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’ was 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.
The following pictures appear with the kind permission of Geoff Hartland.
Number 110 was built at Brighton Works in 1877 and named ‘Burgundy’. It was withdrawn in 1927 and sold to a colliery in Rugeley, which resulted in it being the only member of its class to survive scrapping, being sold into preservation in 1963. It was in service on the ESR between 1993 and 1997, when it was withdrawn early due to firebox problems. She is now on display at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s ‘Train Story’ exhibition, and will be restored in due course.
The track gangs (Usually a team of no more than 6 people) have been extremely busy in modifying the layout at Butterfly Junction.
This was the view today – the line through the station has been lifted, as has the loop, and the sleepers from the Ashton Meadows Spur have been recovered.
Perhaps aptly, the station information board is rather lopsided.
In the shadow of the tobacco bond warehouses, the crane lifts the last few remaining rails from the station area.
Larry the loader assists
The foreground is where the spur to Ashton Meadows used to run – this is planned to form part of the Metrobus route
Just around the corner, the new shed and yard is taking shape. Compare these photos to those taken in January, another set of points has been laid on the approach to the Barn, which is already half assembled.
Back in 1996, ex-GWR pannier tank 1369 (Now based at the South Devon Railway) paid a visit to Bristol Harbour.
The Weymouth Docks shunter, last survivor of the 1366 class, was reminiscent of panniers formerly used on the harbour lines.
Here are a collection of photos from the visit. All photographs are copyright of their respective owners, a huge thank you goes out for allowing them to be reproduced here.
The charter featured Ashton Avenue Swing Bridge, still available for use at the time. The area behind the loco is the current site of Butterfly Junction Halt. In 1996 there was a run-around loop in place at Ashton Meadows.
The swing bridge’s deteriorating condition meant that it was taken out of use in the late 1990s, and the track on the South side of the New Cut was lifted to make way for new housing (The houses do not occupy the permanent way, but the trackbed was used for site offices and vehicle parking during construction).