On Saturday 5th March, I visited the annual Spring Steam Gala, and once again, what an event! The weather was cold, miserable and on the other days of the event, the weather had been quite sunny. The visiting locomotives for the event were; LMS Ivatt Class 4, No. 43106, 2-6-0 ‘Flying Pig’, courtesy of the Ivatt Class Four Group, SR Maunsell U Class, No. 31806, 2-6-0 ‘U Boat’, courtesy of Swanage Railway & John Bunch and BR 4500 Small Prairie Class, No. 4566, 2-6-2T, courtesy of the 4566 Fund. The home fleet supporting the visitors consisted of; BR Standard 9F Class, No. 92203, 2-10-0 ‘Black Prince’, GER Y14 Class, No. 564, 0-6-0, HUNSLET ’16 Inch’ Class, No.1982, 0-6-0 ‘Ring Haw’ and Countess of Warwick Class, No. 1700, 0-6-0ST ‘Wissington’. Two other locomotives, which were scheduled to be in service were BR Standard 4MT, No. 76084, 2-6-0 ‘Standard 4’, which was withdrawn due to overrunning works relating to mainline running and LNER B12 Class, No. 8572, 4-6-0 withdrawn due to continued overhaul work, due to the accident which happened on the 1940s event last September.I would say that despite all of the issues with locomotives, on the whole the event was smooth. However, late running soon became apparent, and trains had to be taken out of service. One locomotive was elusive all day, the visiting U Class, which was stuck in Sheringham for most of the afternoon. Apart from that, the event was excellent, despite the cold weather, which made taking pictures a painful experience! My fingers were frozen at Holt Station when I was recording the trains entering and leaving the station. A hot fried breakfast on the dining train soon warmed me up!The highlight of the event was the return of the Flying Pig, after being seen at the 50th Anniversary Gala in 2009, and it was fantastic to see it return. Another highlight was the return of the second coach of the Suburban Four project. It looks superb, and a credit to the craftsmanship of the workers of Weybourne Works. Two more coaches are undergoing restoration, and hopefully, by the end of the year, the completed set will be back in service.There was one highlight of the event which was not positive – an incident with the points at Weybourne. I was stuck on the train to Sheringham for nearly an hour, due to a point becoming stuck. After track workers repaired it, the train gingerly traversed over the track work, and soon after, we entered Sheringham Station, and time for fish and chips at the Sheringham Trawler, one of the best chippies I have ever been to.
Above is my video from the day, and below are a few more images of the day.
Thanks for reading.