We are delighted to offer the rare opportunity to photograph all available members of the Great Western Society's GWR steam fleet outside the shed, recreating scenes reminiscent of steam era depots as they were between the 1920s, 1940s and latterly in the BR days of the 1950's.
Many will have seen the incredible black and white pictures with a full yard of locos at home at locations such as Worcester shed, and we hope to rekindle memories of these days when loco yards were packed with locos (with the occasional Railcar lurking!). It is the ambiance of these scenes which we hope to evoke at our charter in August as we pose as many GWR-liveried locomotives as are available outside the shed bathed, we hope, in glorious evening sunlight.
We should have representatives of the Manor, Castle (2), Hall, Small and Large Prairie, Pannier Tank and heavy freight 2-8-0 available to us plus one or two smaller locomotives including 1338. There are few better railway backdrops than Didcot Motive Power Depot and none more authentic for Great Western locomotives. In addition to the main event in front of the motive power shed we are also planing to have a number of other cameos around the site, these include the Ash Road, Turntable, Branch Line Station and shed wall. Couple to this we are going to be joined by a number of re-enactors and crew to bring the scenes to life. Clearly most of the fleet are not steamable so we will bring a number of the loco's to life with the use of our special effects and smoke machines.
Our event will run from 17.30 onwards until approximately 10.30. As the Centre will be open during the day, you are welcome to arrive during the afternoon to look around though we will not be beginning our event until 17.30. The cafe will be open for part of the evening for food and refreshments; so please make use of this by partaking in a hot meal during our break period.
We are extremely grateful to the staff and volunteers at Didcot Railway Centre for facilitating this event. Due to the number of locomotives needing to be hauled out and positioned for the evening, this represents one of the more ambitious shunting sessions undertaken, with countless movements to ensure locos are correctly placed. However, it should be well worth the effort as we recreate long-vanished scenes where many engines were on shed, either awaiting their next duties or having returned to their home shed after a turn on the main line.