From Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th September, the North Norfolk Railway held their Autumn Steam Gala, which proved to be an excellent event.The visiting locomotives were S&DJR Class 7F, No. 53809, 2-8-0 – Courtesy of 13809 Preservation Society ltd, LMS Ivatt Class 2, No. 46521, 2-6-0 – Courtesy of Great Central Railway & LSLG and LMS Stanier Class 5, No. 45337, 4-6-0 – Courtesy of 26 B Railway Company Ltd. Sadly, the latter locomotive, which had been at the NNR during the summer season had to be withdrawn before the gala. The home fleet consisted of BR Standard 9F Class, No. 92203, 2-10-0 ‘Black Prince’, BR Standard 4MT, No. 76084, 2-6-0 ‘Standard 4’, GER Y14 Class, No. 564, 0-6-0, LNER B12 Class, No. 8572, 4-6-0, Hunslet 16″ Class, No. 1982, – 0-6-0 ‘Ring Haw’, the latter being the replacement of the withdrawn Black 5.This is the first time that I have visited since the footbridge and new shop had been built at Sheringham station. While I do not have any pictures of it in this article, as I will be attending the Member’s Day event, I will take some photos then. Today is all about the locomotives in service.This was also the first time I had seen the B12 in operation since its’ incident with the buffers at last year’s 1940s weekend. The locomotive was performing fine, and had recently been repainted by Heritage Painting, who did the Y14 last year. The B12 is scheduled to visit the Bluebell Railway for their Giants of Steam gala, on the Friday 28th to Sunday 30th October.For the latter half of the day, I stabled at Weybourne station, where I could get some interesting pictures of locomotives. However, after 12.00, two locomotives were not in operation, Ring Haw and Y14, and was replaced by the Class 37 diesel. Having two 2-6-0s double heading was a sight to see, especially when leaving Weybourne, and shows the difference between the LMS design, and the later BR standard design. Both locomotives performed faultlessly throughout the weekend.The always reliable 9F, Black Prince was also operation, first time I had seen it with restored nameplates, after being restored by the Carriage and Wagon Works at Weybourne. The locomotive is now owned by the NNR and M&GN Society, after David Shephard sold the locomotive. It has been located on the NNR since 2011, after moving from the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, and seems very much at home in Norfolk.As seen again, the stalwart B12 which has been at the NNR since its’ inception in 1967, along with the Y14, the Quad-Art coaches, and a BR Railbus. There has been a lot of development since then, and it will continue to grow, especially after a turntable has been purchased for installation at Holt.The Standard 4 has been operating on the Bittern Line (main line route from Sheringham to Norwich) over the Summer on dinner trains to Cromer. These will continue into next year, will be scheduled to visit the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for their Autumn Welsh Steam Gala event from Friday September 30th until Sunday 2nd of October.Both visiting locomotive really felt at home on the railway, and after the event, the Class 2 visited the Nene Valley Railway for their gala. Also in attendance at the NVR was the Q class from the Bluebell Railway.The 7F operated at the 1940s weekend, which delighted enthusiasts, as it is a real treat to have a former S&DJR locomotive here in Norfolk. I saw the only other remaining locomotive of the class, no. 88, at the West Somerset Railway in 2008.Overall, it was a fantastic event, and definitely the highlight of the NNR events, and it brings the curtain down on the main summer season. As I said, the M&GN Members day, on the 1st October, which I will be writing a full write-up of the event.
Thanks for reading.