War on the Line 2019 (part 2)

Episode 30 – War on the Line 2019 (part 2)

Welcome to War on the Line 2019 (part 2), where I talk to a number of characters from the local community. The 2019 event commemorates 75 years since D Day.

Bomb Disposal:

The Danger Unexploded Bomb sign was often seen in the early 1940s. A UXB requires a specialist to defuse it. These people are incredibly brave. Each time they pit their wits and experience against the bomb’s designer. A mistake results in a large explosion with catastrophic results.

The bomb disposal team:

The team is represented by the Army and the Royal Navy.

The Navy is here to deal with airborne mines because they have experience with mines at sea whilst the Army deals with the bombs.

We learn about the different ways of dealing with the different types of mines and bombs.

Butterfly bombs were first  used was against the people of Grimsby.  Sadly because they don’t look dangerous children played with some that didn’t explode immediately. The Government had to publicise their dangers in schools.

Station entertainment:

I meet May Blossom on one of the stations. I can’t tell you which!

She is singing and entertaining the troops and civilians passing through the station. Such is her popularity that there is quite a crush when a train arrives and two children show how well they can jive!

The RAF Control Room:

My final interview in this episode is with one of the RAF Air Controllers. She tells me about their work guiding the RAF aircraft to their targets. They are an essential back-room team.

To view the photographs:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

Find out more about the Watercress Line:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link to the Watercress Line.

Please consider donating to the Line at this time because whilst the costs continue there is no income coming in. To donate please click here.

Events at the Watercress Line:

The Watercress Line is currently closed and sadly some of the planned events, such as the VE Day Commemoration, are cancelled.

To find out about the events that are currently planned please click here.

About ‘Life on the Watercress Line’

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Castbox, Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Steam Railway for use as the theme music.

Audioblocks has licensed Victorious Troops by Patrick Smith for use as incidental music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2020

War on the Line 2019 (part 1)

Episode 29 – War on the Line 2019 (part 1)

Welcome to War on the Line 2019 (part 1), where I talk to a number of characters from the local community. The 2019 event commemorates 75 years since D Day.

The cycling Cobbler:

I talk to a shoe repairer who uses his bicycle to visit different parts of the area so that he can provide a service. I find that he has a pair if shoes for a soldier. He doesn’t know where the soldier has got to. Let’s hope he’ll come back to pay for the repairs!

The Auxiliers:

The next person I spoke to told me about the Auxiliers. They would stay behind if there was an invasion. The idea was to be an active resistance to the invaders. They would cause disruption though their activities. Their life expectancy after an invasion was only a few weeks.

The Auxiliers had new and novel weapons including ‘tommy guns’ and exploding rats. There were over 3,000 very fit and extremely brave civilians in the Auxiliers. They were trained at Coleshill House in the Vale of the White Horse.

The National Trust owns the property today. You can find out more by clicking this link.

Travelling magician:

I meet a magician on the train. I am not permitted to say where it was going! Careless talk …..

The magician was keeping the passengers entertained with three pieces of ‘knicker’ elastic. I could not see how he joined the three pieces together with just a wave of his hand!

The Russian Army:

I meet members from our allies in the Russian Army camped at one of the stations on the line. Their tinned food supplies are of great interest to the visitors.

A hair do fit for the occasion:

My final interview in this episode is with a hairdresser. They tell me that there was a queue outside before they had set up. We all know about queuing in wartime.

To view the photographs:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

Find out more about the Watercress Line:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link to the Watercress Line.

VE Day commemoration:

Visit the Watercress Line between the 8th and 10th May to join in. The line will take you back to 1945 to mark the 75th Anniversary. Find out more here.

Come along in period clothes, you can even have a 40s makeover at Pearl’s Pin Up Parlour on the Friday and Sunday.

About ‘Life on the Watercress Line’

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Steam Railway for use as the theme and incidental music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2020

Watercress People (4)

Episode 28 – Life on the Watercress Line – Watercress People (4)

Welcome to Watercress People (4), where I interview three of the many people who make the Watercress Line the great experience that it is.

Sandra Johnson

Sandra tells me that she and her husband were at a loose end, saw an advertisement and, liking steam trains, volunteered 31 years ago.

She has been manager of the very popular Watercress Belle for the last 20 years.

