This past weekend was a cluttered one for railway events. I had no less than four good options for where to go. Originally, when all the railways posted their event dates, I knew exactly what I was going to do. This was going to be at least my third gala of the year so far and I was going to the Nene Valley Railway for their first ever Winter Steam Gala.
British weather had something to say about that though didn't it? With my first two gala appearances of the year cancelled due to being stuck at home in the snow I started to wonder where I should go for the weekend. The four options in no particular order were as follows:
1. The East Lancs were hosting their second gala of the year so far. I hadn't even contemplated attending this one before as I was going to the January event. That one already missed however, and the late visitor announcements of both the K1 and K4 down from the Jacobite services made it a very interesting proposition. This was also the closest to me geographically so logic would say this was where I should go.
2. The Churnet Valley also had a gala on featuring two engines that I haven't yet seen yet. Southern 31806 and its newly overhauled S160 were both in action. This railway had been on my radar for a while but I've had yet to make it. Could this be a better offer?
3. Having missed the Great Central's Winter Gala through the same old weather problems, seeing that they were having a 'mini-event' featuring the 'King' grabbed my attention. I saw the King (King Edward II) in question being overhauled at Didcot and had yet to see it in steam. I've missed a couple of opportunities now. Was this my chance?
4. The original plan. The Nene Valley Winter Gala featuring the homecoming of 'Brittania'. I've been waiting a long time to see her back on NVR metals. This was where she was based while I was growing up (and living 25 short miles away) and in all that time I never saw her steam. This was due to her moving on for pastures new just as I got back into the addiction. She wasn't going to be there for long. If I wanted to see here there this was the weekend!
For anyone that has already looked through my latest gallery you already know the answer. In the end I went for the Nene Valley, my old 'home' railway and the one I always love to get back to. I had a great weekend, and in spite of some 'operational issues' the NVR team did well to put a great show on. Some of the results are below. Let me know what you think.
The rest of the gallery can be found here http://www.chriskempsterphotography.com/p712579731
Next week - The Keighley and Worth Valley Winter Gala