© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 There were those who used to refer to the GWR as the “Great Way Round” - in similar fashion, the late lamented S&DJR was sometimes known as the “Slow and Dirty”. In the early 70s, adverts began to appear in the railway magazines for a preservation scheme, offering somewhat more positive interpretations - the only one I can remember was “Salutary and Determined”. The scheme in question was based at Radstock, where around a mile and a half of track was still in situ, having provided an outlet for the coals of Writhlington Colliery. In September 1975, I found myself living in Bristol, and decided I ought to take a look... ...I took two. The first tentative visit revealed a collection of steam locomotives in and around the old Radstock loco shed (71G, later 82F) - and posters advertising a steam-up and open day a couple of weeks later. In a sense, the star attraction ought to have been former-S&D 2-8-0 no. 53808 - it was in residence, but in the early stages of restoration following removal from Barry. It would be some years before it steamed. Another rather nice little locomotive, as yet unrestored, was Fox Walker (predecessor of Peckett) 0-6-0ST no 242 of 1874. The real star of the day was “Isabel” (Hawthorn Leslie 3437 of 1919) providing steam action for visitors. Henbury (Peckett 1940 of 1937) appears to have been in steam (I’m going by the smoke rising from its chimney) but I’ve no photos of it in operation. Other than that, I have little recollection of the visits - the photos will have to tell the rest of the story. It appears that the writing was already on the wall for the S&D at Radstock - within months, the site was being cleared and removal of stock to Washford on the West Somerset Railway had begun. Link: The Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust (Guessing) Avonside "Portbury" 1764 of 1917, and fireless WB2473 of 1932 Isabel in action 29 Sept 1974 Isabel in action 29 Sept 1974 Isabel in action 29 Sept 1974 Isabel in action 29 Sept 1974 Isabel in action 29 Sept 1974 Isabel in Radstock shed 14 Sept. 1974 53809 in Radstock shed 53809 in Radstock shed Isabel and Henbury Fox Walker 242 of 1874