Severn Valley Railway Steam on the Road

The Severn Valley Railway’s Steam on the Road event takes place  at Kidderminster Station. The event showcases the very best of steam on the road, and steam on the rails! From steamrollers, traction engines and steam wagons and features a variety of full size traction engines, and up to 4 miniature engines including roadgoing steam vehicles, Steam Rollers, traction engines, Showmans Engines and steam wagons which will be on display and in operation in the car park and on the Station forecourt, plus Plimsoll, the Road/Rail Series 1 Land Rover will be on the line.

 

Visiting Steam Vehicles include No. 4093 Dororthy, Burrell Road Locomotive, No. 8064, Wallis & Steevens 8 Ton Advance, No. 17480 Survivor, Fowler DNB Steam Roller, No. 2547 Endurance, Burrell Showmans Road Locomotive, Trotter 1 Ton Steam Roller, No. 7248 Pedler, Wallis & Steevens General Purpose Engine, No. 12770, Foden Tractor, No. 26839, Ransomes Sims & Jefferies General Purpose Engine, No. 1592 Tasker B2 Tractor, No. 1310 Foden Agricultural Tractor

There are also Steam Trains running on the Severn Valley Railway including Brakevan rides on GWR 0-6-0 tank engine No. 1450 at Kidderminster station. Plus A Display of vintage tractors, And a Road run through Kidderminster each day, culminating with a climb up the hill to Kidderminster Station, A Beer Festival on the concourse, with approximately 15 Real Ales and 10 Traditional Ciders & Perries on offer. Miniature steam locomotives will also be opperating on the Coalyard Miniature Railway. Plus Live entertaintment fromlocal band Blind Lemon at Kidderminster on Saturday evening, in association with Kidderminster Arts Festival

Plimsoll, the road-rail Land Rover will also be running along the whole length of the line. Plimsoll is a 1957 Series 1 Land Rover which has a 1997cc four-cylinder petrol engine, a four-speed main gearbox and a two-speed transfer box with selectable four-wheel-drive and can run on rails. At Hampton Loade there will be a display of more Land rovers. Meanwhile At Bridgnorth station there will be a Display of commercial vehicles and Mechanical Horses.

The Severn Valley Railway Wizard Express takes place on 1st, 15th and 22nd August 2018. Passengers will be required to collect their wax-sealed invitation to Wizard School at Kidderminster, Before leaving from Platform 92/4 and embarking on a journey along the Severn valley Railway towards the Engine House at Highley. On arrival at Highley, you will be greeted by a figure of GIANT proportions who will escort you to The Engine House, where the Wizard School’s finest Scholars will be ready to meet you.

once At the Wizards school Passengers will be given mystical lessons of wizardry From magical characters. And will be taught the masterclasses of trickery; including Broomstick Training, Wand Making and Greenhouse Herbology and successful students will be awarded  graduation certificate upon completion of the lessons. Other spellbinding activities include Magicians who will amaze you with unbelievable acts of prestidigitation right before your eyes.

Severn Valley Railway classic car day

On Sunday 29 July The Severn valley Railway played host to many classic vehicles for the annual Severn Vally Railway Classic Car Day. Many cars were on display at Bridgnorth, Highley, Hampton Laode, Arley, Kidderminster and Bewdley stations. Each station had an emphasis on certain models with many iconic vehicles from marques such as Morris, Austin, Riley, Wolseley, Singer, Sunbeam, Holman, Ford, Fiat, Jaguar, Lotus, Rolls-Royce, Triumph and a Heinkel Bubble car all on display at different locations.

