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Based in the London Borough of Bromley Gallery of Members’     Photos and articles es August Meeting report by Chris Thomas

NB. June meeting was cancelled.

Thanks to the 9am arrival of a few members to get setting up underway, the 4-shed session was able to start a little earlier than usual, giving a good morning of operating. The worry that there may be a loco shortage proved unfounded as some old club favourites were taken out of hibernation, with the motive power depots at Hookwood and Jordans struggled to fit them all in.  There were certain stalwarts that had not been seen for some time, including at least three Southern region N classes, a Black 5 and an A3. It is rumoured that purple liveried tender-drive A4 ‘Merlin’ may even have broken Mallard’s long standing record as it charged through Glovers Lane and down the bank to Charlwood.

Whilst locomotives were plentiful throughout the system, there was lack of appropriate motive power in for some turns. For example, the Chairman was heard to loudly express his displeasure as a class 52 Western diesel hauled an Eastern region set into Charlwood, having deputised for a failed A3. Other spots include a Jubilee on a Western Region rake, an N2 on a Southern green set and a 57xx pannier tank spent the session in the company of the Maunsell pull-push. The morning session generally ran well. There were a few delays which, for some reason or other, seemed to always have something to do with CM1 running late or out of turn.

As lunch drew to a close, it was decided that with the heat and humidity, a later break would be required. However, it was evident straight away that the afternoon session would not run as smoothly as the morning’s, as Shed 3’s clock failed to start. A compromise was found, allowing the session to begin. Shortly afterwards however, communication between Glovers Lane and Russ Hill fell silent. A Lengthy break ensued as the problem was diagnosed to be a faulty bell lever in the signal box at Glovers lane. A further compromise was made and the session continued.

Towards the end of the session, reliability of communication between Russ Hill and Glovers further declined and as a result, the last few trains in both directions were controlled vocally. The distance between these two stations is over a mile (according to Google maps), so loud voices were required!

The skies darkened and thunder could be heard in the distance. If Merlin didn’t break Mallard’s record earlier in the day, Rusper’s members certainly broke their own record for the fastest time to pack up! Your scribe returned home just in time to bring the washing in before the deluge began.

A couple of photographs of Tornado working on the Bluebell Railway during the week of 28th March 2014.