A Teaser!

Watercress Line 2015 Ropley - Schools class V 925 CheltenhamToday is a little teaser to say that there’s an exciting announcement pending!  I’ve been waiting some time to make this announcement on locoyard and will await a little longer, just so that everything happens as it should.  However there are a few clues in today’s blog post that looks at brief visit to the Watercress Line…

Watercress Line 2015 Ropley - Schools class V 925 CheltenhamJust over a couple of weeks ago on the 14th May I had a fantastic day!  It wasn’t the first 14th May to be special either, it being the date of my wedding anniversary.  Those of a superstitious nature (my wife being one of them) would look at the timing of this day as being a good omen and despite there being a cynic in me, in hindsight I agree!  Funnily enough, as other omens go, the weather was not on my side, it being absolutely appalling with constant heavy rain through much of the day.  But they say there’s no such thing as bad weather, only poor preparation and with this in mind I made my way to the Watercress Line.

Preparation, as with so much in life was the key to the success or otherwise of this day.  Visit’s to heritage lines always involve preparation of some degree, but this day was of a very different nature, the stakes being higher and the potential opportunity incredible.

Watercress Line 2015 Ropley - Schools class V 925 CheltenhamThe locomotive hauling services that day was very fitting; schools class V 925 Cheltenham.  Why this was fitting will be revealed at a later date!Watercress Line 2015 Ropley - Class 37 37324 Clydebridge and BR Standard 9F 92212These pictures were taken later on the same day in Ropley after spending the morning in Alresford that included a very pleasant lunch at Tiffin’s tea rooms with my wife to celebrate our anniversary.  Ropley was remarkably busy, with many locomotives simmering in the yard.  I had to be particularly careful this day as I was wearing a suit (yes that’s another clue,) something made particularly treacherous with the inclement weather.  Ropley locomotive depot is a fantastic place that is a feast for the senses.  The sounds of steam, diesel, tools, machinery and volunteers discussing the days activities, the smell of coal, oil, diesel and steam exhaust and site of relics of an age when the iron horse was king.  That’s Ropley in a nutshell and this day it was particularly awe inspiring.

Watercress Line 2015 Ropley - LNER A4 class 4464 Bittern, BR Standard 9F 92212 and ex-Hunslet Austerity 1 Thomas the Tank EngineCurrently there is an interesting and diverse assortment of locomotive motive power in Ropley, with mainline steam and diesel types and the children’s superstar; no other than Thomas the Tank engine.  Another famous blue engine was in the yard, LNER A4 class 4464 Bittern.  Seeing this impressive steam engine in the yard reminded me of a visit made to Ropley in 2008 when this 8P rated Pacific sat alongside another, one that will return in the not too distant future…

As ever, watch this space!  Thanks for reading folks.