Sir John Fowler KCMG LLD

English civil engineer Sir John Fowler, 1st Baronet KCMG LLD was born 15 July 1817. in Wadsley, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, to land surveyor John Fowler and his wife Elizabeth (née Swann). He was educated privately at Whitley Hall near Ecclesfield. He trained under John Towlerton Leather, engineer of the Sheffield waterworks, and with Leather’s uncle, George Leather, on the Aire and Calder Navigation an railway surveys. From 1837 he worked for John Urpeth Rastrick on railway projects including the London and Brighton Railway and the unbuilt West Cumberland and Furness Railway. He then worked again for George Leather as resident engineer on the Stockton and Hartlepool Railway and was appointed engineer to the railway when it opened in 1841. Fowler initially established a practice as a consulting engineer in the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire area, but, a heavy workload led him to move to London in 1844. He became a member of theInstitution of Mechanical Engineers in 1847, the year the Institution was founded, and a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1849

He specialised in the construction of railways and railway infrastructure . In 1853, he became chief engineer of the Metropolitan Railway in London, the world’s first underground railway, which opened between Paddington and Farringdon in 1863. Fowler was also engineer for the associated Metropolitan District Railway and the Hammersmith and City Railway. They were built by the “cut-and-cover” method under city streets. To avoid problems with smoke and steam overwhelming staff and passengers on the covered sections of the Metropolitan Railway, Fowler proposed a fireless locomotive. The locomotive was built by Robert Stephenson and Company and was a broad gauge 2-4-0 tender engine. The boiler had a normal firebox connected to a large combustion chamber containing fire bricks which were to act as a heat reservoir. The combustion chamber was linked to the smokebox through a set of very short firetubes. Exhaust steam was re-condensed instead of escaping and feed back to the boiler. The locomotive was intended to operate conventionally in the open, but in tunnels dampers would be closed and steam would be generated using the stored heat from the fire bricks.

The first trial on the Great Western Railway in October 1861 was a failure. The condensing system leaked, causing the boiler to run dry and pressure to drop, risking a boiler explosion. A second trial on the Metropolitan Railway in 1862 was also a failure, and the fireless engine was abandoned, becoming known as “Fowler’s Ghost”. The locomotive was sold to Isaac Watt Boulton in 1865; he intended to convert it into a standard engine but it was eventually scrapped. On opening, the Metropolitan Railway’s trains were provided by the Great Western Railway, but these were withdrawn in August 1863. After a period hiring trains from the Great Northern Railway, the Metropolitan Railway introduced its own Fowler designed, 4-4-0 tank engines in 1864. The design, known as the A class and, with minor updates, the B class, was so successful that the Metropolitan and Metropolitan District Railways eventually had 120 of the engines in use and they remained in operation until electrification of the lines in the 1900s. Today these railways form the majority of the London Underground’s Circle line

Fowler established a busy practice, working on many railway schemes across the country. He became chief engineer for the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway and was engineer of the East Lincolnshire Railway, the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway and the Severn Valley Railway. Other railways that Fowler consulted for were the London Tilbury and Southend Railway, the Great Northern Railway, the Highland Railway and the Cheshire Lines Railway. Following the death of Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1859, Fowler was retained by the Great Western Railway. His various appointments involved him in the design of Victoria station in London, Sheffield Victoria station, St Enoch station in Glasgow, Liverpool Central station and Manchester Central station.The latter station’s 210-foot (64 m) wide train shed roof was the second widest unsupported iron arch in Britain after the roof of St Pancras railway station. Fowler’s consulting work extended beyond Britain including railway and engineering projects in Algeria, Australia, Belgium, Egypt, France, Germany, Portugal and the United States. He travelled to Egypt for the first time in 1869 and worked on a number of, mostly unrealised, schemes for the Khedive, including a railway to Khartoum in Sudan which was planned in 1875 but not completed until after his death.

