Another Steamy Session With Little Egypt

We all need them these days

Little Egypt has a long, and generally honorable, history of collaboration with Steam in all its guises.
We can date our involvement at least to 1996 (for road traction engines) and 1997 for our first venture into the maginificence of Steam Railway Preservation.

Other examples may be found by searching the archive.

It wasn't planned but sometimes chance takes over and we end up with two great days with the Morris in just one weekend.

Early in the year we received an email from the Colne Valley Railway near Sible Hedingham in Essex. Would we entertain the visitors to their very first Craft Fair on 21 September?

If there was steam, we said, then yes we would.
And there was.

Unfortunately the weather was not encouraging, and Martin had to resort to the latest in waterproofing technology to protect his melodeon. It also meant that there were few visitors to experience our fabulous footwork.

But Hunslet Austerity no. 3890 was in steam and ready to depart in 20 minutes so after a number of dances we boarded the train for the short ride up, then down, the line.

Wet? I'll give you bleeding wet ...  The unfootplate crew 

Frederick was in his element as a lifelong steam train fan with his very own driver's cap and he managed to blag a ride on the footplate.

Here he is caught gazing wistfully at the remains of Bulleid Pacific of BR's Southern Region, 35010 "Blue Star", which strode the lines between Waterloo and Exeter and Bournemouth,from 1942 to 1966, covering 1,241,929 miles in its lifetime. It spent most of its mainline existence based at Exmouth Junction shed, Exeter, before being transferred to Bournemouth in 1964.
"Blue Star" has been at the CVR since 1996 and awaits preservation and restoration.

Then it was back to the field for more dancing before a visit to the signal box where we were treated to a brief history of the preserved line which is now less than a mile long.

One day. One day ...  Our field of vision 
Interlocking frames and all that 

It looks as if it's been there since the dawn of the railway age, but apart from the trackbed everything else, including the station buildings and signal box, has been moved from its original location on the line and carefully rebuilt to recreate a typical country station.

Indeed, some of the station canopy was rescued from Glemsford's own station, so our connection was even more appropriate.

Timeless scenes  Timeless musicians 

The complete line once ran from Haverhill South via Birdbrook, Yeldham and Halstead joining the Cambridge, Sudbury, Marks Tey (Stour Valley) line at Chappell and Wakes Colne. The steam trip may be short but there is a marvellous collection of motive power and rolling stock from many decades to look at, a lot of it awaiting restoration.

Steeped in the mists of time 

A great afternoon out, and there was more steam to come the following day...

A few other steamy pages:

And there is more ...


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Page designed and maintained by Steve Clarke on behalf of the Morris Men of Little Egypt. - - Steve Clarke 2014 - Text and Photographs Brian "Baggie" Stephens - 2014