Severn Valley Railway Steam Gala 2017

This years Severn Valley Railway Spring Steam Gala takes place from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th March 2017. It will feature three visiting locomotives to star alongside the Railway’s own eclectic mix of historical engines. Engines visiting this year include:

  • Battle of Britain Class pacific locomotive No. 34081 92 Squadron in striking Malachite green, courtesy of Nene Valley Railway and Battle of Britain Locomotive Society. This engine has recently been overhauled at the Nene Valley Railway, it was Built in 1948, and is named after the famous spitfire squadron based at Biggin Hill, 92 Squadron, during the Battle of Britain in 1940. It joins Severn Valley Railway’s resident sister Battle of Britain class Pacific locomotive No. 34053 Sir Keith Park, and West Country class Pacific locomotive No. 34027 Taw Valley. No. 34081 also recently ran alongside Battle of Britain class Pacific locomotive’ No. 34053 Sir Keith Park at the Nene Valley Railway ‘Bulleid 50’ event on February 25/26.
  • Loughborough-based British Railways 9f No. 92214. courtesy of Great Central Railway. This locomotive was Built in 1959, and was among the last in a series of standardised locomotive classes designed for BR during the 1950s, for use on fast, heavy freight trains over long distances.
  • Ivatt ‘2MT’ 2-6-2T No. 41312, courtesy of the Mid-Hants Railway. This recently overhauled engine was built in 1952 at Crewe locomotive works and spent its entire working career on the Southern region before hauling the last steam service on the Lymington branch in April 1967. It was Last seen on Severn Valley metals in March 2000. No. 41312 completes a trio of Ivatt locomotives at the Severn Valley Railway; with Ivatt class 4 No. 43106 running alongside and in tandem with the visiting tank engine, and No. 46443 undercover in The Engine House at Highley.

The GWR Pannier Tank no. 7714 will also be Appearing at its first Gala since being overhauled. Panniers used to be found all over the Western Region, with 860 built in total, two of which are now based on the SVR. 7714 and 5764. Similarly to cousin No. 1501 which will also be steaming along at the event, No. 7714 was sold to the National Coal Board after withdrawal by British Railways, but its long wheelbase proved unsuitable, and therefore it lived a relatively quiet life as at Penallta Colliery. Ther will be other members from the Severn Valley fleet in steam including: ‘14XX’ No. 1450, ‘15XX’ No. 1501, ‘28XX’ No. 2857, recently overhauled ‘57XX’ No. 7714, 78xx ‘Manor ClassNos. 7802 Bradley Manor and 7812 Erlestoke Manor. There will also be Doubleheaders, featuring; 1450 & 7714 and 41312 & 43106, Brakevan rides at Highley, Goods trains hauled by 92214, 7714, 813 and 41312 and a Beer Tent at Bewdley. The Severn Valley Railway will also be open during February Half-term.

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Charles Dickens

nicholas-nicklebyVictorian novelist Charles Dickens was born 7 February 1812 in Landport, Portsea. He moved to Norfolk Street, Bloomsbury then to Chatham, Kent. He spent his early years outdoors and reading voraciously. He received a private education at William Giles’s School, in Chatham. In 1822 the Dickens family moved from Kent to Camden Town, in London. Unfortunately his His Father John Dickens continually lived beyond his means and the Dickens family, apart from Charles, were imprisoned in the Marshalsea debtor’s prison in Southwark, London in 1824.Charles himself was boarded with family friend Elizabeth Roylance in Camden Town. whom Dickens later immortalised, “with a few alterations and embellishments”, as “Mrs. Pipchin”, in Dombey and Son. Later, he also lived in the house of an insolvent-court agent who was a good-natured, kind old gentleman, with a quiet old wife”; who he had a very innocent grown-up son; these inspired the Garland family in The Old Curiosity Shop. Dickens left school and began working ten-hour days at Warren’s Blacking Warehouse, on Hungerford Stairs, near Charing Cross railway station, pasting labels on blacking. The terrible working conditions made a deep impression on Dickens and influenced his writing and kindled his interest in socio-economic reforms and improving labour conditions,

