the last "normal" operating day
Farewell to Cadeby
9 April 2005
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I paid my first visit to Cadeby in October 1968, in the company of four school friends. We were heading for the pits and scrapyards of South Wales, by a fairly circuitous route. Later in the day, we would check out Chasewater, Bridgnorth and the Dowty RPS at Ashchurch. But first - the Rev. Teddy Boston at Cadeby rectory in Leicestershire. We had left home, in North Yorkshire, early that morning - it was about 9am when we called, unannounced. "Could we have a look at your railway please?". "Make yourselves at home - I've just got to conduct a quick service - I'll be with you in a short while" (or words to that effect). And he was - still in cassock, which seemed to make a good wiper for the rain- covered seat of the Motor-Rail which was cranked into action. "Jump into that v-skip and come for a ride"  We were treated really well - a guided tour of the model railway (it was the current "Railway of the Month" in the Railway Modeller), then tea and advice re. our later visits - "ask for Ken Vincent at Ashchurch". I paid three or four more visits over the next 10 years - then no more. Then in 1986, sadly, Teddy died - the Rev. W Awdry's "fat
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clergyman" of Thomas the Tank Engine fame was no more. Fortunately for the railway and the enthusiast world, an arrangement with Teddy's widow Audrey meant that the railway would continue, operated by the army of volunteers who had "helped" over the years. Then recently announcements appeared in the magazines that the house was to be sold and the railway closed to the public. A final open weekend would be held in May 2005 - the last "normal" operating day would be Saturday 9th April. I thought perhaps it was time for one last visit. As usual for these events, Pixie (Bagnall 2090 of 1919) was in steam, operating trips along the line with the two items of passenger stock - low-sided open wagons fitted with slat seating! I'm not convinced they are sprung either... A trip actually consists of two runs out and back - no running round, for there are no loops - Pixie would haul the train out and propel it back again. A full trip, out and back once, takes a little over a minute and a half, as will be seen from the video clip above. So we had our ride, took some photos, had a look at the model railway (not operating to the same extent as I'd seen previously), had a cup of tea and sticky cake, then left. Great fun! Farewell Cadeby.
Cadeby Lineside action - a final view of the Cadeby Light Railway
A ride along the line Out and back - the full length of the line - just over a minute and a half...
Foster traction engine "Fiery Elias" Pixie at the station Hudswell Clarke D558 of 1930 Standard gauge Peckett 'Yorktown' class 2012 of 1941 Orenstein & Koppel locomotive undergoing restoration In the woods Ready to depart The model railway Out on the line