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12/05/19 D9525 Looking for all the world like a proper 14(for a change).I am really pushing my luck here ,but on light engine running trials over the last month ,the loco performed faultlessly.Thanks again to David Hartley at the Nene Valley Railway for being a marvellous host when I turned up to trace the  loco numbers(on D9520), with the font that is unique to the 14's,and also Bob Grant ,Shaun Doughty and Dave our marvellous electrican ,for all the hours in restoring the loco into fine running order.Others who should be thanked for working on it in no particular order are Matthew King ,Van Bramall,Dave Shore and Gary Hibbs,Brian Slack ,James Williams,Ralph Hill and John Wade. Its good to have dependable colleagues and friends in the hobby, and in the trade ,another one being Stephen Cliff at Procast,Huddersfield,who has agreed to pull out all the stops, and cast a couple of 86A,Cardiff shedplates, that were a complete oversight till 12 days away from debuting the loco!,So thanks again Stephen.For those that dont know,and I had forgot, the shedplates are positioned under the works plates situated near the buffer beam on the short end of thev loco.We will also probably have to lose the carpet strips on the cab steps, as I cant remember these being an official Swindon modification!,but they have certainly helped to keep the steps clean.One mod that definitely wasnt "official",is the small brass red painted nameplates which are also mounted on the short end above the front steps,and which say simply"Ians",in memory of Ian Goddard ,the previous owner who sadly passed away some months ago,without seeing her finished.Finally for all of you eagle eyed devotees ,no we havent any numbers yet in the head code windows ,but thats as they say is another story.

D2229 I estimate its 27 years since this loco moved under its own power.Pronounced unfit after one run at Meadowhall circa 1992 ,with 5 psi oil pressure' it was sidelined literally till April 2019 when it ran again.After much work by Kevin one of our resident engineers who had literally brought it back from the dead.After unseizing the fuel pump ,thoroughly cleaning the Gardner 8l3's lubrication system and furthur tweaking, it roared into life ,then settled down to a very quiet,and even tick over.Although these are still photographs, after furthur attention to the air charging system ,she suddenly made enough air to charge the final drive ,and hence the gearbox .After releasing the loco brake she glided forward ,only to stop when she gently buffered up to one of our guardsvans.Furthur problems have been discovered with bent and seized brake rodding being one of them,and also a worn bendix on one of the starter motors needs replacing,but even so a huge leap forward in returning this rare Drewry to working order.After never pulling a passenger train in anger,its hoped that she will debut at a Gala in 2020,and should be a big crowd puller(If you pardon the Pun!!) Yes  she should  be losing the black for a shiny coat of mid brunswick green,,new side windows are on order ,along with a general cosmetic spruce up.Along with this marvellous news is the intention to have D2289 (our Italian Escapee) up and running at a Gala next year as well if at all possible ,so its all happening at Down Town Rowsley!!

                                                            History is Made!

    1/04/39 (80 years ago,tomorrow),12003 ,had finished having its frames set up,and it was observed  with its power unit just fitted. How do I know this? Because I have spent most of my (otherwise) TV time, proof reading whats proudly been christened "The Book"!

As far as I am aware I have proof read and checked every allocation of every 08, from Birth to Death, and most other shunters, and then some! 


Sunday 6/1/19 A request had been made to us by Roger Hallatt, head man of the P. Way dept. of Peak rail before Christmas, "Could we run the works train down the line as some re-sleepering and other trackwork matters need attending to, while the railway is closed at the end of the Season? (For three consecutive weekend in January). Of course we said yes, as that's what preservation should be all about, helping each other. I elected to take the first date, and with all the relevant paperwork signed up, off we went. Much to my surprise, we all really enjoyed the day, the ten or so lads (Read OAP's like myself!), from Peak Rail. I even got stuck in with them in the afternoon, "on the shovel", and at times helping to hold the marvellous petrol driven wrench that bullies the large screws into the holes that secure the chairs to the sleepers! A great day, with brilliant company, and not a drop of rain to contend with!! For anyone out there looking for a fulfilling hobby with good company thrown in, I can heartily recommend this one!!

First stop was just to the north of Darley Dale station to unload sleepers off the lowmac wagon.

A stop for a comfort break (read toilet), as copious amounts of tea had already been consumed, and we had travelled just over a mile!! In fairness it was also to open the level crossing gates.

The train halts again just South of Darleydale crossing, in the left middle background can be seen some of the Pete and Andrew Briddon Collection outside their shed in the yard.

08016 waits patiently for the return to Rowsley

Just North of Matlock and the small boy on the left of the picture, with his dad on the footpath, is probably asking, Why he couldn't have a Big blue one like this for Christmas?