered locomotives and the DMU worked on the Saturday with the actual running order as follows: -

0935 Depart Haverthwaite and 1005 return : DMU
1035 Depart Haverthwaite and 1115 return : D2117 + D2072
1145 Depart Haverthwaite and 1215 return : D5301
1245 Depart Haverthwaite and 1315 return : 20214
1410 Depart Haverthwaite and 1505 return : WD70272-878

I am unsure of the precise reason for not using both the Class 20 and Class 26 on the 1245 as planned and advertised although in any event most enthusiasts probably welcomed the opportunity to have both the locomotives working singly.

The mode of operation was Haverthwaite to Lakeside before running round for the return. Newby Bridge was also called at in both directions.

All of the Saturday services were well loaded with approximately 120 passengers on the 1035 departure from Haverthwaite.

Verdict:
A thoroughly excellent event.

I did try and speak to Karen Maher who was, from my perspective, the main driving force behind the organisation of the gala but unfortunately did not actually get an opportunity to thank her in person on the day.

On behalf of PLEG and all the visitors over both days I would nevertheless like to take this opportunity to thank Karen Maher, Michael Maher and all the other Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway staff for the time and effort that they put in over the weekend and at the various stages leading up to the event.

Karen has already indicated that subject to the November 2003 gala being a success, options for using diesels at an event in 2004 are already being examined.

I hope that the PLEG membership and diesel enthusiasts in general will support future events featuring the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway diesels and thereby guarantee that they figure in the calendar on a regular basis.

Lastly I would like to wish everbody connected with the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway every success with their Santa Specials.

Paul Cunday

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