The chefs cook all the food is cooked from scratch in the Kitchen Car. Diners receive a four course with Silver Service. The Kitchen Car (no. 1668) is very important as they are a very hard to get hold of these days. This gives the Watercress Belle an edge over many other organisations who cannot cook food from scratch on the train.

To find out more about Watercress Belle dining please click this link.

David Mead – Regional Groups

David tells me that his role is to coordinate the regional groups. He does this by arranging meetings and getting volunteers to publicise the Watercress Line.

To find out more about the Regional Groups please click here.

Steve Crowther – Stationmaster at Alresford

Our conversation starts by talking about training days. I learn about the importance of people understanding each others roles. We continue by talking about people requiring the skills to deal with passengers with special needs.

Many of the volunteers bring specialised skills from their work and these are of great use – although Steve tells me that they’ve not had an opportunity to use their dentist.

Steve enjoys being in the Signal Box when there is an evening service. She also loves the Santa Specials because of the large numbers of smiling faces.

We finished by talking about her thoughts for the future.

To find out more about Alresford station click here.

Please note: there are no photographs to accompany this Podcast.

Find out more about the Watercress Line:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

About ‘Life on the Watercress Line’

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Deezer, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Steam Railway for use as the theme and incidental music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2020

Some Leave at Christmas (2)?

Episode 27 – Life on the Watercress Line – Some Leave at Christmas (2)?

Listen to Some Leave at Christmas (2) to find out about a great way of spending  Boxing Day and the 27th December. If you’d like a break from the relatives, or just need some exercise and air, then go along to the Watercress Line and join in the fun.

Christmas Leave is where you have the opportunity to travel with servicemen and their families. Some are travelling back to base whilst others are going home for a few days.

There are many characters in Christmas Leave (2). I meet the military, the entertainer at Alresford, a black marketeer, the police and many others.

I get the opportunity to talk to some of the passengers who are out for the day. Some of the story takes place on the train and other parts at Ropley and Alresford stations.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast why not visit the Watercress Line on the  26th and 27th December 2019 and take part in Christmas Leave.  You could go through your wardrobe and find your 1940s gear – then you can dress in character! There will be lots to see at the stations and a regular train service. Full details are on the Watercress Line website – click here.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Look out for the next episode of Life on the Watercress Line.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music, Steam Railway, used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Some Leave at Christmas (1)?

Episode 26 – Life on the Watercress Line – Some Leave at Christmas (1)?

Do you fancy some leave at Christmas? Would you like a break from the relatives? Need some air?

Then visit the Watercress Line for Christmas Leave, where you’ll have the opportunity to travel with servicemen and their families. With Christmas just over, those who had leave for Christmas are travelling back to base. Those who were on duty over Christmas are going home for a few days.

The Home Guard are very active during Christmas Leave checking the identity cards of all the passengers. In addition they’re on the lookout for suspicious people – spies, black marketeers and others. I’m a little worried though because they are helping people fill out and stamp their ID cards!

I get the opportunity to talk to some of the passengers who are out for the day. In this episode all the action takes place on the train as it is mid-Winter.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast why not visit the Watercress Line on the  26th and 27th December 2019 and take part in Christmas Leave.  You could go through your wardrobe and find your 1940s gear – then you can dress in character! There will be lots to see at the stations and a regular train service. Full details are on the Watercress Line website – click here.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in a few weeks.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music, Steam Railway, used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Canadian Pacific update part 2

Episode 24 – Canadian Pacific update part 2

Welcome to the Canadian Pacific update part 2, where I talk to Becky Peacock about the progress made to the boiler and Bulleid coaches over the past year.

The project is to restore the Merchant Navy class locomotive, number 35005, Canadian Pacific and two coaches.

Oliver Bulleid  designed the Merchant Navy class locomotives for the Southern Railway  early in the Second World War. They had many innovations – some worked well, others didn’t! He also designed the coaches.

Oliver Bulleid was a very persuasive person; this allowed him to produce such an innovative design.

Canadian Pacific was the fifth locomotive of the class built at the Eastleigh works in 1941. She entered service on 13 January 1942. Canadian Pacific  worked hard on passenger and freight trains during the war.

After the war the Merchant Navy class hauled the Southampton boat trains and ‘named’ expresses such as the Bournemouth Belle.