Victoria Bridge

In 1870 he provided advice to an Indian Government inquiry on railway gauges where he recommended a narrow gauge of 3 feet 6 inches (1.07 m) for light railways.He visited Australia in 1886, where he made some remarks on the break of gauge difficulty. Later in his career, he was also a consultant with his partner Benjamin Baker and with James Henry Greathead on two of London’s first tube railways, the City and South London Railway and the Central London Railway. As part of his railway projects, Fowler also designed numerous bridges. In the 1860s, he designed Grosvenor Bridge, the first railway bridge over the River Thames,and the 13-arch Dollis Brook Viaduct for the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway. He is credited with the design of the Victoria Bridge at Upper Arley, Worcestershire, constructed between 1859 and 1861,and the near identical Albert Edward Bridge at Coalbrookdale, Shropshire built from 1863 to 1864. Both remain in use today carrying railway lines across the River Severn. In the 1880s, he was chief engineer for the Forth Railway Bridge, which opened in 1890 and Following the collapse of Sir Thomas Bouch’s Tay Bridge in 1879, Fowler, William Henry Barlow and Thomas Elliot Harrison were appointed in 1881 to a commission to review Bouch’s design for the Forth Railway Bridge. The commission recommended a steel cantilever bridge designed by Fowler and Benjamin Baker, which was constructed between 1883 and 1890

Fowler stood unsuccessfully for parliament as a Conservative candidate in 1880 and 1885. His standing within the engineering profession was very high, to the extent that he was elected president of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1865, its youngest president. Through his position in the Institution and through his own practice, he led the development of training for engineers. In 1857, he purchased a 57,000 acres (23,000 ha) estate at Braemore in Ross-shire, Scotland, where he spent frequent holidays and where he was a Justice of the Peace and a Deputy Lieutenant of the County.He listed his recreations in Who’s Who as yachting and deerstalking and was a member of the Carlton Club, St Stephen’s Club, the Conservative Club and the Royal Yacht Squadron. He was also President of the Egyptian Exploration Fund.In 1885 he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George as thanks from the government for allowing the use of maps of the Upper Nile valley he had had made when working on the Khedive’s projects.

They were the most accurate survey of the area and were used in the British Relief of Khartoum. Following the successful completion of the Forth Railway Bridge in 1890, Fowler was created a baronet, taking the name of his Scottish estate as his territorial designation. Along with Benjamin Baker, he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Edinburgh in 1890 for his engineering of the bridge. In 1892, the Poncelet Prize was doubled and awarded jointly to Baker and Fowler. Fowler died in Bournemouth, Dorset, at the age of 81 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London. He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his son, Sir John Arthur Fowler, 2nd Baronet sadly he died 25 March 1899 and The baronetcy became extinct in 1933 on the death of Reverend Sir Montague Fowler, 4th Baronet, the first baronet’s third son.

Frederick Hawksworth CME

BR 2-6-0 1501pt

The last Great Western Railway Chief Mechanical Engineer Frederick William Hawksworth sadly died 13 July 1976. He was born 10 February 1884 in Swindon, and he joined the GWR in 1898, aged 15 where he worked Under George Churchward and C.B. Collett before becoming Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Western Railway when he was 57, in 1941. Having been at the forefront of steam locomotive development under George Jackson Churchward, ideas at Swindon Works had somewhat stagnated under the later years of his successor C. B. Collett, whose reluctance to give up the CME’s post resulted in Hawksworth’s lateness in taking up this position. Hawksworth had been one of Churchward’s “Bright Young Men”, and was involved in Churchward’s designs: he worked on, for example, the general arrangement drawings for “The Great Bear”.

Hawksworth continued in the design tradition which he had been involved in throughout his career, but made some important improvements. In particular increased superheat started to be fitted to the larger classes under his regime, and the works started to make much more use of welded construction. Another prominent new concept was a tender with slab sides, using welded construction, giving a much smoother appearance than the traditional design with stepped sides and riveted plates. His first design to be built, from 1944, was the Modified Hall, a significant development of the Collett design with increased superheat and very different cylinder and frame construction.After the war there were four more new designs, mostly improvements of earlier types. The ‘County’ Class 4-6-0 was the last and most powerful GWR 2-cylinder 4-6-0, the culmination of a line that began with the ‘Saints’ 42 years before. The chassis was similar to the modified Hall, but the boilers were to a new design, larger in diameter than the Std 1 (Hall) boiler but smaller in diameter and appreciably shorter than the Castle boiler. This boiler used tooling which was available from LMS 8F 2-8-0 boilers which Swindon had built for the Railway Executive during World War II and was pressed to 280psi, higher pressure than any previous GWR boiler.

