Steam Aug 2013

Agricultural Power from the Past

August 29-Sept.1st 2013

  • The running of the steam miniature railway and an exhibition for 4 days is always a challenge for a small group. The fact that it was an outstanding success is due to the efforts of members, our friends from TSMEE and the practical support of Beamish Museum. The help of Sarah Jarman and Paul Foster in making the exhibition space available and the ready supply of good welsh coal  added greatly to our happiness. Ken Swan provided a guiding hand, and persuaded a number of exhibitors to show treasured models. Jimmy Mountjoy again demonstrated his ability as an exhibition manager. His own traction engine was almost as attractive to small fingers as my “Dolgoch”.
  • The collection of Piercy high detail locomotives exhibited by David Parker showed an almost miraculous precision
  1. . The collection of locomotives from TSMEE was widely appreciated.
  1. Mike Lax and Peter Angus had an excellent collection of gas fired locomotives.
  1. Alan Young showed two marine steam plants as  well as his amazingly detailed frigate..
IMG_0831 IMG_0860 IMG_0861


  1. The aeronautical display be Jimmy Mountjoy comprising models, industrial exhibits and a history of early aeroplane manufacture in the North-East was worth an exhibition in itself..The centre piece of a Bentley radial aero engine by David Young  was a remarkable example of engineering.
  1. Ian Spencer’s 5” gauge locomotive looked just right. The Wren boiler parts shown by Mick Jordison were a pleasure to see, and should need a minimum of braze
  1. Ken Swan contributed his models of Bridget ,and Shiela. Jim Duncan’s award winning “Jessie” was also on display,
  1. Mike Lax;s steam launch was a thing of beauty. Next to it were two model’s by our youngest member Patrick Allen. his pinball machine is a remarkably complex structure. His meccano aeroplane was very attractive to the young and had to be retrieved from one young visitor.
  1. Finally I should thank Eddie Lythgoe who took all the photographs on a distinctly dodgy camera, and with numerous other duties.

Walter Ogden’s Wren, note Welsh Dragon on smokebox


Adrian Morley stops Wren for water



Stuart Davison turns his Wren with the assistance of Patrick Allen


Sam Wake fries bacon on his shovel, a first in 7 1/4”.

  1.    The four days of running steam engines on both the level and rack railways is rewarding and exhausting in equal measure. As before we are indebted to TSMEE for the two Wren,s of Brian Nicols and Stuart Davison, as well as Ian Spencer and Mike Lax on the Rack railway. Steve Lowe was our other driver on the rack and organised the thankless task of coal production. (Strangely coal designed for traction engines does not fit the fireboxes of our  locomotives.) The new platform was used though passengers still had to be escorted across the lines.
  2.    This year we were delighted to welcome Walter Ogden and friends from Newport. Walter,s Wren was a joy to behold though few of us could emulate the his post running care. Walter took our jibes at Welsh nationalism in good part and we were most grateful for the welsh contribution as drivers. On Friday we had a guest visit of a Wren from Sheffield so on that day we had 5 Wren,s on site. ( Must be something of a record!)  No problems occurred in pulling more than 1200 passengers.
  3.   The rack service was greatly improved by running a flexible timetable. Our ticket office was made cosy by the new wood burning stove, our thanks to John Lambard, Peter Federoff, and Peter Willance who shared this job. Ticket collecting needs enormous tact and authority supplied by Linda Nicol, and Jill Allen. Our young guards ,Sam Wake , Patrick Allen Eddie Lythgoe, and Ben Pinkney were in constant demand. all these young people get a chance to drive our steam and other locomotives. Dave Allen did more jobs than I can list. Finally, thanks to Ken Swan, who has motivated, planned and persuaded, and kept the show on the road.

Always first to arrive, Stuart Davison and Brian Nicol get up steam


Ian Spencer and passenger crossing the renovated bridge section on the right


                                Day                         ticket Sales


                                                               Top                   Rack

                              Thu.                          354(201)            41(39)

                               Fri.                           335(345)            68(40)

                              Sat.                           300(252)            56(56)

                              Sun.                          241(278)            56(46)

                             TOTALS                   1230(1076)          221(181)

The figures in brackets are those of the same event 2012 and show an almost 20% increase in passengers carried, although most would agree that crowds were not as great.

Many thanks to John Lambard who has kept the records, sold the tickets and kept the woodburner going.

[BMEG] [Matt Copeman] [New Roof] [Steam  April 2014] [Steam Aug 2013] [Steam Sept 14] [Projects] [Newsletter] [Organisation] [BMEGsite] [PHOTOS] [LINKS] [MAIL] [John Moore] [Ken Challoner] [STOP PRESS]