73A Reunion with 34092

John Sagar reports:

The Railway played host to some forty former Southern Region footplate crews and their partners on Monday 23 February, when they were able to renew acquaintance with an old friend, an unmodified Bulleid Pacific in the shape of 34092 ‘City of Wells’, and rediscover old skills as their 4-coach train made four round trips over the branch. The recent heavy rain relented to give a clear, crisp day and test 34092’s ability to keep the train warm.

Many reminiscences were shared and a wonderful day was had by all.   Among the visitors was Dick Hardy, now aged 91, who was 34092’s shedmaster at Stewart’s Lane, Battersea when she was a regular performer on the ‘Golden Arrow’.  A superb buffet lunch was provided at Oxenhope by Christine Laycock and catering staff.

The day was a great success for all those concerned, participants, organisers and staff as this testimonial from one of the enginemen testifies, “Many thanks for an excellent day yesterday. I could not have enjoyed it more – excellent railway, excellent loco, excellent weather and excellent company – what more could you ask for!” Indeed, what more can any railwayman ask for.

Featured image: John Sagar


5 comments on “73A Reunion with 34092

  1. Well, it’s all ‘GOOD’, this lovely picture of “WELLS” in London working days, the fact that that fine fellow Dick Hardy is still around and breathing his lifeblood, steam, and finally, great official news from our GWSR that ’92 is coming to our line for the Gala. Having had a couple of dabbles firing on the last original WC’s/BB’s at Eastleigh, will seriously hope to get ‘another go’ on this one!

  2. Further to my comment above I have recently seen a colour photo of 34092 (in ‘The Original Bulleid Pacifics’ by John Scott-Morgan, page 100) taken on 18 May 1956 when 34092 hauled the Russian President, Nikita Khrushchev in a special Pullman train. 34092 is in superb condition very much as now except for the name ‘City of Wells’ which is still painted black. Dick Hardy might still have been at Stuarts Lane at the time, but I’m not certain on that. It is unlikely that President Putin will visit the KWVR to celebrate the 60th anniversary of this occasion in 2016, but do we have any KWV members who could double for President Khrushchev next year!

  3. Amazing to think that Dick Hardy first visited Keighley as LNER railwayman over 70 years ago. His recent book ‘A Life on the Lines’ has a photo taken at Keighley of C12 4524 with fireman Stan Pilsworth on a local passenger train (page 67). On another occasion around 1944 he travelled with a breakdown train all the way from Doncaster to rescue a guards van that had run away at Cullingworth and ended up in the road between the GN goods shed and the Worth Valley line at Keighley – described on page 38. The point in the wall where the guards van broke through is still visible today! His book has several photos of USA S160s so he must be quite familiar with them as well as Bulleids and all manner of LNER engines.

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