They used some of the names from the vanished Churchward County Class 4-4-0s. He also designed The taper boilered 9400 Class 0-6-0 pannier tank, which were similar to the 5700 class under the footplate but had a much larger boiler giving them more power and adhesive weight – and thus braking capacity. Only the first ten, built by the Swindon, appeared under the GWR. The last two designs were only seen in British Railways livery. Arguably his most radical design was the 1500 Class. This had the same boiler as the 9400 but an all new short wheelbase chassis with outside Walschaerts valve gear and no running plate, and made considerable use of welded construction, the only remaining 15xx class left, no.1501, can currently be seen on the Severn Valley Railway. They were designed for easy maintenance by the trackside. The last Hawksworth design was a very light conventional 0-6-0 pannier tank, the 1600 Class. This was a modernisation of the 2021 Class.

Hawksworth remained Chief Mechanical Engineer through the formation of the Western Region of British Railways in 1948, and continued to work on locomotive design until retiring at the end of 1949. He died in Swindon 27 years later on 13 July 1976. His ashes are buried in St. Mark’s Church, adjacent to the former site of Swindon Works.

The Severn Valley Railway’s “Step back to the 1940’s” event takes place Sat 30 June and Sunday 1 July / Saturday 7 July and Sunday 8 July The event gives visitors a taste of wartime Britain with a host of attractions up and down the line, including a battle at Highley Engine House, costumed re-enactors at every station, military and Classic vehicle displays including tanks, DUKWS, jeeps, Scout Cars and many other 1940’s Vehicles. Musical entertainment including the Big Band Show, there will also be a Flypast by the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, featuring an Avro Lancaster on Saturday 30th June, a Hawker Hurricane on Sunday 1st July, a Douglas Dakota on Saturday 7th July and Supermarine Spitfire on Sunday 8th July which I watched fly over Bridgnorth at around 2:30pm.

Winston Churchill & King George VI will also be in attendance. There is also a Dig for Victory garden and privy , more Classic vehicle displays , Replica air-raid shelter, Bombed out building , ARP post, ID card checkpoint, an Allotment, replica Operations Room, conscientious Objectors Display, replica air Raid Shelter and themed Replica Blackout Air-Raid shelter plus a bombed out building.

The National Fire Service & AUxiliary Fire Service Vehicles Group will also be at the Severn Valley Railway’s Step Back to the 1940s event To display an array of firefighting equipment and take part in an exciting reenactment at Kidderminster Signalbox to demonstrate the vital work carried out by the National Fire Service and the Auxiliary Fire Service during the Second World War. Visitors to Kidderminster Station will also be able to Visit the Hairdresser to get ‘Victory Rolls’ or take Free Vintage Bus Rides and watch the Exhilarating firefighting reenactment each afternoon and a display of firefighting vehicles, courtesy of the National Fire Service & Auxilary Fire Service Vehicles Group. There will also be an All-new shop display at Kidderminster including a Vintage clothing stall, tobacconist and a sweet shop, an Air Raid Shelter and ARP Post plus many Vintage vehicles will be on display and Paul Harper will be performing 1940’s songs.

At Bewdley station there will be a Mechanical horse and vintage vehicle display, plus a Vintage stall selling clothing and memorabilia. At Arley station there will be a Hospital train housing the Royal Army Medical Corps Field Hospital, a Vintage caravan and vehicle display and a wartime wedding on the platform at 2.30pm. 1940s Crooner’, Kevin Mack, will also be entertaining with his repertoire of catchy and nostalgic 1940’s numbers. At Highley station and the Engine House There will be a Battle reenactment: sfeaturing a German Troop train which is about to be attacked by Allied Paratroopers and members of the French Resistance. There will also be a Vintage Marketplace in The Engine House selling memorabilia, nostalgic 1940’s clothing and Army uniforms, Wartime newsreels will also be shown, Paul Harper will be entertaining each morning. There will also be a Display of military vehicles adjacent to the signal box and the Allied’s Encampment next to the station. Visitors will also have the chance to see King George VI’s Royal Saloon on display in the Engine House.