On 15th May 1965 Canadian Pacific, pulling a Bournemouth express, reached 105 m.p.h. She was travelling down the Winchester Bank.

Sadly Canadian Pacific was withdrawn from service later in 1965.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the Coach restoration picture gallery:

Find out more about the Watercress Line:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Bring the family and join us on a Santa Special. They run from Saturday 30th November to Christmas Eve. Click here  to find out more.

Don’t forget Christmas Leave on the 26th and 27th of December. Click here to find out more.

About ‘Life on the Watercress Line’

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Deezer, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Steam Railway for use as the theme and incidental music.

Canadian Pacific update part 1

Episode 23 – Canadian Pacific update part 1

Welcome to the Canadian Pacific update part 1, where I talk to Becky Peacock about the progress made over the past year.

The project is mainly about the restoration of the Merchant Navy class locomotive, number 35005, Canadian Pacific.

Oliver Bulleid  designed the class  for the Southern Railway  early in the Second World War. These locomotives had many innovations – some worked well, others didn’t!

Oliver Bulleid was a very persuasive person; this allowed him to produce such an innovative design.

Canadian Pacific was the fifth locomotive of the class built at the Eastleigh works in 1941. She entered service on 13 January 1942. Canadian Pacific  worked hard on passenger and freight trains during the war.

After the war the Merchant Navy class hauled the Southampton boat trains and ‘named’ expresses such as the Bournemouth Belle.

On 15th May 1965 Canadian Pacific, pulling a Bournemouth express, reached 105 m.p.h. She was travelling down the Winchester Bank.

Sadly she was withdrawn from service later in 1965.

Find out more about the Watercress Line:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join us on a Santa Special between Saturday 30th November and Christmas Eve. Click here  to find out more.

Don’t forget Christmas Leave on the 26th and 27th of December. Click here to find out more.

About ‘Life on the Watercress Line’

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Deezer, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Steam Railway for use as the theme and incidental music.

Spring Steam Gala 2019

Episode 22 – Spring Steam Gala 2019

Welcome to Spring Steam Gala 2019, where we look at the attractions for this special weekend.

London Transport 0-6-0 Pannier Tank L92

This loco was originally a Great Western class 5700 tank engine. The GWR and BR built 863 of these locomotives between 1929 and 1950.

The class was designated as light goods and shunting engines. They were also used for passenger trains on branch, suburban and shorter mainline journeys.

British Railways withdrew them by 1966. London Underground  bought 13 of these locomotives following trials and modifications  and used them  for permanent way trains.

London Transport sold L92 to the Worcester Locomotive Society in 1969.

WD 300

WD 300 is an American built locomotive.  382 of the type were built and used in World War 2. They saw service in many countries during and after the war. The War Department borrowed 42 which were stored at Newbury Racecourse station.

The Southern Railway bought 15 for use in Southampton docks.

Two of the locomotives, including WD 300, are at the Kent and East Sussex Railway. They survived because they seized up on their journey to the scrapyard.

The Freight Train

The Gala was an opportunity for people to ride on the ‘Queen Mary’ guards van. This is an articulated guards van and is very rare. Listen to the engine, look at the photographs and find out more about this rare railway vehicle.

Interested in the pictures? Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

Find out more about the Watercress Line:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join us for the Autumn Steam Gala 2019 from the Friday 18th to Sunday 20th October. Click here  to find out more.

Don’t forget the Wizard Weekend on the 26th and 27th October. Click here to find out more.

About ‘Life on the Watercress Line’

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Deezer, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Steam Railway for use as the theme and incidental music.

Joseph McDade has licensed Backplate for use as incidental music in this episode.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Watercress People (3)

Episode 21 – Life on the Watercress Line – Watercress People (3)

Welcome to Watercress People (3), where I have the opportunity to interview some of the many people who make the Watercress Line the experience it is.

Jim Russell – The Early Years

Jim joined the Watercress Line on 25th August 1973, soon after he left school. He travelled around on his first moped.

Jim and the others had many dreams for the line. He never imagined that it would turn into the thriving, living, railway seen today. He said that although the line never get to Winchester it has reached Alton.

One of the early jobs that Jim did was to paint the bicycle sheds. He thinks he did a good job, as they were only repainted recently.

Jim has always enjoyed his time with the line and there has been the excitement of completing major projects.

