A Derbyshire Dalliance

Friday saw Helen Ashby & I heading for the Midland Railway at Butterley to discuss working together in the future. After a very productive meeting, we were given a comprehensive tour of the railway’s Swanwick Junction site, including the vintage train in the museum where head of Carriage & Wagon, Simon Evans was pleased to show us the restored stock, including 3rd class coach number 78 of 1866, a superb restoration job.

Helen & I inspected Kirtley 2-4-0 158A, part of the National Collection, with a view to working with the MRT to draw up a Conservation Management Plan.

Pioneer 1500v dc electric loco “Electra” shares the display tracks with a selection of Midland, LMS and British Railways stock.

Indulging my industrial loco interest, it was nice to see this unique Markham of Chesterfield 0-4-0 saddle tank “Gladys”.

Once part of the NRM collection, this LMS “porthole” brake was transferred to the MRT’s ownership and it now resides in the museum at Swanwick.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I do like to see restored wagons too, and this Midland Railway crane runner is no exception, having been symapthetically restored, with much original material retained.

50 year old “Peak” diesel electric number D4 “Great Gable is housed in the museum whilst it celebrates its anniversary of outshopping from Derby works.

The pioneer Midland Railway Pullman carriage body “Midland” gave us much thought and discussion over its future stabilisation, conservation and display.

In the heritage carriage & wagon workshop, we were able to see this example of original Mindland Railway paintwork, which has informed recent restoration works.

Across the site is the shed of the Golden Valley Light Railway, wherein we saw this 1997 built 0-4-2 inverted saddle tank, based on a Bagnall design and constructed by Allen Civil, newly repainted and renamed.

As a member of the Ashover Light Railway Society, I have followed the story of the rescue of one of of the original carriage bodies and its move to Swanwick – here it is under sympathetic rebuild – much of the old material has been kept, including the boards which state “Ashover Light Railway” along the upper body.

There is something for everyone on the site, and in the Road Transport Gallery, I discovered this 1890s Aveling & Porter steam roller, not dissimilar to our own machine at home, so I took a few minutes to look at the differences, details and similarities.

If it’s buses that float your boat, there are plenty too…this being a particularly nice one which took my eye.

The NRM are looking forward to a positive relationship with MRT – I for one look forward to going back to follow up progress and see how we can move forward in partnership. Our thanks as ever to the officers of the Trust who gave up a whole day to discuss, explain and show us their activities.

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About Anthony Coulls

Anthony is Senior Curator of Rail Vehicles at the NRM and has been an active heritage railway volunteer since 1988
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