Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Escapees Escapade

A group of 6 from C&W took a steam trip from Birmingham through the Golden Valley via Swindon and Didcot to Oxford on the 'The Cotswold Explorer'.

Report by Dave Clark

Once again Vintage Trains, "The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe", drivers Ray Poole and Ray Churchill, and Suzanne and her hard-working waitresses, gave six of us another superb day out.

Initially the day was slightly marred by persistent mist and hence coach windows that just refused to clear properly.

Only slightly marred' they were more focused on the breakfast than the scenery.

However by the time we were nearing Swindon, the mist cleared to allow a gorgeous autumn day. With two of the best steam drivers on the national network we were assured some superb running, and bar several hold-ups, that is exactly what we got.

The climb to Stroud, into the Golden Valley, and on up Sapperton Bank, was stirring to say the least. Once clear of the two Sapperton tunnels, the decent to Swindon, and then on to Didcot

How much longer these will remain is doubtful as the power station is due to close next year.

and our stop at Oxford no doubt had us at times hitting the 75 mph maximum allowed for steam. We had about 3 hours in Oxford to enable us to explore some of the parts made famous by the very popular Morse and Lewis crime series.

Indeed the first pub we visited, and some of the streets, were instantly recognisable.

At the famous Turf Inn with Dave Hancox, Malcolm Dickson, Paul Wood, Phil Salter and Phil Jones enjoying a drink.

Dave Clark took the picture so this isn't the famous five. with the empties already lined up its more like the second round six.

Our return to Tyseley was via the Cotswold line, (where we Consumed more food!)

and spotted Robin Moore (from our Thursday group) filming the train as it passed through Ascott-Under-Wychwood. Despite the delays we arrived back at Tyseley on time.

and with Paul on the trip all the rest of us got was Thursday's left over doughnuts with our tea.

Here are some links to videos of the trip.

Beginning the climb up the Golden Valley from Stroud

Storming Sapperton Bank in the mist.

Leaving Oxford

Arriving at Moreton-in-Marsh

Videos By Mark Appleby, Liam Hutchison, Steve Cottle, anorak211

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