Wednesday 1 June 2016

Flying Scotsman, Churchward's Masterpiece

Where the F is Canada anyway?

Fear not, we have moved on from your comments pointing out that an A4 was sent to Canada not America. Durr. You know we at the BM can take criticism on the chin and not hold grudges Ruddington Ruddington Ruddington banging on about it.

That rather controversial post on our Facebook Page did get people thinking and commenting on how nice it was to see this American beasts on the Rails of our Heritage in the UK. 

The other viewpoint to seeing the products from across the other side of the Pacific is those of the Narrow Gauge Railways of our country. These Narrow Gauge Railways are instinctively bang on the money when it comes to recreating the past. In some cases they have no other choices but to represent themselves and their history. 

The Fairbourne Railway recently added to the treasure chest of Welsh Steam Galas this week by celebrating 100 years of steam on the Railway by welcoming back icons of its past to steam once again on 15" gauge tracks specially laid for the occasion. It was a great success.

Would there have been as much 'special occasion' to enjoy and drink beers in front of if an American 15" Gauge Locomotive from the Big Pear with no connection to the Fairbourne have been such a hit?

Some Railways are of course bang on each day of the week, those magical trips on the Bluebell where the ambience is bang on, the stock is correct, the 'right' Loco is at the front. The magic then follows.

Steam Railways earn their bread and butter by putting on a show, mainly big engines bring big prizes. Dale Winton would have a field day getting out his Lottery Balls at anywhere that attracts an A3 and and an A1. Who cares about whether a huge A1 bimbling down a branch line in Shropshire makes no historical sense, it is the spectacle that counts.

Then comes the plucky Miniature Railways

The Jimmy Krankie to the Giant Haystack, it is quintessentially British for the small underdog to outwit the big boys, and it dam well makes us get another pint in when it happens.

The Mid Norfolk Railway pulled off what could be the substitute of the year by replacing GWR No.4247 by that little Loco called 'The Duchess of Sutherland' for their upcoming Gala. It will line up alongside 'Royal Scot' once again in Norfolk. Does this make historical accuracy? Nah its just bloody good fun and a spectacle that excites us more than the 'Fiver to see Scotsman' up in Bo'ness.

So here's the point. Does it make your cockles warm at the thought of you stood at the end of platform as if you are back in 1899. Does it simply boil your socks stood anywhere on anything watching a mechanical marvel in its stride? Or are you one of those that has their piss boiled by historical inaccuracy?

We think back to the greatest Galas of years gone by - to the greatest railways from your childhood, teenhood and New Top Gear moaninghood that the historical accuracy outwits those wow moments. Those that make the effort earn the rewards.

And then

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