Thanks to Archie Beale for these photos of Portbury ex-works in either 1988-89 or the 1990s doing passenger trips on the harbourside.
From the 24-27th May 1996, Bristol Harbour was host to the International Festival of the Sea. This was a huge event featuring many guest ships and attractions, and of course the BHR played a part. A shining and fully-lined out ‘Henbury’ and ‘Portbury’ were joined by LB&SCR E1 class 0-6-0T No.B110, then based at the East Somerset Railway (Now being restored to service on the Isle of Wight as No.W2 ‘Yarmouth’). The two locos operated a shuttle service between the station at Ashton Meadows and the Bristol Industrial Museum with 3 loaned coaches.
Thanks to Eric Gates for these photos.
Phil Cass was also there to capture these photos, thanks to Phil for sharing them.
Before the Bristol Harbour Railway as we know it today was opened, the locomotives ‘Henbury’ and ‘Portbury’ travelled around a bit, spending some time at Radstock before relocating to Bishop’s Lydeard on the West Somerset Railway.
Whilst looking through the Cornwall Railway Society’s website I found these two photos by Ron Kosys showing the motley collection of industrial locos in 1976.
Click the images to go to the website. The photos are the copyright of Ron Kosys.
Poor Portbury looks in a rough state, Henbury had last been in steam at Radstock in 1973, and would not run again until the opening of the BIM’s line in 1978.
On Thursday 20th August 2020, steam tug ‘Mayflower’s boiler was lifted back into place. As the museum and working exhibits have been closed during the Coronavirus crisis, it was nice to be able to have them alive again. All volunteers taking part were complying with COVID-19 restrictions throughout. The lift went very smoothly, a credit to all involved. Hopefully this means the 159-year old Mayflower can be in steam again soon!
Nicholas Tozer published this rather lovely video of a blue ‘Portbury’ operating trains in the early 1990s. It’s amazing to see the differences in the background, like the old sidings, the sleeper wall where the flats near SS GB halt now are. Also note the W.Vincent wagon being used for passengers, these days it is back to being a coal wagon.
DHW took place last weekend, with plenty going on at M Shed, SS Great Britain and Underfall Yard.
On Saturday, the Capstan was also in operation again. This device enables people to move wagons along the quayside without needing a locomotive. I made this video of the Capstan in use back in 2014.
Two electric cranes were also in operation, one giving tours and one loading/unloading goods to and from the lorry and rail vehicles.
The BHR is back in action this weekend!
M Shed has published a list of dates up through until June, which can be viewed here.
Just one photo from last weekend. Portbury standing at SS GB Halt.
It’s Docks Heritage Weekend tomorrow and Sunday, featuring a variety of attractions, one of the most varied weekends of the year.
Portbury was warming up outside the shed earlier this week.
Take a look at Will Stratford’s video of last year’s event showing some crane and goods action on the quayside: