No other words to describe this one! The mightly leviathan of a machine 8P locomotive, Duke of Gloucester was the star attraction at this gala and rightly so. The engine is a scheer mastery in engineering and locomotive perfection that would have had locomotive designers from Stephenson, Brunel, Raven, Churchward, Gresley and Stanier all in admiration. The engine is an absolute monster when it comes to power, yet it has the image and magesty of a Duke for which it shares its name.
The Duke however, was not the only engine there, with Furness 20 in attendance having arrived, as well as an older engine Bellerophon which it could be argued almost stole the Duke's limelight for being such an interesting and versitile engine for its years.
This was an absolutely brilliant gala the likes of which are hard to beat. Yet, Id like to draw attention to the support crew of the Duke of Gloucester. Many engines and crews have visited Shildon, but the crew of the Duke have been the most supportive, freindly and welcoming group that has been there yet. I considered it a privilage and joy to be a part of the event and just to photograph things for the Musuems curator but also this group of enthusiasts. They have the welcoming and friendly ideas that we should all have in the hobby and indeed with an engine like theirs, their modesty was perhaps their greatest asset.
© The Black Hat