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33063 named “RJ Mitchell”, weekend of 3rd & 4th Sept. 2005
The S.E.L.G. successfully named 33063 in a tremendous day for all concerned. The weather was superb, the Spitfire triple fly-past was just awesome and spine-tingling and the day was unforgetable. It ticked all MY boxes.
Here, then, are a set of pictures by B.Thomas, as a reminder of how it all went, including burning candles at both ends on the Friday night, trying to add some of those finishing touches! A number of which had to wait until the Saturday morning, a mere hour or two before the naming event kicked off in earnest!
Our webpage dedicated to the huge amount of prep and of course, the day itself can be viewed by clicking here, calling up a separate browser. There are links on the page on other websites that also recorded some of the events.
The Spa Valley Diesel Gala featured both of our Cromtons, the SVR’s ED 73140 and their diesel shunters, all working various trains over the two days. A special feature on each day was the “ED Sandwich” formed of the ED between the Cromptons, operating in multiple! It worked very well.On the Sunday came the surprise (to all but a few) re-enactment of the last passenger run of the two Cromptons; the Feb.1995 “The Whistle Test” railtour. In retrospect, one of the tour’s main ‘features’, if I can call it that, was the total failure of 33063 at Ludlow, 33065 then having to drag the whole ensemble on to Crewe before the run back to London. 065 put in an extraordinary performance and completed that tour ahead of schedule!! A report on the original 1995 tour can be read by clicking here, calling up a seperate browser.At the Spa Valley, on an afternoon train we tossed a few orange smoke canisters into 063 and pulled up just a minute or two out of Groombridge. Both Cromptons were shut down until the smoke cleared. After a few minutes, 065 only was restarted, taking the train and ‘dead’ 063 onto TWW where we then had to explain to various passengers that 063 wasn’t a failure and that it had been a re-enactment of events of 9 years previous! [all photos by B.Thomas unless specified]
SEE ALSO the Preserved Diesels website for this event
The KE&SR Diesel Gala featured the SELG’s 33065 visiting the line for a couple of weeks to perform with the resident Crompton, 6570 (33052) along with 73136, new to the line having moved from Booth Roe, Rotherham, shortly before the event.One of the highlights was the ‘Load Bank’ Beer-ex running with 7 coaches, 6570 on the tail (not assisting) and 33065 taking the lot (equivalent to load-9) up the 1 in 37 Tenterden Bank. From a standing start near the bottom due to a crossing, 33065 took it all in her stride proving she is a sturdy locomotive and the stronger of the two SELG Cromptons. SEE ALSO the Preserved Diesels website page for this event