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Tanfield Railway 1940's Weekend - Sept 20/21st
September 21st - Day 1

It was a lovely sunny day at Tanfield Railway, for what is possibly our last show with vehicles, of the 2019 season. I'd decided to get all the vehicles to the show across the two days and so took "Jessie the Jeep" and "Faith the Flying Control Dodge" for day one. Lynne drove "Jessie" for the first time out in the new magnetic plastic Red Cross markings. Without thinking, we parked with the other vehicles which meant I was photographing them into the Sun for much of the day.

There was a Jeep that I hadn't seen before and the huge Scammel truck was a surprise visitor. I haven't seen that at any events locally before.

Around 1pm, NCB No 49 collected another carriage from Marley Hill yard, to add to the train for the evacuees. They walked up the hill from the Home Front display in Marley Hill carriage shed and back down the bank to Andrews House station. Prime Minister Winston Churchill was there to see them onto the train, which departed Andrews House station at 1:30pm.
At Andrews House, the Seatones were singing and there was a big band in the main carriage shed in Marley Hill yard. Mid afternoon, we had a mini convoy down to East Tanfield Station for coffee where Colin was performing as George Formby. The car park was virtually full, as was the main car park near Andrews House Station, so there must have been a good number of public there.

At the end of the day, we took the Dodge straight back to the storage yard, as it was on the way home, and came home in "Jessie" the rest of the way. For day two, we'd take "Jessie" and "Hope" on display. With the vehicles away, we had a quick bite to eat before returning to the evening dance held in the carriage shed. It had been a really great first day to the show with a couple of new vehicles on the scene I hadn't seen before and lots of people dressing appropriately for the occasion.

September 22nd - Day 2

Tanfield day two started out nice and sunny again. I hoped it would stay that way, as with "Jessie" in Red Cross markings and using the olive drab roof canvas, "Hope" was roofless! A few of the larger vehicles didn't come for the second day, but there were a few different Jeeps, Chris in his Dodge and more civilian cars, all on display in the field above Andrews House station.

Following a chat with the farmer, late morning three of us set off across the fields for some green laning. Actually more brown and straw coloured laning, but a good laugh until we got to a flood and a locked gate. We'd sent Derek first as he was expendable if there'd been any land mines, so he ended up turning around in the flood and we made our way back to the show field.

Following my Facebook appeal for a second hand roof canvas, Bob came along on Sunday with a spare roof in fairly good condition. A deal was done and "Hope" now has a roof too. The evacuees set off for the 1:30pm train again but this time I didn't follow them to the station. Instead I caught some photos from the bank overlooking Marley Hill signal box and spotted my daughter as she watched from the carriage window.

Some of the vehicles left soon after lunch but six of the remaining military vehicles had a small convoy down to East Tanfield station for coffee. Colin was singing inside the station building because of the predicted showers which didn't happen.
We had one idiot Audi driver ( always an Audi or BMW ) that forced his way through the convoy in a hurry to his grave. Fortunately he didn't take any of us out in his crazed overtaking. The day before, on the way home, another Audi overtook my Dodge on a blind corner. Every trip now, I encounter a selection of idiots on the road, always looking for the worst possible place to overtake!
We parked up the convoy against the trackside fence and stormed the cafe, which was taken without much resistance. It was nice to see both Jeeps out together, both looking a bit different to normal.
We convoyed back to Andrews House and displayed there a while longer before packing up to head home. Driving home, two or three eyes at the front of the new canvas popped off the studs on the screen. I'm going to have to try and get the canvas pulled tighter, or see if it fits better on "Jessie". The Roof bows on "Hope" are slightly lopsided, which I discovered just recently. Where the pivot is for the front bow, the bracket had been welded onto the rear bow with about a quarter of an inch height difference compared to the other side. It must have been manufactured like this during the war as during the restoration, I only straightened the bends in the tubes. This may also be having an effect on getting the roof canvas tightened evenly.

We just got onto the drive when the promised rain came, and it didn't half chuck it down! I got the Jeeps away as quickly as possible and sat down to begin processing several hundred photos!

It had been another brilliant weekend and another busy day for the railway. I'm sure the event will be back again in 2020.