© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2012
I almost didn’t bother. In the days of Kodachrome, I would
certainly have stayed at home. But it would be good to see
Oliver Cromwell in action, and we might get a decent picture
or two, if the teeming rain doesn’t short-circuit the
I’d photographed Nunney Castle on The Great Britain IV around
this time last year, at the same place, on a fine, warm, sunny
day. The farmer was concerned about the dry weather - there
would be problems for him if we didn’t have some rain soon.
Once again, we exchanged a few words. Drought was declared in
Shropshire nearly two weeks ago - it doesn’t seem to have
stopped raining since (remember Denis Howell?). But, as he
pointed out, we need a lot more yet. (But not this afternoon!)
The recent rain had barely started to soak into the hard baked
ground - much of it was just running off.
Specials can often run late. We were hugely grateful that this
one was one time. Due through Dorrington at 2 o’clock, it ought
to be passing through All Stretton at about 5 past. The light wind
from the north carried the sound of the chime whistle - and a
minute or so later, there it was, on time and going well (better
than Nunney Castle, dare I say?). We forgot the rain completely
as the heavy train passed through, smoke and steam billowing
and swirling. Wonderful!