a christmas carolwhilst in Marshalsea, John Dickens’s paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Dickens, died and bequeathed him the sum of £450 and Dickens was released from prison. Under the Insolvent Debtors Act, After paying his creditors, he and his family left Marshalsea for the home of Mrs. Roylance and Charles attended the Wellington House Academy in North London, although his mother did not immediately remove him from the boot-blacking factory which soured their relationship. Righteous anger stemming from his own situation and the conditions under which working-class people lived, became major themes of his works. This unhappy period in his youth features in his favourite, and most autobiographical, novel, David Copperfield. From 1827 until 1828 Dickens worked at the law office of Ellis and Blackmore, attorneys, of Holborn Court, Gray’s Inn, as a junior clerk. He then became a freelance reporter. reporting legal proceedings. This experience informed works such as Nicholas Nickleby, Dombey and Son, and Bleak House. In 1833 Dickens’s first story, A Dinner at Poplar Walk was published in the London periodical, Monthly Magazine. In 1834 he becoming a political journalist, reporting on parliamentary debate covering election campaigns for the Morning Chronicle.

DroodHis journalism, in the form of sketches in periodicals, formed his first collection of pieces Sketches by Boz, published in 1836. his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, was also published in March 1836. Dickens became editor of Bentley’s Miscellany and also wrote Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop and, Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty as part of the Master Humphrey’s Clock series. In 1836, he married Catherine Thomson Hogarth the daughter of George Hogarth, editor of the Evening Chronicle. Dickens and his family lived in London for two years. Dickens’s younger brother Frederick and Catherine’s 17-year-old sister Mary also moved in with them. Sadly Mary died in 1837 and her death is fictionalised as the death of Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop. In 1842, Dickens and his wife travelled to the United States and Canada and supported the abolition of slavery. In 1851 Dickens moved into Tavistock House where he wrote Bleak House, Hard Times and Little Dorrit.

In 1856 he moved to Gad’s Hill Place in Higham, Kent. In 1857, Dickens hired professional actresses for the play The Frozen Deep, which he and his protégé Wilkie Collins had written. Dickens, was very philanthropic and in 1858 he was approached by his friend Charles West, who founded Great Ormond Street Hospital, to help during a major financial crisis.So In 1858, Dickens spoke at the hospital’s first annual festival dinner at Freemasons’ Hall and later gave a public reading of A Christmas Carol at St. Martin-in-the-Fields church hall. The events raised enough money to enable the hospital to purchase the neighbouring house, No. 48 Great Ormond Street, increasing the bed capacity from 20 to 75. In 1858 Dickens began a series of public readings in London followed by a tour of England, Scotland and Wales. He then wrote The novelsA Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. He also worked as the the publisher, editor & major contributor to, the journals Household Words and All the Year Round. Dickens also became interested in the paranormal was one of the early members of The Ghost Club. Arctic Exploration also featured in Dickens’s writing The heroic friendship between explorers John Franklin and John Richardson gave Dickens the idea for A Tale of Two Cities, The Wreck of the Golden Mary and the play The Frozen Deep.

IN 1865, Dickens was involved in the Staplehurst rail crash. The first seven carriages of the train plunged off a cast iron bridge under repair. The only first-class carriage to remain on the track was the one in which Dickens was travelling. This inspired the short ghost story The Signal-Man in which the central character has a premonition of his own death in a rail crash and is based around several previous rail accidents, such as the Clayton Tunnel rail crash of 1861. The Staplehurst crash deeply traumatized Dickens, and his normally prolific writing shrank to completing Our Mutual Friend and starting the unfinished The Mystery of Edwin Drood. In 1867 Dickens sailed to America and met Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his American publisher James Thomas Fields.

His final appearance was at a banquet the American Press held in his honour at Delmonico’s on 18 April and boarded his ship to return to Britain shortly after. Between 1868 and 1869, Dickens gave a series of “farewell readings” in England, Scotland, and Ireland, until he collapsed on 22 April 1869, at Preston in Lancashire showing symptoms of a stroke. Dickens began work on his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. After, he witnessed an elderly pusher known as “Opium Sal in an Opium Den in Shadwell, who subsequently featured in his mystery novel. On 2 May, he made his last public appearance at a Royal Academy Banquet in the presence of the Prince and Princess of Wales, paying a special tribute to his friend, illustrator Daniel Maclise. Sadly On 8 June 1870, Dickens suffered another stroke at his home, after a full day’s work on Edwin Drood. The next day, on 9 June, and five years to the day after the Staplehurst rail crash 9 June 1865, he died at Gad’s Hill Place, and Contrary to his wish to be buried at Rochester Cathedral “in an inexpensive, unostentatious, and strictly private manner,” he was laid to rest in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey. A printed epitaph circulated at the time of the funeral reads

“To the Memory of Charles Dickens (England’s most popular author) who died at his residence, Higham, near Rochester, Kent, 9 June 1870, aged 58 years. He was a sympathizer with the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England’s greatest writers is lost to the world.”

