Let me set the scene.
Last Sunday there was a Steam Event on the East Lancs Railway so of course MWM wanted to go to take photographs of the two special steam engines that were visiting. - Oliver Cromwell and Sir Lamiel which were both on loan from the National Railway Museum, together with two steam engines that are resident at The East Lancs Railway, Duke of Gloucester and Black Five 44871.
We boarded the train at our local station and were pulled by Oliver Cromwell and Duke of Gloucester to Bury Bolton Street Station. Oliver Cromwell has been in storage in Bressingham, Norfolk, for the best part of forty years so it's appearance here 'oop north was something quite unique. The Duke of Gloucester is unique in that it was the only one of it's type built by British Railways in 1954.
Duke of Gloucester
When we arrived I stood about in the snowy, freezing temperatures, holding the camera bag whilst MWM took photographs - not exactly thrilling I know but I love him and would do anything for him.
MWM asked me to take his photo standing next to Oliver Cromwell, of course I obliged.
What he really wanted to do was sit in the cab and I told him "ask the driver" but he and a chap standing next to me agreed that "you can tell without asking whether they will let you in the cab". "Rubbish" I said handing the camera over. That was when I made MWM insanely jealous. I CABBED OLIVER CROMWELL!
MWM and the chap standing with him on the platform stood gaping whilst the engine driver vacated his seat to let me sit in the cab. Like I told them "If you don't ask, you don't get!" so I did it again and CABBED SIR LAMIEL!
Spurred on by my 'cheek' MWM cabbed Sir Lamiel too.
Sir Lamiel would have spent all it's working life in the south of England and would never have come north of London. There were 49 of this type of engine built from 1925. MWM also asked if he could get into the cab of Oliver Cromwell but they were busy stoking the boiler, so it wasn't a good time.
Here's The Black Five which is owned by Ian Riley and has just been restored. It has the distinction of being the last steam engine to pull a train on the last day of steam in 1968 before British Railways banned steam on the network. MWM tells me it was known as the 15 Guinea Special because that's how much the tickets were. 842 Black Fives were built from 1934 onwards and all but 18 have been scrapped. Oliver Cromwell was one of the other steam engines to pull the 15 Guinea Special, there were 55 of this type of engine built from 1951.
Two of the original coaches from the 15 Guinea Special reside at Bury Bolton Street, Station and are used regularly on the East Lancs Railway. Just recently the original Coat of Arms for the East Lancs Railway, which has been missing for many years, was discovered and restored. Once again it now takes pride of place in the ticket hall of the station.
It was time for the engines to carry on their round trip, we had about an hour before they came back to the station so we went in the station buffet/bar and had some lunch, then when Sir Lamiel returned we rode it back to our local station.
So there you have it. That's the reason MWM hates me. LOL
For any Steam Train fans here's a little slide show of some of the