Colin Marsh – Travelling Ticket Inspector

Colin is a Watercress stalwart. He is often at Medstead and Four Marks station.  His is also a Travelling Ticket Inspector.

Colin tells me that Revenue collection isn’t the major part of the role; there are relatively few fare dodgers! He says that most of the time he’s acting as an on-board host. He gives out lots of information to the travellers he meets on the trains.

David Mead – the Facebook Moderator

David tells me that there is a large Facebook community around the Watercress Line. He adds that many of the Mid-Hants members are part of it. Many of the members are good photographers and this provides an outlet.

There are no photographs to accompany this Podcast.

Find out more about the Watercress Line:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The Autumn Steam Gala 2019 will be held from the 18th to 20th October. Click here  to find out more. Scroll to the posts below to find out about last year’s Gala.

Don’t forget Wizard Weekend on the 26th and 27th October. Click here to find out more.

About ‘Life on the Watercress Line’

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Deezer, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Steam Railway for use as the theme and incidental music.

Joseph McDade has licensed Crossover – Lectro Tango for use as incidental music in this episode.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Autumn Steam Gala (2)

Episode 20 – Life on the Watercress Line – Autumn Steam Gala (2)

Welcome to the Autumn Steam Gala (2). The Steam Gala features Guest locomotives as well as  Watercress Line regulars. There is a Steam Gala each Spring and Autumn.

This episode features Schools Class ‘Cheltenham’Class 9F No. 92212  and Class 2MT No. 41312.

4-4-0 Schools Class locomotive No. 925 Cheltenham

The Schools class were the most powerful 4-4-0 type locomotives to operate in Britain. They were a very successful design, used for passenger and freight duties. The first were named after the public schools within the area  served by the Southern Railway. This was a publicity masterstroke given the popularity of train spotting with schoolboys at the time.

The class was designed by Richard Maunsell, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Southern Railway. The ‘Schools Class’ was the last 4-4-0 locomotive to be designed in Britain and was the most powerful ever produced in Europe. Cheltenham was built in 1934 at the Eastleigh works.

Cheltenham is owned by the NRM in York and had its last overhaul in 2012.

2-10-0 Class 9F No: 92212

Robert Riddles designed Class 9F for British Railways. It was the last of the standardised locomotive classes designed for British Railways during the 1950s. It was intended for use on fast, long distance, heavy freight trains. The class was one of the most powerful steam locomotive types ever constructed in Britain, and successfully performed its intended duties. They were nicknamed ‘Spaceships’ due to their size and shape.

Although they were designed for heavy freight traffic they also successfully worked passenger trains. No. 92220 Evening Star was the last steam locomotive to be built  by BR in 1960. The locomotives were withdrawn from 1964 and the final locomotives retired 1968. A number are preserved, in varying states of repair, including Evening Star which is at the NRM.

2-6-2 Ivatt Class 2MT No. 41312

The Class 2MT was introduced between 1946 and 1952. The design was based on the LMS Stanier 2-6-2 T. The LMS built 10. BR built a further 120. Most were built at Crewe but the last ten were built at Derby.  Fifty of the engines were fitted with push-pull equipment.

In addition to the locomotives I travelled on the ‘light railway’ from Ropley ‘High Level’ station and I spoke with a member of the Canadian Pacific Restoration team.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

This podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music, Steam Railway, used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

Backplate, licensed from Joseph McDade, is used for background music in this episode.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Autumn Steam Gala (1)

Episode 19 – Life on the Watercress Line – Autumn Steam Gala (1)

Welcome to the Autumn Steam Gala (1). The Steam Gala is an opportunity to see Guest locomotives on the Watercress Line. There is one in the Spring and this one each Autumn.

This episode features Foxcote Manor and ‘Prairie’ tank locomotive 5199.

4-6-0 locomotive No. 7822 Foxcote Manor

This is one of a class of 30 engines. Charles Collett  designed the engines for the Great Western Railway and first were built in 1938. Foxcote Manor is on of 10 built by British Railways in the 1950s.

The locomotive spent its working life in an area roughly bounded by Chester, Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury. The Cambrian Coast Express was regularly hauled by 7822 and, on 10th August 1963, she ‘double headed’ the Royal Train.

There are 9 survivors from the class. They are an ideal size for heritage lines.

