Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Telly Addicts

Look who's on the telly...

If you haven't yet met 270 KTA in person, may I recommend the next best thing to tide you over until gearbox repairs are finished?

Robin from RT Realfilms handed over a DVD at the weekend. He's captured every aspect of our recent adventures in Looe when, you'll recall, we ran alongside the Great Western Steam Railmotor on the picturesque Cornish branch line.

Together with Colin Billington's Bristol H, we're shown 'racing' the train between Liskeard in wonderful scenes not unlike The Titfield Thunderbolt in spirit. Of course, it wasn't a race - the route via St Keyne and Duloe is a hilly one for both road and rail - but it's amazing how sprightly things look in the edit.

For those with even the mildest interest in old trains and buses, it's the perfect Winter antidote: the Cornish countryside basking in Autumn sunshine, with steam and Tilling green - you'll feel warm after just a few seconds...

Copies of "GWR Steam Railmotor & Western National Buses" (30 mins) are available from R T Realfilms, 21 High Street, Wick, Bristol, BS30 5QJ, for £12.

And for Railmotor fans, it will be in action again this weekend on the South Devon Railway, with bus fun provided by TV&GWOT in the shape of Bristol H 137 and (in 270 KTA's absence) Bristol LWL 1613, the latter in the charge of Driver Sheppard.

Sunday, 10 February 2013


the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act. Synonyms: motive, inspiration, inducement, cause, impetus.

When there's a gearbox to strip in the middle of Winter, in some of the coldest and wettest conditions the West Country can muster, one must be sure to have lots of tea breaks.

I hope I catch you on your tea break, too, as I have some photographs to show which I've not yet shared on the blog.

Isn't this splendid?

It shows our friend amongst other friends in 1968, at The Conigre in Trowbridge. It's a sunny day, but none too hot - there's hardly an open window in sight. 270 KTA has just arrived from Bratton, and sits amongst a KS from Chippenham, an LS from Frome, and a Lodekka which has probably just arrived from Westbury. They face the main bus station and depot buildings (now flats) where 270 KTA was based, on an area which itself is being redeveloped for housing as we speak. Word has it that only half the site will be built on, so it may be possible to recreate this shot in the future.

Staying in Trowbridge, a few yards down the hill...

Here's a familiar face climbing the hill on Broad Street towards the rear of Trowbridge depot in late 1968. The grand buildings in the background ajoin the Usher's Brewery complex, and the buildings to the left appear derelict. The driver is smartly attired in Summer uniform, complete with tie, and our friend is no less presentable. The 247 was a regular haunt of 270 KTA in her Trowbridge years, and was one of the routes recreated on both our 50th Anniversary tour and at the Warminster Running Day last year. The former saw her climbing this very hill with blinds set exactly as shown - even though I only discovered this shot a few weeks ago...

Just as our friend did in 1969/70, we move from Trowbridge to Taunton...

This is the yard at Hamilton Road depot in 1972. By now, our friend is sporting the more modern 'block' fleetnames, and 420 has become 1220 in the renumbering scheme which saw the SUL coaches moved from the 4xx series to the 12xx series, to make room for newly absorbed Greenslades fleet in the Western National numbering scheme. The incongruous Dennis Loline to the left has arrived on an Omnibus Society tour, and we probably have one of their number to thanks for the photograph.

Bet they wouldn't have foreseen that our friend would be there 40 years later...

Right - tea break over. I hope this will tide you over until I can give a proper update on the gearbox situation in a couple of weeks time...

We'll all need some tea then.