The Dean Forest Railway

The Dean Forest Railway – the Friendly Forest Line – runs for four and a half miles between Lydney Junction and Parkend. It passes through beautiful woodland and countryside and reflects the relaxing pace of a country branch line in the early Twentieth Century.

The line covers part of the route of the Severn and Wye railway. It was originally a tramway established in 1810 to transport minerals to the River Severn. The Severn and Wye railway eventually extended to Lydbrook, Cinderford and Coleford.

The station at Lydbrook Junction gave a connection to the Ross and Monmouth railway enabling iron or to be transported to the iron works at Ebbw Vale and Dowlais.

Passenger services started on 23 September 1875 with two trains a day between Lydney and Lydbrook. By 1879 the service had reduced to one train a day. Passenger services north of Lydney Town were discontinued on 6th July 1929. Lower Lydbrook had closed earlier, in 1903.

Services continued south of Lydney Town until the night of 25th October 1960 when two barges collided,  in thick fog, with the bridge over the River Severn. One exploded and the other caught fire causing significant damage to the bridge – it never re-opened.

To find out more about this disaster click here.

The Prairie Tank locomotive used for our journey was built in 1928 at the Great Western works in Swindon. No. 5541 was withdrawn from service with British Railways in 1962 and sent to be scrapped. The Dean Forest Line rescued the locomotive and it was back in steam in 1975.

You can get more information about the Dean Forest Railway here.

Full size copies of the photographs are available from Flickr, Facebook and some through Instagram.

Click on a thumbnail to open the gallery.

You can also listen to the podcast using iTunes (Apple Podcasts), Spotify or Stitcher.

The theme music Steam Railway is used under licence from AKM Music and the incidental music, Chill Electronic-Sunrise Expedition, is used with permission of Joseph McDade who both created and performed the music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2018


The Grand Prix de Farnham – October 2018

The Grand Prix de Farnham took place in October 2018 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Mike Hawthorn  winning the Formula 1 World Championship.

On 19 October 1958 the Moroccan Grand Prix was held on a circuit near Casablanca. This was the only time that Morocco has hosted a world championship Grand Prix.

Mike Hawthorn driving a Ferrari was in pole position but the race was won by Stirling Moss driving a Vanwall with Mike Hawthorn in second place. Mike’s second place secured him the world championship by one point making him the first British Formula One champion ever.

Having become Formula One world champion the Farnham Flyer, as he was known, retired from motor racing.

John Michael Hawthorn had come a long way since his birth on 10 April 1929 in Mexborough in what was then the West Riding of Yorkshire.

At the age of two his parents had moved to open the Tourist Trophy garage in Farnham, the town where Mike remained for the rest of his life.

The people of Farnham celebrated with cars from Mike Hawthorn’s era driving through the centre of town on a wet Sunday afternoon.

The event was organised by the Friends of Mike Hawthorn and the website for the event is at Mike Hawthorn GP de Farnham where you’ll find lots of information about the day.

The organisers would like to thank the the owners and drivers of the 86 cars that took part, the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club, the Jaguar Drivers Club, the Hedgehogs and the Hants and Berks Motor Club for providing marshalls. Thanks also go to the Unity Support Riders for their help and to Zara and the team at Farnham Maltings.

Full size copies of the photographs are available from Flickr, Facebook and some through Instagram.

Click on a thumbnail to open the gallery.

The music Fast Lanes is used under licence from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2018


The Grand Prix de Farnham

Come back here during the afternoon of Friday 19th October (or later) to listen to the podcast on last Sunday’s event held in Farnham.

Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Mike Hawthorn becoming Formula 1 World Champion.

Listen to the sounds of the many wonderful cars that braved the weather to entertain the crowd.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2018