West Somerset Railway 21st Gala March 1997; My Journey in becoming a Steam Enthusiast, Part 7 Chapter 1

Following on from my previous post, this is one of the final of this series of memories and a fantastic one at that!  One of my most fond steam memories from my younger years came from a visit to the West Somerset Railway when it was celebrating its 21st anniversary in March 1997.  An incredible line-up of Great Western locomotives on the longest standard gauge preserved line in the UK made it a day to remember!  A full range of GWR traction from tank engines (above) to the four cylinder King (below) provided incredible great western variety.

The locomotives that I recorded on the day with photographs were as follows:

60xx Class 4-6-0 6024 King Edward I
4073 Class 4-6-0 7029 Clun Castle
49xx Class 4-6-0 4920 Dumbleton Hall
78xx Class 4-6-0 7820 Dinmore Manor
43xx Class 2-6-0 7325
2251 class 0-6-0 3205
5101 class 2-6-2T 4160
45xx class 2-6-2T 4561
57xx class 0-6-0T 7760
14xx class 0-4-2T 1450

The series of photographs start at Bishop’s Lydeard and then head to Minehead, via Stogumer and Washford, before returning to Bishops Lydeard as the sun was setting.  I have found so many pictures in the archive that I will have to split the collection into two posts, so Today we go as far as Washford.

Looking through these photographs will go a long way into showing why I have some divided loyalties between my usual Southern preference and Great Western locomotives!

The day was simply fantastic and the GWR locomotives looked incredible!  It was one of the last large gala events that I attended before becoming more side-tracked by studying and University.

This part 7 of my journey into becoming a steam enthusiast will be one of the last in the series from the 1990’s.  I hope my followers have been enjoying my trip along memory lane.  All is not lost in this series though!  There will be another chapter of part 7 next Saturday (click here to view the next blog post in this thread) and then following that there will be a part 8.  Carrying on from there will be a start of a new series, so watch this space!

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