Occasionally, there are a few moments when you stand back and admire the view before you. Yesterday evening was one such moment. Through the viewfinder was a selection of engines that would have landed you in the asylum if you thought they would be together. This is namely because two were on another continent until around two months ago. Now, before me at Shildon, in the very birthplace of the railways the reunion of classmates Dwight D. Eisenhower, Union of South Africa and Dominion of Canada was something enthusiasts dreamed of seeing back together. There were reasons why it was more special. Firstly, all three A4 engines remained in BR Green Late crest livery, albeit with Dominion still somehow wearing its faded livery from the 1960s. This made the second reason all the more interesting. The engine’s, thus became 60008, 60009 and 60010 in sequence. Three A4’s; in the same livery, in the same sequence in the same place – almost seeing this in BR days as a line up of A4s is the closest anyone like me could hope to be near. Guests attended this unique event included some from the Railway magazine press, but a very notable gentleman in the form of none other than Mr. Pete Townsend, former shed master of Top Shed, graced those there with his presence, wit and comments on all matters related to the very engines now before us that once were under his care.
While the event and line up made for a rare and marvellous experience, thanks should also be made to the staff at Locomotion and the organising team for their hard work. Staff at Locomotion valiantly worked to ensure a friendly, welcoming and safe environment for everyone there. Tremendous thanks should also go to Martin Creese for organising the event and Jason Cross for assisting on the Saturday evening. Finally, a debt of gratitude by all their and thanks is owed to Mr John Cameron for the agreement to move his own engine to the event to attend the photo shoot and visit on the weekend, supported in this by WCRC.
Events like this are also memorable for the company and experience. Many enthusiasts there had travelled the country to see this. It was a great night and great event thanks to the banter, manners and co-operation of all those present.
© The Black Hat