23rd September 2000
GCR Diesel Gala

Nick Ross provides a review of the Saturday.

Some tatty, life expired looking 158 took us past Leicester where two 60's on stone and long stored 58046 was on depot. Walking through lovely Loughborough we stocked up at a local Newsagents. "Trainspotters?" enquired the shopkeeper, a reply of "no, we're rat men" was resisted.

Relieved of 15 for a day rover I descended the station steps to view Peak 123 on the 7 coach 0930 departure. 25265 was at the rear of the stock, whilst 832 passed light engine. The loco roster was exactly as posted on the web a few days earlier.

31418 "Bodicea" stored here looked high on engine hours. Three catering coaches meant we were all a long way back for the Peak thrash. Near Swithland on the double track section we crossed a dubious orange liveried Goyle 5830, "rancid" was the claim from some. At Leicester North we noticed D123 was sporting LADY's (46026 "Liecestershire & Derbyshire Yeomanry) nameplates.

A more basher friendly rake behind 25265 followed, the rat was worked a bit harder than the peak with a 7 coach rake plus CCT van in tow. On the return run we crossed the kettle 63601 on the double track. We flagged the "chair" (20098) on the next departure to muse in the atmospheric emporium. Visiting Warship 832 whisked us to Rothley. After sunbathing , 20098 sporting 65A stencils on her bufferbeam returned us to Loughborough. The peak was next on a dull non stop run. We passed 25279 still dripping oil or whatever after her earlier failure at the start of the gala, as advised on the web. On the return run the peak stormed up the bank to Rothley in true Sharnbrook style, no doubt she had plenty more power to offer as well.

The plus 1 at Loughborough looked like a minus on approach but the orange machine was sociably held for us all to leap over. So we were soon tottering past the same rake on Vanfits passed on the peak 2 minutes earlier. We leapt at Quorn where German trams, a Vintage Hornby Model Railway with a Sarah Siddons and full size rat? bogies added to the interest here. With 1A08 headcode and St. Pancras on the destination blind the DMU soon arrived. This oozed atmosphere with Midland Suburban maps and a largely original interior. A second claggy rat run to Leicester and back before joining the tottering kettle. The plus 3 at Rothley looked more like a minus as we arrived at Quorn so we leapt like true "men of jelly" here. The "chair" returned us right time to a still hot, sunny Loughborough. A quick visit to the depot saw off diagram 1705, plus gronks 4067 and 3101 of ARC fame.

A sprint over Loughborough footbridge back on the plastic railway saw a pair of 170's just made where just the air conditioning impressed. A wedged 170523 to Nuneaton was even more rancid, but 87033 South was a sound end to the day.

Nick Ross

Back to "Diesel Galas"