By: Web Editor
IT WAS billed as one of the biggest gatherings of malachite green Southern engines in steam in the preservation era, and although a couple of engines did not make it, the event certainly did not disappoint.
With the support of the National Railway Museum, the Mid-Hants Railway autumn gala on September 7-9 saw the first pairing of the recently-restored Schools 4-4-0 No. 925 Cheltenham with 4-6-0 No. 850 Lord Nelson. The two engines had first been seen in steam together back in 1980 at the Rocket 150 festivities at Rainhill but this was the first time the Schools had hauled a public passenger train in preservation.
The NRM added another touch of Southern nostalgia with the static visit of SR Bulleid Battle of Britain Pacific No. 34051 Winston Churchill, just prior to it entering Eastleigh works for a full cosmetic restoration.
Another Southern engine from the NRM collection which would have been making its first appearance after reverting to malachite green livery after many years was King Arthur 4-6-0 No. 777 Sir Lamiel but repairs remain ongoing at Tyseley.
Similarly, S15 4-6-0 No. 828 was unable to visit from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway as expected. A last-minute substitute which proved popular though was the Great western Society’s Collett mogul No. 5322, still temporarily carrying BR black livery.
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