At Hampton Loade station there is a German presence with the German military police demanding to see your travel documents and identity cards. There is also the Paddock Miniature Railway and Classic vehicles from the period will also be on display, as well as motorcycles. Entertainment will be provided by the D-Day Darlings and the ‘Big Band Show’ at Kidderminster featuring a fantastic jazz orchestra alongside special guests playing tunes from the 1940s. The show begins at 7.30pm on both evenings.

Severn Valley Railway 40’s Weekend

The Severn Valley Railway’s “Step back to the 1940’s” event takes place Sat 30 June and Sunday 1 July. The event gives visitors a taste of wartime Britain with a host of attractions up and down the line, including a battle at Highley Engine House, costumed re-enactors at every station, military and Classic vehicle displays including tanks, DUKWS, jeeps, Scout Cars and many other 1940’s Vehicles. Musical entertainment including the Big Band Show, there will also be a Flypast by the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, featuring an Avro Lancaster on Saturday 30th June, a Hawker Hurricane on Sunday 1st July, a Douglas Dakota on Saturday 7th July and Supermarine Spitfire on Sunday 8th July.

Winston Churchill & King George VI will also be in attendance. There is also a Dig for Victory garden and privy , more Classic vehicle displays , Replica air-raid shelter, Bombed out building , ARP post, ID card checkpoint, an Allotment, replica Operations Room, conscientious Objectors Display, replica air Raid Shelter and themed Replica Blackout Air-Raid shelter plus a bombed out building.

The National Fire Service & AUxiliary Fire Service Vehicles Group will also be at the Severn Valley Railway’s Step Back to the 1940s event To display an array of firefighting equipment and take part in an exciting reenactment at Kidderminster Signalbox to demonstrate the vital work carried out by the National Fire Service and the Auxiliary Fire Service during the Second World War. Visitors to Kidderminster Station will also be able to Visit the Hairdresser to get ‘Victory Rolls’ or take Free Vintage Bus Rides and watch the Exhilarating firefighting reenactment each afternoon and a display of firefighting vehicles, courtesy of the National Fire Service & Auxilary Fire Service Vehicles Group. There will also be an All-new shop display at Kidderminster including a Vintage clothing stall, tobacconist and a sweet shop, an Air Raid Shelter and ARP Post plus many Vintage vehicles will be on display and Paul Harper will be performing 1940’s songs.

At Bewdley station there will be a Mechanical horse and vintage vehicle display, plus a Vintage stall selling clothing and memorabilia. At Arley station there will be a Hospital train housing the Royal Army Medical Corps Field Hospital, a Vintage caravan and vehicle display and a wartime wedding on the platform at 2.30pm. 1940s Crooner’, Kevin Mack, will also be entertaining with his repertoire of catchy and nostalgic 1940’s numbers. At Highley station and the Engine House There will be a Battle reenactment: set two days after the Normandy Invasion, and featuring a German Troop train which is about to be attacked by Allied Paratroopers and members of the French Resistance. There will also be a Vintage Marketplace in The Engine House selling memorabilia, nostalgic 1940’s clothing and Army uniforms, Wartime newsreels will also be shown, Paul Harper will be entertaining each morning. There will also be a Display of military vehicles adjacent to the signal box and the Allied’s Encampment next to the station. Visitors will also have the chance to see King George VI’s Royal Saloon on display in the Engine House.

At Hampton Loade station there is a German presence with the German military police demanding to see your travel documents and identity cards. There is also the Paddock Miniature Railway and Classic vehicles from the period will also be on display, as well as motorcycles. Entertainment will be provided by the D-Day Darlings and the ‘Big Band Show’ at Kidderminster featuring a fantastic jazz orchestra alongside special guests playing tunes from the 1940s. The show begins at 7.30pm on both evenings.