I won, if that’s the right word, at a mayoral ball the charity auction for a trip on a steam train, called the ‘Cathedral Express’.
The auction prize let us choose the steam train excursion of our choice. We collect the prize today, catching the Cathedral Express at Sunningdale through the West Country to Minehead, on the Devon coast, pulled by Bittern, to return late tonight.
I was a ‘trainspotter’ in my youth. Well, up to the age of 11 anyway. Regular readers might know that I come from Wolverhampton, which while I grew up there was an important railway town. It used to have two mainline stations, one for the LMS – London to Scotland, and the GWR – London to Shrewsbury and Chester, and numerous places to park and repair steam locomotives. Hence my boyhood love of steam trains.
The steam locomotives that I never saw as a boy were from the LNER, and Southern railways. And so, it’s an immense pleasure that today’s steam train is Bittern, a steam locomotive of the LNER. I’ll post a report and pictures later.