Sunday, 26 June 2011

50th Anniversary Weekend

No. 2789 The President
To celebrate fifty years since Alan Bloom first started Bressingham Steam & Gardens several former Bressingham exhibits and stars joined some of the current and lesser-known ones for a glorious weekend of steam (and some diesel!)

The President

Perhaps the star of the weekend was the magnificently restored No. 2789 The President all the way from Aberdeen. This Burrell road traction engine was once owned by Alan Bloom and part of the Bressingham collection.

The President — a Burrell road traction engine

Ready to head back to Aberdeen

It had been brought down all the way from Aberdeen on a low-loader especially for the event.

Other visitors

As well as The President, Statfold made a return visit to help out Bevan on the Nursery Line, and Oliver from Wheeler Steam was driving the thresher.

Statfold returns

Oliver the "Little Ruston"

The unseen

Usually tucked away almost out of sight in the locomotive shed is little Bo-bo, a 15″ diesel usually reserved for maintenance duties. Today was Bo-bo's turn in the limelight, proudly sitting in the siding alongside St Christopher at the Waveney Valley platform.

Bo-bo (L) alongside St Christopher (R)

There were also plans to run Toby the 2′ Simplex diesel with a couple of the restored Penrhyn Quarry slate wagons behind as a demonstration train, but I heard that a stuck set of points meant it couldn't be switched onto the line today. I think it did run on the Saturday though, so some people would have been able to see something different. Part of the reason for acquiring and restoring the slate wagons is so that they can be run as a demonstration train for special event days — so hopefully there will be plenty of other opportunities to see them out and about.

George Sholto

The new cab has been fitted
Normally hidden away in the workshops away from public view, George Sholto had been shunted out so that people could see the progress being made. Since my last visit the saddle tank has been welded up and has temporarily been fitted so that visitors can see just how close the locomotive is to completion.

George Sholto — the ground slopes hence the angle!

The saddle tank sits around the steam dome

Now that the saddle tank has been fitted you can see how it was constructed to sit around the steam dome.

The Gallopers

Decorative panel
As well as restoring the horses on the Gallopers, Brian is also constructing a paybox that will surround the operator's booth area. Originally the current set probably had an ornate paybox, but it's been "lost" as modifications have been made over the years.

Sanding one of the many pieces
Using carved decorative panels that may originally have come from the paybox, he has grand plans to bring it back to splendour. Of course, being intricately carved they require a lot of work to prepare and they are not in the best condition to start with either — some of the panels are in a dozen pieces where they've cracked apart over the years.

This is Dick and will go back on as Jack
This one is very rotten and will require a lot of repair

In time for the anniversary, Brian's two newly restored horses Jet and Flora were both on the Gallopers, so that means two more horses off and into the Horsepital for restoration.

Number one son on Jet


  1. Love the carving on the playbox surround, has the potential to be a nice quilting design ☺

  2. get to see all the onignal stuff back


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