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An after dark transitional period at Didcot Railway Centre featuring large Prairie 4144 & Pannier 3650, 18th July 2015
We are delighted to be able to offer another of our increasingly popular evening events at Didcot Railway Centre, this time featuring the recently returned to steam 'Large Prairie' No.4144 as star of the show.
The '5101' Class 2-6-2T has been out-shopped in early British Railways livery and, when posed alongside some members of the Didcot home fleet, will recreate a transitional period from 1948, shortly after Nationalisation but before many locos had been repainted out of their Great Western identities. At the time we are seeking to portray, 4144 would have been just two years old, having been built at Swindon in 1946. Our other principle loco, Pannier Tank No.3650, was built in 1939 and will appear in its GWR livery. This mixture of liveries would have been a common sight in 1948 and for some time beyond that, as locos were by no means re-liveried immediately and some stayed in Great Western livery for months, and one or two for years!
As well as these two locos, other home-based members of the fleet will be posed strategically around the yard in front of the shed with burning rags in their smoke boxes to create the impression of a steam era shed with engines gently simmering as they build steam prior to going out on regular duties.
Our photography will start at 17.00 when the Museum closes to the public and we will continue through twilight until after dark, running until 23.00 hours. As well as loco crews and as something different, we will include scenes featuring female cleaners, which would have been a common occurrence in the 1940s. We will have full use of the site and will try to include the turning of at least one of the locos for photography during daylight hours. During twilight and after dark we will position the locos inside the shed, a popular location for photography given it being a totally original structure dating back well into the days of the Great Western Railway. To conclude proceedings, we will photograph the ever-popular fire disposal scenes in front of the coaling stage.
The cafe will be open for hot food during the evening and the event promises to provide many cameo scenes reminiscent of the twilight of the GWR era and the birth of British Railways (Western Region). We look forward to seeing many of you at Didcot in July for another memorable photographic evening.
which includes access to the museum site throughout the day from 10.00.