Click here to visit the Foxcote Manor Society web page.

2-6-2 Class 5101 ‘Prairie’ tank No: 5199

5199 is based at the Llangollen Railway. The class was first introduced in 1929 by Charles Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Western Railway. Designed for suburban and mainline stopping trains, they accelerated quickly between closely spaced stations. They were also used for ‘banking’, mainline ‘piloting’ and freight trains.

These, and sister classes 6100 and 8100, were amongst the most successful Great Western locomotives. Over 200 locomotives were built.

The name, ‘Prairie’, comes from the US where it was used for 4-6-2 locomotives.

Click here to visit the Llangollen Railway website.

I spoke with a member of the ‘Wagon Group’ about the work that they carry out on the Watercress Line.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

This podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music, Steam Railway, used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

Backplate, licensed from Joseph McDade, is used for background music in this episode.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Watercress People (2)

Episode 18 – Life on the Watercress Line – Watercress People (2)

Welcome to Watercress People (2), where I have the opportunity to interview some of the people who make the Watercress Line happen – when you and visit.

My first interview in Watercress People (2) is with David Mead who has been  involved since the early days after British Rail closed the line in the 1970s.

I then talk to Steve Crowther, the Chair of the Mid-Hants Railway Preservation Society about how she became involved. Steve is also the Station Master at Alresford Station and we discuss the professionalism of the team.

I then get to talk to Jim Russell in the signal box at Alresford about the two carriage Hampshire Unit. I learn that this unit was one of the last trains to run on the line before closure by British Rail.

The final interview in Watercress People (2) is with David Meade about his role in the Ticket Office and also how he manages ticket stocks.

There are no photographs to accompany this episode.

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

You can also listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music. Incidental music, Crossover – Lectro Tango, is by Joseph McDade.

The ‘Watercress Line’ logo is used with permission from the Mid-Hants Railway.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Christmas Leave (2)

Episode 17 – Life on the Watercress Line – Christmas Leave (2)

Welcome to Christmas Leave (2), where I have the opportunity to travel with servicemen and their families at Christmas. Some are travelling back to base and others are going home for a few days.

There are all types of people in Christmas Leave (2), in addition to the military I meet the entertainer at Alresford, a black marketeer, the police and many others.

I get the opportunity to talk to some of the passengers who are out for the day. Some of the story takes place on the train and other parts at Ropley and Alresford stations.

If you enjoy this podcast please visit the Watercress Line on the weekend of 15th/16th June 2019 for War on the Line. This year commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the D Day landings. There will be lots to see at the stations and a regular train service. Full details on the Watercress Line website – click here.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music, Steam Railway, used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Christmas Leave (part 1)

Episode 16 – Life on the Watercress Line – Christmas Leave (1)

Welcome to Christmas Leave (part 1), where I have the opportunity to travel with servicemen and their families. With Christmas just over those who had leave for Christmas are travelling back to base. Those who were on duty over Christmas are going home for a few days.

The Home Guard are very active in Christmas Leave (1) checking the identity cards of all the passengers. In addition they’re on the lookout for suspicious people – spies, black marketeers and others. I’m a little worried that they are helping people fill out and stamp their ID cards!

I get the opportunity to talk to some of the passengers who are out for the day. In this episode all the action takes place on the train as it is mid-Winter.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast why not visit the Watercress Line on the weekend of 15th/16th June 2019 for War on the Line. This year commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the D Day landings. There will be lots to see at the stations and a regular train service. Full details on the Watercress Line website – click here.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music, Steam Railway, used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Watercress People (1)

Episode 15

Welcome to Watercress People (1), where I have the opportunity to interview some of the people who make the Watercress Line happen – for you and me.

My first interview in Watercress People (1) is with Colin Fuller who was one of the original people involved when British Rail closed the line in the 1970s.

I then talk to Steve Crowther, the Chair of the Mid-Hants Railway Preservation Society. We discuss the roles of the Society and the Mid-Hants Railway Limited in creating the Watercress Line experience. Steve is also the Station Master at Alresford Station.

The final interview in Watercress People (1) is with Colin Marsh who is a Porter at Medstead & Four Marks station. We discuss life at this quiet country station.

There are no photographs to accompany this episode.

