1st Nov 2016 in Miniature Railway
Completely out of the blue, just a couple of weeks before the Autumn Steam Gala, I received a phone call from Ian Arnott explaining that he owned a miniature Royal Scot Loco based at the Ingfield Light Railway. He continued that he would dearly love to see it running alongside its full size counterpart at Ropley during the Gala. Well a few phone calls later and a copy of the locos boiler certificate obtained and it was on. A survey visit was arranged and undertaken and Richard made a temporary buffer beam for one of our coaches to enable coupling. On the Saturday of the Gala Ian, with Neal helping, arrived with his magnificent looking Royal Scot. Unloading and lighting up were undertaken without issue and Ian made light engine and then loaded test runs without any problems. His loco ran all our services on Saturday and until mid-afternoon on Sunday when he had to leave. I must say we were all impressed with the locos performance as it handled fully laden trains up our incline with consummate ease. The opportunity for a photo shoot as its full size brother passed was not missed! We appear to have struck up a good relationship with the guys from Ingfield and we have been invited over to visit them and they wish to return next year with a GWR Tank loco. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Ian and Neal for the trouble they went to get the Royal Scot over to us for the 2 days.
The following weekend saw us “dressing up” Ropley High Level for the Wizard Weekend. Bunting, posters, wizards & witches, skeletons of various sizes plus spiders and their webs were soon adorning our little station. Another great success which kept us busy throughout the weekend and I think it was enjoyed by staff and visitors in equal measure. Must say that I was very impressed with the costumes some of our visitors wore.
The Wizard Weekend marked the end of our operating season for this year and that means we have now completed two full seasons since we rebuilt the line at its new home. Winter, along with the usual track and loco maintenance activities, will hopefully see us finishing our new coaches and making a start on extending the line plus we still need to clad the container. As always there will be much to keep us busy but we look forward to starting all over again next Easter! A big thank you to all that have helped and supported us throughout the season.