Friday, September 06, 2013

Steaming through Annandale

This fine old oak tree provided welcome shelter as I waited in the rain in an Annandale field earlier today.

I passed the time trying to photograph young swallows feeding all around me - not the easiest task! But it made the time pass quickly and these little birds put on quite a show.

Those who follow my exploits at Skip Cottage will have worked out by now the reason for me standing in a Wamphray field! It was of course to see heritage steam running on the West Coast Main Line, north of Carlisle. Doesn't happen too often, so the occasion could not be ignored!

This is 6233 Duchess of Sutherland, LMS Princess Coronation Class 4-6-2 Pacific (see here), pulling a special railtour from Crewe to Perth to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the outshopping of the locomotive from Crewe in 1938.

Heading up towards Beattock, and the climb to Beattock Summit. Hopefully I'll get closer to the locomotive when it comes back south tomorrow.

The main page for the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust is here. I saw the locomotive last year at Dumfries, see here, and at Lockerbie, here. And going back even further, I caught up with her in 2010 at Carlisle, see here.

Meanwhile, back to admiring the acrobatics! The swallows who made Skip their home last year didn't return in 2013, but it was good to see that some had nested in the area. They must be getting ready to fly south soon.

This afternoon, my attention was taken by some very characteristic growling outside. It was some very nice classic cars who were braving the weather and back roads of Wamphray.

Full marks if you spotted that these Austin Healey 3000s are not registered locally!

You have to say that this is quite distinctive! French colours I suspect. Always nice to have foreign visitors in Annandale, but one has to think that the organiser of this event either did not reconnoitre the route beforehand, or else has a very nasty sense of humour. I must go out later and see what has fallen off the cars as I'm sure many will not have managed to avoid the Grand Canyon sized potholes along the road!

Photos © Skip Cottage

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