Five days after Dickens’s interment in the Abbey, Dean Arthur Penrhyn Stanley also delivered a memorial eulegy. Dickens’s will stipulated that no memorial be erected to honour him. The only life-size bronze statue of Dickens, cast in 1891 by Francis Edwin Elwell, is located in Clark Park in the Spruce Hill neighbourhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. The couch on which he died is preserved at the Dickens Birthplace Museum in Portsmouth.

Alan Lancaster (Status Quo)

StatusquoAlan Lancaster, The ex-bass player and founding member of rock band Status quo was born 7 February 1949 in Peckham, London, England. As well as contributing to songwriting, he was also one of the lead vocalists on albums and live concerts taking the lead on tracks such as “Backwater”, “Bye Bye Johnny”, “High Flyer” and “Roadhouse Blues”, etc. Alan Lancaster formed the group in 1962 with his then schoolmate Francis Rossi under the name “The Scorpions at Sedgehill Comprehensive School, Catford, along with classmates Alan Key (drums) and Jess Jaworski (keyboards). Rossi and Lancaster played their first gig at the Samuel Jones Sports Club in Dulwich, London. In 1963, Key was replaced by John Coghlan and the band changed name to “The Spectres” And in 1964 they met Rick Parfitt who was playing with a cabaret band called The Highlights. By the end of 1965, Rossi and Parfitt, decided to work together. On 18 July 1966, The Spectres released two singlesq, “I (Who Have Nothing)” and “Hurdy Gurdy Man” (written by Alan Lancaster), and one the next year called “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” (a song originally recorded by New York psychedelic band The Blues Magoos) and Parfitt joined the band in 1967 Bwhich time the group had discovered psychedelia and changed their name to Traffic, and Appeared on BBC Radio’s Saturday Club. They released another single “Almost But Not Quite There” in 1967, the band became The Status Quo and in January 1968 released the psychedelic-flavoured “Pictures of Matchstick Men”. This was followed by, “Black Veils of Melancholy” and, “Ice in the Sun”. Following Their second album Spare Parts the band abandoned pop psychedelia and Carnaby Street fashions in favour of a hard rock/boogie sound, faded denims and T-shirts, an image which was to become their trademark throughout the 1970s. Lynes left the band in 1970 and was replaced by guests including keyboard player Jimmy Horowitz and Tom Parker. By 1976, ex-The Herd, Judas Jump and Peter Frampton Band member Andy Bown played keyboards but he was not credited as a full-time member until 1982.

After two relatively poor selling albums, Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon and Dog of Two Head in 1970 and 1971, their major breakthrough came when they signed with the heavy rock Label Vertigo And released the album Piledriver, in 1972. Some of their most popular songs include“Paper Plane”, “Caroline”,”Down Down”, “Rain”, “Rockin’ All Over the World”, “Whatever You Want”. From 1977, the band’s sound became more polished as they began to employ outside producers including Pip Williams, Roger Glover, and John Eden. Glover was the first outside producer to work with Quo since Pye’s John Schroeder in the early 1970s, and produced “Wild Side of Life” and its B-side “All Through The Night” in 1976.1977’s Rockin’ All Over the World’s title track, a minor hit for its writer John Fogerty (formerly of Creedence Clearwater Revival) became one of Status Quo’s most enduring anthems. sadly tensions within the band saw founding member John Coghlan leaving the band late in 1981.[6] His replacement was Pete Kircher from the 1960s pop band Honeybus.This line-up played its last full-length gig in 1984 at the Milton Keynes Bowl, and Status Quo’s final appearance with the Kircher line-up opened the Live Aid charity event at Wembley in July 1985. In 1985 Rossi recorded and released two solo singles with long-time writing partner Bernie Frost. Parfitt also recorded a solo album, Recorded Delivery, with bass player John “Rhino” Edwards and drummer Jeff Rich. The album remains unreleased, In 1985, Rossi, Parfitt and Bown, along with Edwards and Rich, started work on a new Status Quo album. However Lancaster. took out a legal injunction to stop the band from using the Status Quo name on any records, including the 1983 album Back to Back citing increasing musical differences, specifically the songs “Ol’ Rag Blues”, and “Naughty Girl”. An out-of-court settlement was made in January 1986, enabling the new Status Quo to continue recording the In The Army Now album, and “Naughty Girl” was reworked as “Dreamin’”.

Lancaster remained in Australia, and in 1986 joined an Australian super group, The Party Boys, which featured Angry Anderson of Rose Tattoo, John Brewster of The Angels and Kevin Borich, but achieved little success outside Australia. Lancaster left Status Quo formally in 1987. His final performance as a full-time member of Status Quo was at Wembley Stadium on 13 July 1985 for the opening of Live Aid. In March 2013 he collaborated with his old bandmates for a series of “Frantic Four” concerts in the UK. They all sold out except for the last date at Wembley Arena. Following “Live Aid”, Lancaster’s relationship with Francis Rossi became increasingly strained, when Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt covertly began recording a new album under the name of “Status Quo”. Lancaster was then substituted with session musician John ‘Rhino’ Edwards, who remains Quo’s bassist to this day. Prompting both Lancaster and Phonogram Records Limited to apply for an injunction to protect their interests in the Status Quo name.

STATUS QUO -LIVE AID http://youtu.be/6Q8bMVz4ZVU

Lancaster continues to live in Sydney, Australia. He joined a new line up of Australian band The Party Boys in 1987 and then co produced a hit album, achieving platinum sales. Also achieving ‘gold’ and reaching the number one spot with hit single “He’s Gonna Step On You Again”. In 1988, he formed the Bombers, which signed to A & M Records in the USA. It was paid the largest advance ever paid to an Australian based band, but unfortunately after the band had completed a five-star reviewed album, A & M was sold to Phonogram; leaving the band high and dry. The Bombers’ original drummer was Lancaster’s ex-Status Quo band mate John Coghlan. Ironically, Lancaster had been complicit in Coghlan’s departure from Status Quo in 1981. The Bombers supported Cheap Trick (1988),Alice Cooper (1990) and Skid Row (1990) on their tours of Australia. When the Bombers disbanded, Lancaster continued with his then partner John Brewster (“The Angels”) with “The Lancaster Brewster Band”, in which Angry Anderson performed as a guest artist for some time. Lancaster then formed his own band: Alan Lancaster’s Bombers which released an E.P. and toured Scandinavia before disbanding in 1995. As well as writing the theme song for the film “Indecent Obsession”, he also produced an album for classical pianist Roger Woodward, which achieved platinum sales in Australia.

In March 2010 Lancaster and Rossi met in Sydney leading to speculation of the original line-up reuniting.This was later denied by current bassist, Rhino, who, speaking of him with the greatest respect, explained in an interview that Lancaster was in poor health and unable to participate in any such reunion.However his health improved and it was announced that the classic “Frantic Four” line-up of Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan would perform a series of concerts together in March 2013. The concerts sold out instantly, and it is rumoured that there will be a new album from this line-up in the coming months. He is also included in a brief cameo role as a ‘Hotel Porter’ in the Quo’s comedy caper ‘Bula Quo!’. as well as appearing in the documentary on Status Quo, titled Hello Quo.

Bon Jovi

David Bryan, the keyboard player with rock band Bon Jovi was born 7th February 1962 Originally from Sayreville, New Jersey, Bon Jovi Formed in 1983 and consist of lead singer and namesake Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.), guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan and drummer Tico Torres. The band’s lineup has remained mostly static during their history, the only exception being the departure of bass player Alec John Such in 1994, who was unofficially replaced by Hugh McDonald.

The band achieved widespread recognition with their third album, Slippery When Wet, released in 1986. Their fourth album New Jersey, which was released in 1988, became just as successful as its predecessor. Bon Jovi went onto achieve thirteen U.S. Top 40 hits between 1986-1995, including four number-ones including You Give love a Bad Name“”, “Livin on a Prayer“, “Bad Medicine“, and “I’ll Be There for You”. Other hits include Keep the Faith ”Wanted Dead or Alive” ”Bed of Roses” Have a Nice Day and “Always”. Their 2000 single “, It’s My Life“, successfully introduced the band to a younger audience. Bon Jovi has been known to use different styles in their music, which has included country for their 2007 album Lost Highway which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Bon Jovi have remained popular and Other albums by Bon Jovi include Bounce, Crush, The Circle, What About now, Burning Bridges This left feels right, Inside Out and This House is not for sale

Throughout their career, the band have released eleven studio albums, three compilation albums and one live album, and have sold 130 million records worldwide. They have performed more than 2,700 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 35 million fans. Bon Jovi was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006. The band was also honored with the Award of Merit at the American Music Awards in 2004, and as songwriters and collaborators, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009.

