NEARLY 3000 visitors attended the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway’s spring bank holiday Cotswold Festival of Steam.
The highlight of the event was the double-heading of two former Salisbury shedmates, home-based Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific No. 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co and visiting BR Standard 4MT 2-6-0 No. 76017.
The double-headed combination of residents WR 4-6-0 No. 7903 Foremarke Hall and No. 7820 Dinmore Manor attracted much attention.
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However, an apparent national shortage of steam locomotives meant that booked visitor after visitor came to nothing. An early booking was LMS ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0 No. 45305 but boiler work on the locomotive at the Great Central Railway was not finished in time.
Somerset & Dorset 7F 2-8-0 No. 53808 was also booked but, because of the failure of another locomotive on its home West Somerset Railway, it could not be spared.
The Churnet Valley Railway’s USATC S160 No. 6046 – which was a much anticipated star of the show, and representative of a type which worked over the line in the Second World War, was extinguished only days before the event because of a failed big-end bearing but the Mid Hants Railway came to the rescue with No. 76017.
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