Ashford Open Day 1992 – Prologue to My Journey in becoming a Steam Enthusiast

The series of posts about my journey in becoming a steam enthusiast was missing a few parts, mainly due to a lack of photographs, however I have just found a few more pictures of an early memory that I thought I’d share.  My memory of the day that these picture’s were taken is fairly vague, but I do remember being excited and amazed.  I’ve therefore decided to include this blog post as a belated prologue or prequel of the series that was concluded last Saturday; that looked at my journey in becoming a steam enthusiast.  You can catch up on all of these posts in my “About” page.

In 1992, Ashford’s works in Kent were celebrating their 150th Anniversary.  A number of locomotives were on display and a few were in steam.  There were also some rare (for the early 1990’s) mainline runs.  Mainline runs were not in common in the South East at the time due to concerns about enthusiasts getting electrocuted on the live third rail.

Locomotives on display (with some in steam) included the National Collection’s replica of the Rocket (see pictures above) and 7 Typhoon from the nearby Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (below).

Another local visitor was the Kent and East Sussex Railway’s P class 1556 (below); a product of Ashford works.

A larger and more glamorous locomotive of Southern origin’s was the National Collection’s N15 777 Sir Lamiel; painted in Southern olive green (below).  This is  (to-date) the only time I’ve seen 777 Sir Lamiel and I very much hope to see it again in the not too distant future!

Severn Valley Railway’s BR standard 4MT class 75069 complete with larger BR1B tender and double chimney; features associated with Southern based standard 4MT 4-6-0’s is the final locomotive I have photographs of (above and below).  The picture below shows this locomotive about to Depart from Ashford station tender-first.  This was taken before the days that the station became “international”.

From what I can remember it was a great day and it more than likely helped fuel my enthusiasm for steam trains as I grew up!  I hope you enjoy looking at these older memories; next Saturday we will be jumping forward in time and adding an epilogue to the series.  Watch this space!

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