Ok, son has returned from camp, we have rested for a day. Now a trip out together to look at and ride on trains. This outing is based around Birchley railway which we have visited on and off for a number of years. The house is now up for sale and has featured in The Telegraph, on BBC South East and this steaming may be the last ever.
We set off in the morning when the Dartford crossing would be less busy. Traffic was good and we got to Tenterden, Kent by 11.30 for a platform ticket visit to the Kent and East Sussex Railway which our son has never visited. He set himself up to video trains for the movies he makes and posts on YouTube. We went for refreshments and a look around.
We watched the first train of the day set off to Bodiam and found out from the Birchley site that the steaming was from noon, so set off earlier so we could get a parking space. We drove through the lanes to approach, not our usual route through Biddenden village.
Parking was not an issue, as it was in a separate field. We went into Birchley and paid our entrance fee (fund raising for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy). Son went off to film / help / watch and we set off up the drive. A great afternoon was spent watching trains, engaged in conversations about the house (unfortunately out of our price range and at son’s pocket money it would take him 3,743 years to pay without interest ).
Lots of photo opportunities,as the crowds thinned around 5.30 pm he got a chance to drive Thumper the diesel loco. I will label the photos as best I can and when a total is announced for the charity I will add it to the post. Drummond and Jennifer Randall,we thank you for many happy visits riding the trains and enjoying your lovely gardens.
The house with gazebos for the cake stalls, tombolas and barbecue.
Birchley, this end of the building dates from the 16th century and has 5 acres of gardens. The house is divided into three sections. Two of which are not for sale.
Son in filming mode- very focused.
The younger enthusiasts exchange the roles of turntable pushers and signalman on the points. With 5 trains running this is important.
The trains around the layout ( in total about one mile of track).
Son had a chance to drive this on a previous visit.
Diesel – Thumper – driven on this occasion
Steam – the favourites
Crowborough who struggled on the incline a few times to get up the hill with occasional guard pushing.
Dunalastair, driven over the pond bridge by Drummond himself.
Tonbridge who my wife and I had our “last circuit” on again driven by Drummond who drives a mean incline.
Many memories, lots of family pictures and video clips over the years…