Having missed the 2016 Diesel Gala at the Great Central Railway due to forgetting all about it, we were back on track this year. First on the platform at Loughborough were Bertie and Pete. Bertie had kindly offered to give Pete a lift to the event this year, so we left in plenty time to enable us to get the 9.45 Griddle car service. No sooner had Bertie hit the platform he was up to his “Cabinit” antics with D5343.
Pete and Bertie quickly proceeded to the Griddle car and did a land grab on a few seats for the guys arriving to catch this train. We were quickly joined by “Bachmann Steve” and Brian and his mate. Once assembled we duly proceeded to order up the infamous GCR Diesel Gala all day breakfast.
This is a superb feast and highly recommended. With food delivered the train was off for the first run off the day to Leicester North. On the way back down the line to Loughborough we alighted at Quorn to let Bertie get under some wagons and meet up with 37714 “Cardiff Canton” resplendent in its new triple grey livery.
After a few runs up and down the line behind various traction, by which time we had lost “Bachmann Steve” it was time to visit the sheds and the bridge. It was noticeable this year they had done a bit of a tidy up in the yards hopefully in preparation for exciting new developments at the site involving the “Bridging the Gap” project. We stood at the gates and viewed progress in the distance of the twin girders installed last week preparing the way for the GCR line to pass over the Midland Main Line.
Once back up at the station Bill had now arrived to join us ( and scoffed and all day breakfast) and we partook of some fine ale namely the Nottingham Sooty Porter which was very nice.
After a few more train runs it was time for Brian and his mate to depart for another engagement. Apparently they were giving up a day on diesels to go on a photo shoot with some big kettle things up at Butterley. As Bill had not seen the bridge installation Pete, Bertie and Bill made a return visit to the bridge.
Time was now getting on and soon it was time for an evening meal. The options for the late run Griddle Car meals didn’t look too appetising so Pete and Bertie decided it just had to be another all day breakfast.
We had agreed to stay for the next run as it was 37714 but just before it was due to meet up with its coaches it turned in a sick note. Luckily there was an able deputy in Class 20 D8098. We may have been denied the class 37 but at least our last run would be on English Electric traction. We secured a seat just behind the engine and opened the widows full, and so with full thrash the 20 pulled us away to Leicester North and then a non-stop run back down to Loughborough.
A great day was had by all. The weather was kind to us and we were well fed and watered.