Pinocchio

Pinocchiowalt Disney’s Classic animated motion picture Pinocchio was released on 7 February 1940 by RKO Pictures. Pinocchio concerns an old Tuscan wood-carver named Geppetto who carves a wooden puppet named Pinocchio. The puppet is brought to life by a blue fairy, who informs him that he can become a real boy if he proves himself to be “brave, truthful, and unselfish” and assigns Jiminy Cricket to be his conscience. However Pinocchio’s path to becoming a real boy is fraught with danger and he encounters many unsavoury characters along the way, who try to tempt him astray, including Honest John the Fox and his companion, Gideon the Cat, who despite Jiminy’s objections, convince him to join Stromboli’s puppet show instead of going to school, Pinocchio is very enthusiastic to join Stromboli’s as it sounds much more glamorous and exciting than boring old school. At Stromboli’s he becomes the star attraction performing alongside marionettes of Dutch girls, French can-can girls, and Russian Cossacks. However Jiminy learns Stromboli’s is not as much fun as it looks. Then Honest John and Gideon meet a coachman who promises to pay them big money if they can find foolish little boys for him to take to Pleasure Island.

So Honest John and Gideon convince Pinocchio that he needs a holiday on Pleasure Island where everything is allowed and Whilst on Pleasure Island he befriends Lampwick. However With no rules or authority to stop them, Pinocchio gets in with a bad crowd of Juvenile delinquents who lead him astray and encourage him to start gambling, smoking, getting drunk, and generally running amok, much to Jiminy’s dismay. Meanwhile Jiminy discovers that the so-called pleasures on Pleasure Island are indeed Too Good to be true and that any boy making a jackass of themselves faces a terrible fate.

After discovering this for himself, Pinocchio finally comes to his senses and escapes with Jiminy’s help. Pinocchio and Jiminy return to Gepetto’s workshop but find it deserted and then learn that Gepetto has been looking for Pinnocchio but was unfortunately swallowed by a huge whale named Monstro and is now living inside him. So Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket set off on a hazardous mission to rescue Gepetto from the jaws of Monstro and hopefully prove once and for all that he can actually be Brave, truthful and unselfish…

Pinocchio http://youtu.be/kE4qKoh80nU

Mark St. John (Kiss)

Mark St. John, the former musician with rock band Kiss was born 7th February 1956. Kiss were Formed in New York City in January 1973 and rose to prominence in the mid to late 1970s on the basis of the members’ white and black face paint and flamboyant stage outfits and elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, The 1973–’80 original lineup of Paul Stanley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (vocals and bass guitar), Ace Frehley (lead guitar) and Peter Criss (drums) is the most successful. With their makeup and costumes, they took on the personas of comic book-style characters: Starchild (Stanley), The Demon (Simmons), Spaceman or Space Ace (Frehley) and Catman (Criss) and the performances included levitating drum kits and pyrotechnics.

The band explains that the fans were the ones who ultimately chose their makeup designs. Stanley became the “Starchild” because of his tendency to be referred to as the “starry-eyed lover” and “hopeless romantic”. The “Demon” makeup reflected Simmons’ cynicism and dark sense of humor, as well as his affection for comic books. Frehley’s “Spaceman” makeup was a reflection of his fondness for science fiction and supposedly being from another planet. Criss’ “Catman” makeup was in accordance with the belief that he had nine lives because of his rough childhood in Brooklyn. Because of creative differences, both Criss and Frehley left the group by 1982 and The band’s commercial fortunes had waned considerably by that point.

However Buoyed by a wave of Kiss nostalgia in the 1990s, the band announced a reunion of the original lineup in 1996. The resulting Kiss Alive/Worldwide/Reunion Tour was the top-grossing act of 1996 and 1997. Criss and Frehley have since left Kiss again, but the band continues with Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. Sadly though Mark St.John passed away in 2007, leaving Stanley and Simmons as the only two constant members remaining. Kiss have also been named in many “Top” lists. They include Number 10 on VH1′s ’100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock’, 9th on ‘The Greatest Metal Bands’ list by MTV, number one on Hit Parades “Top 100 Live Bands”, 56th on VH1′s “100 Greatest Artists Of All Time”, and 26th on Gibson’s “50 Greatest American Rock Bands”. So far Kiss have been awarded 28 gold albums to date, and have sold more than 40 million albums in the United States, of which 20 million have been certified by the RIAA and their worldwide sales exceeds 100 million albums.