Chinnor gala April 5th and 6th 2019
An 0730 fast car from Leighton with two of Bedford's finest. The expected Aylesbury school traffic issues didnt produce and
we were at Chinnor with a good half hour to spare before the 0900 departure. A good crowd was already at Chinnor, the quoted
green 55023 sat silently in the siding, whilst there was exhaust coming from maroon 55024 at the far end of the running lines!
To a cheer winning 55024 produced on the 0900 to Risborough with most seats taken. The unit is superbly restored although a
lack of interior light fittings may limit its winter operation.
From Risborough where vast crowds were gathered for 8568 with 5 Mk I's in tow. Whilst the thrash was limited on this run,
the distinctive, mournful horn of the Clayton sounded superb. And so the hugely enjoyable gala continued helped by sociable volunteers
and drivers keen to thrash their steeds wherever possible.
25262, 31163 as Tech liveried 97205, 37227 and more Clayton mileage all followed, great fun. A small personal milestone was made on
the 1150 Risborough - Chinnor with visiting DRS 37409 providing the power. My first eh 37 was 37412 back on May 24th 1986
on 1J33 1540 Euston-Aberystwyth from Salop. Well, almost 23years later, you dont want to rush these things you know! my final
eh 37 in 37409 was scored on the 1150 ex Risborough and a good thrash she offered too.
25262 was sounding uncharactically rough and she was spluttering badly on the climb into Chinnor with her second turn, the
1255 ex Risborough. 25262 failed completely about a quarter of a mile from Chinnor. With commendable efficiency 8568 soon
dropped on the rat and took us into Chinnor. After some 37 action, 25262 worked the 1510 ex Chinnor and after a top up with
oil was in fine fettle on this run. The final run of the day was a well loaded maroon bubble 55024 back to Chinnor to end a hugely
I met up with another of Bedford's finest on Arriva's 3615 from Leighton to Aylesbury. 3863 forward on the 300 to Risborough where
a sizeable crowd was gathered as 66702 and 25262 ticked over with very different engine beats. 25262 was in fine fettle on the
0955 to Chinnor. My colleague not wanting "shed" haulage opted for the buffet rather than 37409 out for 66702 back on a busy
CEP rake. 37227, 31163, 8568 and 66702 were again all raked in, 25262 had the CEP and 3 dead locos on the 1415 "thrashex"
out of Risborough, she was driven gently but the thrash was deep, almost guttaral , great fun!
37409 on the 1555 ex Chinnor was to be our last run of an enjoyable Gala saturday as the last bus the 1745 Aylesbury - Leighton
And so endeth 2 cracking days at Chinnor, good weather, sociable volunteers and decent power too