With 2 visiting locomotives, some of the worst weather the Valley can throw at you, some brilliant sunshine and, at times, some challenging locomotive driving conditions, the Autumn Steam Spectacular will be one that will be remembered for some years to come.
The Gala started on Friday 7th October when, at times the weather was a long way from being ideal, with rain coming down like “stair-rods”. Those present will long remember the uphill struggle of 34053 ‘Sir Keith Park”, taking well over 1 hour to reach Oxenhope from Keighley. The fact the train made it at all is great testimony to the crew who coaxed the Southern Region Light Pacific, not known for its hill climbing abilities, on wet slippery rails without the aid of its sanders that were found to be blocked. Thankfully, as the photographs show, they were cleared and for the following days the Pacific made a great sight climbing the Worth Valley.
No such troubles for our other visitor, GWR ‘Manor’ 4-6-0 7822 ‘Erlestoke Manor’ which behaved, as aficionados of all things Swindon claim is the norm, impeccably and operated at the head of various formations, double headed and alone, throughout the 3 days. Unlike the Pacific, Manors were locomotives designed and well suited to challenging gradients such as the Worth Valley presents.
Add to this, superb performances from the home fleet and this Gala proved to be a great success.
Here is a small selection of images from the weekend with the full selection of over 150 images available on our Flickr feed >>>
For every KWVR Gala our friends at Steaming Around Yorkshire produce a superb video of the proceedings and the 2016 Autumn Spectacular Video is now on sale at Haworth shop, price £12.95. Here is a 7 minute taster of this excellent record of the event.