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SOUTH DEVON RAILWAY 2016 Season Finale
Colin Harmes stewarding the Driver for a FiverPhoto © JBrodribb 2016

The annual Diesel Gala took place over three days Friday – Sunday 04 – 06 November, and marked the end of the main running season. Of course we still have Santa to look forward to, plus Mince Pie Specials and all the works trains in between.

Weather was generally good for the diesel gala, although colder than we have had lately. An intensive service was operated by all the locomotives that could run, although timings were a little too tight for comfort on occasion. A popular feature was the “Driver for a Fiver” event, which ran every day between trains at Buckfastleigh. Both the Class 09 and 04 shunters were used, circulating from the platform to one signal box or the other, back via the loop to the other signal box and back to the platform.

Plenty of burgers, sausages and some excellent homemade cakes
Photo © JBrodribb 2016

SDR Engineering staged their annual firework display on 05 November – good choice of date – and as ever, it was superbly organised with copious burgers, hot dogs, drinks, soup, cakes and – of course – a magnificent firework display. As ever, full marks to everyone at SDRE, and a great evening for their staff and volunteers.

Santa’s various elves help out wrapping presents in the caféPhoto © JBrodribb 2016

And finally – Santa is nearly here, so his elves have been furiously wrapping presents in his grotto (sorry, the café). A great team of volunteers polished off the herculean task in a morning. All we need to do now is build this year’s grotto in the coach...

Best wishes

John Brodribb
SDRT Museum Curator

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© South Devon Railway Association 2016

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