What can one say about 71000 Duke Of Gloucester? She flattened Upwey, Parkstone, Honiton, Sherborne and Upton Scudamore banks, toying with her 11- and 12-coach loads. On more level ground, she cruised along at 75 for mile after mile with little apparent effort. But she wasn’t alone: 34067 Tangmere took care of VSOE business again, and also visited Bournemouth and Winchester; Black Fives 45231 and 45305 and Jubilee 5690 Leander returned to main-line duties; 5029 Nunney Castle bowed out; 6024 King Edward I put up consistently good performances all year; 60009 Union of South Africa went up the Midland main-line on a perfect autumn morning; 4472 Flying Scotsman flew down to Didcot with a couple of Sunday Lunch specials. There are also brief appearances from 4965 Rood Ashton Hall, 5051 Earl Bathurst and 34027 Taw Valley.
After the main program, I have included a split-screen comparison of 6024 and 5029 over the same stretch of track on the approach to Sapperton Tunnel, filmed from almost the same spot, three months apart. I won’t tell you who wins…!
(approx. running time: 82 minutes)
6024 King Edward I (17:01) 26th Feb “The Lickey Incliner”: Brockhampton, Gloucester, Lickey Incline. 21st May “The Cathedrals Express” to Worcester: Culham, Sapperton Tunnel. 4th June “The Cathedrals Express” to Weymouth: Burnham, Crofton. 9th Jun, “The Cathedrals Express” to Bristol: Ufton Nevert, Wootton Rivers. 7th Sep Bristol – Oxford – Stratford: Dauntsey Bank, Shrivenham, Tackley, Oxford. 10th Sep “Welsh Marches Express”: Bristol, Llanvihangel Crucorney. 18th Dec “The Yuletide Bard Express”: West Wycombe.
5051 Earl Bathurst (1:32) 23rd Apr St George’s Day Special: Crofton
5029 Nunney Castle (4:19) 20th Aug “The Cathedrals Express” to Worcester: South Stoke, Sapperton Tunnel.
4965 Rood Ashton Hall (1:01) 18th Dec Solihul – Didcot: Appleford.
34027 Taw Valley (2:51) – running as 34045 Ottery St Mary – 4th Apr “VSOE” to Oxford: South Stoke, Oxford.
34067 Tangmere (12:38) 7th May “VSOE” to Oxford: Gatehamstead Manor, Oxford. 9th Jun “The Downsman”: Byfleet & New Haw, Abinger Hammer. 18th Jun “The Royal Wessex”: Bournemouth. 1st Oct “The Salisbury Spire”: Lower Wyke, Romsey, Winchester. 17th Dec “VSOE”: Worplesdon, Abinger Hammer.
71000 Duke of Gloucester (13:02) 9th Jul “Sunny South Special”: Battledown, Bincombe Tunnel (south-bound and north-bound), Parkstone. 20th Jul “The Cathedrals Express” to Bristol: Crofton, Upton Scudamore, Grateley. 24th Jul “The Cathedrals Express” to Exeter: Andover, Watchcombe, Buckhorn Weston Tunnel, Gillingham. 17th Aug. “Sunny South Special” to Weymouth: Milborne Wick, Andover.
45305 Alderman A E Draper (3:03) 25th May, Test run: Wythill, Wilmcote. 28th May Tysley – Didcot: Culham.
5690 Leander (9:46) 7th Jun Test run: Wythill, Bearley Junction. 26th Jun (with 45305) Tysley – Leicester – Melton Mowbray – Kettering: Melton Mowbray, Frisby On The Wreake (east-bound and west-bound), Coton Hall. 3rd July “The Shakespeare Express”: Edstone Aqueduct, Bearley Junction.
45231 Sherwood Forester (6:29) 26th Nov “The Cathedrals Express” to Bristol: Red Post Junction, Hanging Langford. 10th Dec. “The Cathedrals Express” to Stratford Upon Avon: Bradenham, Saunderton station, Budbrooke. 17th Dec “The Cathedrals Express” to Chichester: Great Brockhamshurst, Horsham.
4472 Flying Scotsman (4:48) 16th Oct Solihul – Didcot: Somerton Deep Lock, Hatton Bank. 30th Oct Solihul – Didcot: Tackley, Oxford.
60009 Union of South Africa (2:38) 19th Nov “The Cathedrals Express” to Barrow Hill: Souldrop, Harringworth.
King vs Castle: A comparison of 6024 and 5029 climbing the last quarter mile or so to Sapperton Tunnel…
Additional material from Adrian & Jackie Pallent.