Oliver Cromwell to star at HR-backed Cotswold festival

SPONSORED by Heritage Railway publisher Mortons, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway’s Cotswold Festival of Steam is set to be the biggest and best ever – with BR Britannia Pacific No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell joining the action.

As reported last month, the Great Central Railway-based ‘Brit’ has been given an extension to its boiler ticket so it can run on heritage lines until December 31.

Britannia Pacific No. 70045 Lord Rowallan at Cheltenham Malvern Road station on September 4, 1965. In the background is the former Malvern Road shed, which went on to become a timber store for builders’ merchants Travis Perkins, and which was demolished last year. DAVID ALDRED/GWR

At the May 26-28 Spring Bank Holiday festival, which has the theme Give My Regards to Broadway, following the line’s hugely-successful recently-opened extension into the Cotswold tourist honeypot, Oliver Cromwell will be joined by three other star guests – blue-liveried GWR 4-6-0 No. 6023 King Edward II from Didcot Railway Centre, USATC S160 2-8-0 No. 5197 from the Churnet Valley Railway and GWR 0-6-0PT No. 6430 from the Llangollen Railway. For the first time, the railway will be able to run four passenger sets (including the DMU) plus a freight set.

The last Britannia to run over the GWR Stratford-upon-Avon to Cheltenham route was also the penultimate steam-hauled train on the line, on September 4, 1965. No. 70045 Lord Rowallan hauled the 10.05am Kingswear-Wolverhampton service which stopped at Cheltenham Malvern Road around 2.45pm before proceeding via Toddington and Broadway to Wolverhampton. The next and final train was the 12.30pm Penzance-Wolverhampton, headed by the last surviving Castle in BR ownership, No. 7029 Clun Castle, which was specially requested for the occasion.

Read more in Issue 241 of HR – on sale now!

Enjoy more Heritage Railway reading in the four-weekly magazine. Click here to subscribe.

Comments

comments