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

A Day Out With Thomas (B)

Episode 14

Welcome to A Day Out With Thomas (B),  a favourite event for visitors, of all ages, to the Watercress Line. I join Thomas and his friends who are out in the summer weather to entertain everybody!

Rusty and I talk about his role and later I catch part of his magic show. I visit the swing seat roundabouts, a very popular attraction at Ropley. After that I take the first train to Alresford. At Alresford I speak to a family who are out for the day.

In A Day Out With Thomas (B) I talk to Richard who is on Thomas’ footplate staff and then talk with Karen who is doing the commentary.

It is a lovely day with lots of really happy people. You can do the same at the next A Day Out With Thomas event.It runs from the 13th to 22nd April and details are here.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

A Day Out With Thomas (A)

Episode 13

Welcome to A Day Out With Thomas,  a favourite event for visitors, of all ages, to the Watercress Line. I join Thomas and his friends who are out in the summer weather to entertain everybody!

I talk to the Fat Controller who is here to ensure that the event runs smoothly. He has come all the way from the Island of Sodor for the week. I also speak to Rusty who gives magic shows each day.

In A Day Out With Thomas (A) I get to talk with footplate staff and listen to Thomas driving the commentator to distraction. Such a naughty engine!

I also talk to the Vicar of Sodor who rescued Trevor the Traction engine and the local policeman.

Listen to part B of A Day Out With Thomas in two weeks time.

I had a really enjoyable day out and you can do the same at the next A Day Out With Thomas event.It runs from the 13th to 22nd April and details are here.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Walk the Line – Life on the Watercress Line

Episode 12

Welcome to Walk the Line where members of the public raise money for the Watercress Line. It is an opportunity to see the railway from ground level and at walking pace!

950 walkers, with many assorted dogs, took up the challenge to Walk the Line on a Sunday last November. It was a beautiful autumnal morning when the walkers set off but torrential rain arrived during the walk.

Many of the walkers ‘signed on’ in Alresford and took the vintage ‘rail replacement buses’ to Alton so that they could walk the whole length of the railway. The walk from Alton is uphill all the way to just before Medstead & Four Marks station and then downhill for the rest of the way.

The money raised by the walkers is being used to replace 1,000 yards of ballast between Medstead and Ropley.

Walk the Line 2019 is on the 9th November – follow the link to the events page and scroll down to the bottom for the details.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join me in two weeks for the next episode of Life on the Watercress Line.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Driving and Firing Experience pt. 3 – WC Ep. 11

Welcome to part 3 of the Driving and Firing Experience offered by  the Watercress Line. The afternoon was my opportunity to drive a steam engine  – something that I’d wanted to do since I was a child!

Three of us were trainees that afternoon, guided by an excellent Watercress Line driver and fireman. This podcast starts as leave Alresford, for the second time, for the uphill climb to Ropley.

After reaching Ropley we went on a tour of the engineering sheds. The sheds enable the line to carry out work on the locomotives and carriages.

We then returned to Cheltenham for the final section, downhill, to Alresford. I was the driver for this last section but, as you will hear, I forgot about the ‘handbrake’. Silly of me as I’d spent ages putting it on!

You can learn from the driving instructions and from the informal conversations during the afternoon.

It was an amazing experience on a warm and sunny early autumn afternoon.

If you’d like to try the Firing and Driving Experience, or know someone who would, click here. It is a wonderful three hour experience.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join me in two weeks for Walk the Line in the series Life on the Watercress Line.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Driving and Firing Experience pt. 2 – WC Ep. 10

Welcome to part 2 of the Driving and Firing Experience offered by  the Watercress Line. My opportunity to do something that I’d wanted to do since I was a child!

Drive a steam engine!!

There were three trainees that afternoon, guided by an excellent Watercress Line driver and fireman. The podcast starts as we reach Ropley after an uphill climb from Alresford.

This episode takes you from our arrival into Ropley, on to Medstead and then all the way back down the hill, through Ropley and on to Alresford.

You can learn, as we did, from the driving instructions and also from the informal conversation as we move between the stations.

It was a lovely early autumn afternoon – lots of sunshine.

If you’d like to try the Firing and Driving Experience, or love someone who would, click here. It is a wonderful three hour experience.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join me in two weeks for part 3 of the Driving and Firing experience in the series Life on the Watercress Line.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019