Visited the Spa Valley railway for the first time using a gift experience day given to me by my ex-colleagues when I was made redundant by the Council, so no better way to end a not so good year then having a ride on a steam train with the good Mrs D.
Catching the 1122 am ,Uckfield train from E Croydon we arrived in time to catch the late running 1203 pm departure. When we arrived they were just putting Ring Haw on the front. As Spa Valley lease the track from Network Rail (expires in 2022) they are not in possession of a run round loop which necessitates a rather complicated shunting manoeuvre, hence the photo of the Cl.31430 at the Uckfield end of the train.
Leaving Eridge we made slow progress to Groombridge (& I do mean slow progress) waiting 20 minutes in the loop at Groombridge for the late running service from Tunbridge Wells West hauled by the GWR tank 813.
Groombridge is a rather quaint station, not the original as the original station site was developed for housing encroaching on the railway boundary so although the old station building is there the Spa valley station has been relocated further along, interesting none the less, especially the old bakery sign.
Upon arrival at Tunbridge Wells Wests single platform i was able to take a photo of our steed Ring Haw on loan from the North Norfolk Railway.
The Spa Valley is very much diesel orientated as can be seen from the DEMU in the background (fond memories of working on those when a Guard at Norwood back in the 80’s).
So to fed the inner man and woman we headed for the Opera House – a Weatherspoons. Being my first time in Tunbridge Wells (not my wife’s as she lived there years ago) Google Maps navigated us to the Opera House, where a lovely meal in beautiful surroundings did not disappoint.
Back to the station via the High Street and the Pantiles made for an interesting walk back, though we were early which was just as well as the late running was still occurring with the stock for the 320 pm departure not having arrived. However this go an opportunity to look round.
Electro diesel 73140 was ticking over, I guess on Thunderbird duties.
The yard contained some interesting stock. 813 waiting patiently for its train to arrive along with the railways resident diesels.
Eventually Ring Haw arrived with the late running 320 pm departure. This meant 813 coming from the yard and attaching to 31430 which was the tail end – sure the Rev. Awdry would of had a field day!
The light as you can imagine was starting to fade badly as 813 coupled up to the head of the train.
We departed Tunbridge Wells West around 4 pm with a well loaded 4 coach train. Just outside Eridge, 813 was detached to run into the bay platform, as 31430 brought the train into the main platform.
There we left the train and adjourned to the adjacent Huntsman pub (Hall and Woodhouse) See The Huntsman Eridge for a couple of drinks before catching our train back to East Croydon.
A very enjoyable day, Goodbye and good riddance 2018, hears to what I hope will be a better 2019.
Brighton based beer writer and radio broadcaster Emma Inch has been named Beer Writer of the Year 2018 at the Guild of Beer Writers’ annual awards ceremony last night alongside six other women writers and brewers. Beer Writer of the Year is the top award in the Guild’s annual competition for writing about beer and…
— Read on dealatis.org.uk/2018/11/23/emma-inch-wins-top-writing-award/
The good Mrs Driscoll, our Boxer Grace and I did the coastal path walk from Bowleaze Cove to Osmington Mills and back a distant of 7 miles undulating walk with a nice lunch at the Smugglers Inn and 2 pints of Badgers finest in the bargain.
You may of read in the news recently about the cracks that appeared in the cliff near Bowleaze , well here they are
Went to the GBRF diesel gala on the Bluebell today. Very nice selection of locos plus the Bluebells own 09 doing brakevan/observation coach trips.
The weather to be frank was appalling but plenty of people about despite the April showers.
Here are the photos
73 & 66 at East Grinstead
09 running round at Horstead Keynes on the observation coach and then at Sheffield Park with said coach
To show the 09 was rather busy then the brakevan special And so returned to Horstead Keynes on the 4TC set which is in a rather peculiar teak imitation livery. I did take a photo with the camera so will post along with Colas 47 that was also brought in.
Here is the 73/9 which took me to Horstead totally different sound to the bog standard 73 as it has been refurbished.
Later on I went back to Sheffield Park but there was time for this in the buffet.
One pint of Dark Stars Hophead.
So back to Sheffield Park behind 2x class 20 & the 73 although on its arrival at Horstead before I boarded this train was brought in by the 66 & 73 combination from earlier.
By this time I was rather cold and wet so took the train to Sheffield Park and then back to East Grinstead. At Horstead saw the 66 again
And as I could, got out at Kingscote for a scout round whilst waiting for the down train to arrive.
Finally we arrived back at East Grinstead and it was time to bid farewell to GBRF but not before I took photos of the 20s
An enjoyable day but I was still glad for the warmth of the Electrostar going home!
Thank you GBRF and of course the Bluebell for hosting the gala 👍😀
Croydon has a history of brewing that dates back to the 16th century. Page and Overton’s Brewery was formed in 1892 when Nathaniel Page joined forces with Frederick Overton, owner of the Royal Oak Brewery in Surrey Street. £100,000 was spent in 1929 on enlarging the brewery premises and installing additional plant.
A report compiled in 1932 outlines the improvements made to the plant, the bottling machine being described as a ‘real marvel’, filling and crowning bottles at a rate of 300 dozen per hour. The Page and Overton Company became one of the oldest and largest industries in Croydon, before being closed in 1954. It had its own maltings in Church Road, and wells for extracting water for brewing. The malt houses survived until the early 1970s and the only building standing today is at No.8 Overton’s Yard. This brick granary, dating from 1880, has been well restored as Granaries Nightclub.