Britain's newest main line steam loco, Tornado, spent the weekend of the 4th & 5th of April attending the Barrow Hill Gala. The roundhouse in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, is a rare survivor from the steam age which for many years provided motive power for the area and Staveley ironworks. Since its rescue by preservationists ten years ago the shed has become home to a number of preserved steam and diesel locomotives and has gained a reputation for staging evocative galas; this year's was no exception with a very strong Eastern Region feel to it. Locos assembled for the weekend included no fewer than four East Coast pacifics, A4s No. 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley and No. 60009 Union of South Africa, A2 No. 60532 Blue Peter (specially painted in apple green) and, of course, A1 No. 60163 Tornado.
A4 + A2 + A4 + A1 = Heaven? Clive Hanley
With other LNER locos in the line up, including both GCR survivors, No. 506 Butler Henderson and the heavy freight 04 No. 63601, a record crowd was guaranteed. Clive Hanley's superb photos can be viewed via this link: http://clive-hanley.fotopic.net/c1677267.html
The massive crowds at the event - Clive Hanley
Here's a sight few would have thought possible in 1966 - had Geoff Drury not have been frustrated in his attempts to preserve an A1, Blue Peter would have been scapped itself!
Tornado on the turntable - Clive Hanley
The gala also saw the first gathering of all the Peppercorn designs because K1 No. 62005 was also attending. No. 62005 only survived because it was acquired to provide a spare boiler for K4 No. 61994 The Great Marquess, a fate it avoided to be preserved in its own right.