While the Gala started on the Friday my need to earn a living meant I didn't get on the line until the Saturday when I was working at 7 a.m. so the first few photos are of the line waking up.
The crew busy preparing 7820 Dinmore Manor for service in the morning mist. Ahead of Dinmore is 7828 Odney Manor which is out of service with firebox problems.
Visiting ex LSWR M7 Class 0-4-4T 30053 from Swanage being prepared for service along with a pannier tank. I think it was my first view of an M7, an odd place to see one.
Another visitor was 57xx 0-6-0PT 5786 from the South Devon Railway, the guard and driver exchange notes before leaving with the 7.45 from Minehead.
Another visiting 57xx was 5764 from the Severn Valley Railway being prepared to work the second departure of the day from Minehead.
Later in the morning a general view of Minehead loco with 5224, 4160, D2133 and 41312 all being readied for service.
Resident, newly restored small prairie 5542 was also working and is also seen waiting to leave Minehead.
Ex LMS Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2T 41312 was another visitor, again seen being prepared for service at Minehead.
The WSRA's small pannier 6412 spends much of the year away on other lines but was back home for this year's Gala.
5786 returns to Minehead after its trip to Norton Fitzwarren and back, having changed over trains on the way back at Bishops Lydeard. I'd worked the train to Norton, a rare trip down the furthest part of the line.
Added to the activity of the day was this through special from Finsbury Park, London which we crossed at Blue Anchor where I took these two shots of it hauled by EWS diesel 67006.
Pecket saddle tank Kilmersdon was giving shunting demonstrations at Washford in the S&D Trusts sidings. The van on the back is a ex SR "road van".
30053 and 5764 returned to Minehead from Bishops Lydeard double heading, they are seen here in the bay after arrival.
The reverse view of the pair awaiting the departure of their stock before running to shed to take water etc.
In stark contrast to the venerable M7 was EWS's modern diesel, 67006 which was occupying the main platform with its 13 coach Hertfordshire Railtours special.
The Ivatt then appeared with an extra coach and coupled on to a train ready to double head it with the M7.
Their train had arrived behind visiting Large Prairie 4141, seen after being uncoupled.
30053 then ran on to the train ready to double head back to Bishops Lydeard with the set that included the Quantock Belle dining train serving an all day breakfast.
The pair seen from the train as they approached Donniford Halt. It was so busy that I abandoned the idea of trying the breakfast and just enjoyed the ride.
4141 waiting to come off shed for her next run.
4141 was stood alongside the EWS class 67, 67006, which was waiting to return to the mainline.
By now the day was winding down, 5764 had gone to shed for disposal for the night.
Two more views of 5542, also on her way to shed at the end of the day.
Another loco being disposed was 7820 Dinmore Manor.
4141 however had a last trip to Bishops Lydeard to do, she is seen in these views awaiting the road then leaving.
To conclude Saturday's photos, this ex Crossville Bristol L type Single decker with ECW bodywork now with Quantock Heritage was working a connecting service and is seen here with the "Manors" in the background.
Moving on to the Sunday, double headed pannier, 5764 and 6412, arrived at Bishops Lydeard as 41312 stood waiting to work down to Minehead.
The pair are seen again running into the platform. The green BSK is the support coach for when 34046 Braunton is in traffic and working on the mainline.
On arrival the panniers were parted, 5764 has been uncoupled and is moving off to take water.
In these shots from left to right 5542 is stood in the loco, 4160 is moving in to take 5764's place at the head of the train and 5764 is coming back towards the water tower.
Next 4160 is seen approaching 6412 to double head down to Norton Fitzwarren.
After 4160 and 6412 had run past the points 5764 came on to the back to "top and tail" the train, necessary as there is no loop at Norton Fitzwarren.
A final one of this train sees 4160 and 6412 on the tail after its return from Norton.
After the train had gone back to Minehead behind 5764 6412 took water then moved up ready to come on to the next train and work it to Minehead along with 5542, which went on the back down to Norton.
Photography ceased while I took the train to Williton and back to have lunch - good pasties on the trains - on the way back behind 30053 and 41312 we stopped a Crowcombe Heathfield to cross with 7820 Dinmore Manor.
Once we arrived at Lydeard 4160 moved out to come onto the back of the train ready for its return to Minehead.
The next move saw the M7, 30053, come round via the water tower ready to double head with 4160.
The pair then departed for Minehead - not sure what the Southern style headcode on the M7 indicated but it carried it every time it was lead loco over the Gala.
A last view at Bishops Lydeard of 5786 arriving with an up train, I was working this train so there wasn't time for any more shots. I think the first glimpse of an up train at Bishops Lydeard through the bridge as it passes between the trees is a lovely one.
The following photos were taken by a fellow volunteer on the WSR, Rodney Greenway.
4160 arriving at Washford with a down train.
5224 waits to cross at Williton, also with a down train.
Two views of 5542 and 6412 at the water tower at Bishops Lydeard.
5542 with an up train at Williton.
The demonstration goods train at Bishops Lydeard.
While the goods was stood in platform 1 5764 arrived with an up passenger train.
A last one from Rodders, Pecket saddle tank Kilmersdon shunts the yard at Washford.
There are brief technical details of these locos on WSR Locos
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There are other photos of the West Somerset Railway in 2003 on WSR 2003
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This site was last updated 15-07-2012
Photos not otherwise credited are ©2001/2002 S G J Huddy. Other photos are included with permission of the copyright holders.