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About this eventWe are delighted to offer a full day of steam photography action at the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway (MSLR) using former British Sugar Corporation locomotive Wissington paired with some of the line’s historic vintage rolling stock. This includes coach No.12 of 1875, purchased out of Great Eastern Railway service in 1904 and used as accommodation until it fell into disuse and was eventually offered to the MSLR in 1992 where it was painstakingly restored over a ten-year period, plus the superbly-restored GER horse box dating from 1869, amongst other amazing vehicles.
The Mid-Suffolk Railway is Suffolk’s only standard gauge heritage railway. It may be short in length, but is in many ways perfectly formed with an absolutely superb station at Brockford which has been painstakingly restored to reflect an ambiance typical of country byways of yesteryear. Three original Mid-Suffolk Light Railway buildings have been erected at Brockford including the former Mendlesham Station with its booking office, parcels store and passenger waiting area. The line is currently being extended to give a longer run to terminate at a new station, Aspall Halt.
Wissington is a Countess of Warwick class locomotive built in 1938 by Hudswell Clarke of Leeds, one of several purchased by the British Sugar Corporation. The Corporation was formed by the British Sugar (Reorganisation) Act of 1936 which effectively amalgamated several factories into one body to manage the entire domestic sugar beet crop. Almost all of the locomotive’s working life was spent at the Sugar Corporation with the exception of a brief period working at Spalding Sugar Factory, and it was in regular service until the early 1970s when diesel shunters began to replace steam. Despite this, Wissington was retained as a spare engine and by 1978 had become the last steam locomotive in commercial ownership in East Anglia.
After an approach by the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway Society (owners of B12/3 No.8572 and Y14 No.564), the engine was donated by British Sugar to the Society. After many years of static display at the North Norfolk Railway’s Sheringham Station, restoration commenced in earnest in 2010. Two years and £70,000 later, Wissington returned to steam in July 2012. The locomotive is currently on loan to the Mid-Suffolk Railway from its home base of Weybourne, NNR.
We expect our event to start at 09.30 hours (please arrive from 09.15 onwards) and run until circa 17.00 with a break for lunch. Free parking is available on site. Our visits to Brockford have always been enjoyable and very successful, and we look forward to welcoming you to the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway in early Spring 2023 for another rewarding day of photography.
And don’t forget that we have an afternoon and evening of portraiture at the same venue on Tuesday 28th March, so why not make it a two-event stay with differing photographic styles on consecutive days!
- Spare batteries
- Lense cloths
- All levels welcome
- Sturdy outdoor shoes
- Warm clothing