© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 It hardly seemed a year since the last visit - nevertheless, once again the day of the annual open day at Alan Keef's works near Ross-on-Wye dawned bright and sunny. The Perrygrove railway would be open too - a special opening primarily for enthusiasts. First, the trip to Keef's. Although the "Steam Debut of New Privately Owned Vertical Boiler Locomotive" was listed on the web site, there was no sign of this locomotive - however the much-travelled Kerr Stuart "Wrens" Pixie (4260 of 1922) and Peter Pan (4256 of 1922) were in residence and in action alongside regular vertical-boilered "Taffy", providing ample food for the cameras. There was more interest in the works - in particular, the project to build a "Puffing Billy" replica, complete with heavy wooden frames, plus boiler and various castings for cylinders etc. Nearby were the frames of Baldwin 4-6-0T no. 778 of 1917, described as a "DIY locomotive kit"... Link: Alan Keef Ltd
Talking Point - Peter Pan and Taffy Puffing Billy The Baldwin Peter Pan posing on the passenger "Shelagh" runs round "Shelagh" arrives back at Perrygrove station "Shelagh" at Perrygrove - the archetypal estate railway?
On now to the Perrygrove Railway, near Coleford, which also provided an interesting surprise. "Spirit of Adventure" had been joined by a replica of Heywood's "Shelagh", built at Duffield Bank works 100 years ago. Strangely, the very similar "Ursula", normally resident at Perrygrove, was nowhere to be seen... We took a ride, once again, in the superb Duffield Bank dining car replica, before getting on with some serious snapping and video recording (not to mention blackberry-scoffing in-between trains) Once again, an excellent day. If you're interested in the smaller gauges, put them in your diary for next year. Link: The Perrygrove Railway