TangmereFest: Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd September 2007

photo of 34067 photo of 34067
Faversham's Shepherd Neame Brewery repeated their previous years' Hop Festival on the first weekend in September, with steam specials in the vein of 1950s hop pickers specials for both days. What better train loco, (from London Victoria on Saturday and Brighton on Sunday), than Bulleid pacific 34067 "Tangmere". With ten coaches and a "dead" diesel to haul that promised lineside photographers quite a spectacle. The plan was to run extra trips from Faversham, (Ramsgate on Saturday and Sheerness/Gillingham on Sunday), which meant reverse working pulled by the diesel, the only time it was operating.

With variable weather forecast and the prospect of the normal claggy operation of 34067 a mixture of photo opportunities was expected. What wasn't expected though, was the 20 minute late start from Victoria as the special had to wait a preceeding VSOE to leave the one platform at Victoria allocated to both trains.

photo of 34067 First a full screen look at 34067 "Tangmere", before seeing the weekend's shots of her in action.

photo of 34067 1 Sept. Delayed at Victoria awaiting it's platform, and then looped at Borough Green to let service trains pass meant 34067, "Tangmere" was 30 mins late climbing Bearsted Bank.

photo of 34067 1 Sept. A closer look at 34067, "Tangmere" climbing towards Bearsted station.

photo of 34067 1 Sept. 34067 accelerates fast away from the water stop at Lenham.

photo of 34067 1 Sept. 34067, having done the complete loop around via Minster, Ramsgate and Margate, heads past Beltinge, just South East of Herne Bay.

photo of 34067 1 Sept. 34067 was pulled back to Ramsgate from Faversham by diesel, before the Bulleid then hurried back through Birchington to the festival.

photo of 34067 2 Sept. Sunday dawned clear, but by the time 34067 was between Berwick and Polegate stations on the Hop Festival train from Brighton the weather had collapsed!

photo of 34067 2 Sept. 34067 storms away from the Chilham waterstop.

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2 Sept. Leaving Faversham for Sheerness.

photo of 34067 2 Sept. In dull weather 34067 passes Newington returning from Gillingham to Faversham.

photo of 34067 photo of 34067 It's a long time since I've photographed fast moving pacific loco steam hauled trains: some in 1971-1975 when West German 012 three cylinder pacifics were still working in North Germany. Before that it was on just a few occasions up to 1961 before my railway interest mainly became timing Bulleid pacific steam operations. So the 1st and 2nd September was an unusual outing for me, and one that thanks to Shepherd Neame and Tangmere I hope to be able to repeat in the future! It was a struggle all weekend to see decent weather conditions, but my new Fuji S5700 digi camera seemed well able to cope with the duller conditons when they came. All in all a highly enjoyable experience.

photo of 30850 29 July 2007. Four cylinder 4-6-0 30850, "Lord Nelson" climbing through Knockholt with a ten car plus one non working diesel, on the way to Folkestone.

photo of 30850 29 July 2007. 30850, "Lord Nelson" climbing through Knockholt.

photo of 34067 27 July 2007. Bulleid pacific 34067, "Tangmere" makes a lovely sight, (and sound!), heading East from Tonbridge with the VSOE. 13 cars for 520 tons loaded.

photo of 34067 Bulleid pacific 34067, "Tangmere", drifts downhill towards West Malling in summer 2006.

photo of 35005 Rebuilt Bulleid pacific 35005, "Canadian Pacific", climbs into Bearstead in summer 2002.