It is 50 years since the MNLPS took possession of Clan Line, on 13th August 1967. At 09:30 on that day, a small train consisting of 35028, 34023 - Blackmoor Vale, and 41298 - the Micky Mouse tank, were together on the departure road at Nine Elms depot, with various trucks martialled between, a Crompton on the front, and brake van on the rear. It was to take a route down the main line to Woking, where it took the Pompey road to Liss, for delivery to the Army, for onward movement to the Longmoor Military Railway. Almost fifty years later, she took part of the same route with a Surrey Hills Pullman lunch train for Belmond. What a contrast to her relatively poor external condition, and being towed down the main line all those years ago.
There was another similar train at Nine Elms that day, consisting of 3 withdrawn locos awaiting their penultimate departure to Salisbury, and a subsequent final trip to Newport, South Wales for scrapping.
On the fiftieth anniversary of the first MNLPS working party, on 20th August, we hauled our first Torbay Express.
We were based at St Philip's Marsh depot in Bristol, as the guests of Great Western Railway, having travelled down during the week.
Clan Line at St Philip's Marsh, Bristol, prior to cleaning
The weather wasn't as good as we would have hoped, especially for the second part of the day, but we hope that everyone enjoyed their day with us. We certainly did.
We had some excellent running, including some good climbs, the details of which are expected to appear in future railway magazines.
We would like to thank the people at the Dartmouth Steam Railway, especially the footplate crew, who handled our locomotive very professionally.
Photograph by Paul Blowfield