First Footplate Ride

(This post was written in 2014)

This was the first day I properly interacted with the Bristol Harbour Railway. It had always been there, I vaguely remember riding it and visiting Bristol Industrial Museum when I was a child. In 2005 I had helped a friend take vehicles to the WW2 event, and in 2006, I remember sitting on a well wagon outside the silent museum as the clock struck midnight. In 2008 I recall driving by and seeing a fox running through the exposed interior of the building.

In 2009, I was fresh out of University and looking for jobs in Bristol centre. On my way back to the Whapping Wharf car park (Itself soon to become a thing of the past) I happened across ‘Henbury’ in the barn (The museum was closed and under redevelopment) and outside, a ship’s boiler on a wagon. There was a young man working on it, and I enquired as to how I could become a volunteer. He pointed me in the direction of the platform and told me to speak to the loco crew. I did so and was promptly invited aboard for a footplate ride on ‘Portbury’!

Whilst I had been aboard a steam loco before, I had never ridden on the footplate whilst it was under way, and it was at this moment that I knew this was something I wanted to get involved with.


A photostitch showing the (at the time) empty car park

A photostitch showing the (at the time) empty car park


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