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Oxfordshire Railway Society Trips 2005

On Sunday 12th June, 7 members and visitors were delighted to see George Huxley’s garden railway in North Oxfordshire. The trains meander through the delphiniums, cross a viaduct over the radishes and endure the 1 in (approx) 40 gradient to the upper station tunnel, before returning to the signal box cum workshop and storage area. George has acquired several more items of rolling stock since our previous visit, which he proudly showed us, explaining the detailing he had added or discussing the model maker. After tea and homemade cakes in the garden, we were invited to guess at the locations and significance of a number of photographs he had laid out for our inspection. There were more models and some interesting books and paintings, each of which had a tale to be told by George and his devoted wife Davina. Hymeks form an important part of the running fleet as can be seen in the accompanying photograph, note the correct tail lamp on the brake van, which George is very particular about.
The group was most impressed and thank George and Davina for their hospitality and the work put in to allowing us to see their home, garden, railway, and enjoy the tea.


Sunday 26th June saw the society meeting at the Didcot railway centre for a guided tour of the facilities there and a chance to see Firefly in action. Unfortunately only 3 members enjoyed the tour, but they were amply rewarded by Didcot’s guide, who recounted various tales and stories, both about the GWS and the GWR. A ride behind the Cardiff dock tank to the transfer shed and there was FIREFLY, gleaming in the sun, but unfortunately stopped, due to a problem with the mixed gauge trackwork. However Firefly looked magnificent, and a ride is something to be looked forward to next time, but we had to content ourselves with the broad gauge artefacts and stories. Then it was on to the carriage sheds, where we were let into a recently restored clerestory coach and told about its restoration. We were then shown around the engine restoration shed and lifting shop, seeing some areas not usually open to the public. A few minutes on the footplate rekindled childhood dreams, and then it was closing time. Picture is of Firefly in action on an earlier weekend.


Sunday 10th July saw 11 members and friends at the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway at Toddington, again in glorious sunshine, for a ride on their line to Cheltenham Racecourse. The train engine was 7903 Foremarke Hall, which looked magnificent with its paint and brasswork gleaming in the sun. Its load of six MK 1 carriages was easily handled, and there was little of the GWR throaty beat from the exhaust, but it was a lovely trip.
Several of the members then went on to the Winchcombe railway museum, where there is a carriage which had previously been cut in half, and now put back together, after it was recovered from the beside the River Severn, several working signals, dozens of block instruments, hundreds of cast iron lineside plates and thousands of buttons, badges, tickets etc. All this in a back garden in Winchcombe!


For forthcoming Oxfordshire Railway Society Visits, please click here.


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