Sunday, 21 September 2014

SVR Autumn Gala 2014

Hello :o)

For the past day and a bit I have had the pleasure of spending it at the Severn Valley Railways Autumn Steam Gala with the company of Andy H. We went last year and it was amazing to see steam engines operating in the dark so this year was one of those 'not to miss' events.

I decided to travel up on the Friday straight from work but it seems the traffic conspired against me and so I didn't arrive at Kidderminster until 6.30pm, a whole 2 1/2 hours later than expected, but once I was parked up I could then enjoy the weekend.

Nighttime photography has always alluded me, especially moving things like trains so as last years photos were admittedly a bit of a nightmare I tried to read up on how it should be done. Now I will be honest and say that my photography skills leave lots to be desired and I have always worked to the  thought of 'if I take enough photos I am bound to get one or two good ones' and this year it seems I have had a little more luck, here are some of my favs...

Ok, so they aren't going to win any awards but I am happy with them and they are a definite improvement on last years! Sad to say though, these people were more prevalent this year...

...and as you can see it was very hard, almost impossible to take photos of some things. There were times when they came and just set up their cameras in front of me while I was trying to take photos, and to me some were quite rude to other members of the public. I know I was just trying to do the same but I try to be as considerate as possible to others. Anyway, whinge over...

The Saturday was nice too...

  A 4f amongst the flowers, a timeless scene.

I think there is a leak there.
The fireman said to me "when you are filling at 5000l/min you aren't worried about a 5l/min leak"

The relief crew poised, ready for action

Finally my favorite photo of the (205!) I took...

But how stereotypical! (Its on the M7 btw).

For those who haven't been to such an event I would thoroughly recommend it, seeing steam engines and trains running in the dark is a whole different world, its so atmospheric (hence why my layout Highclere can be run in the dark). I will be back in 2015 and fingers crossed my photography might be slightly better then too.....

Julia :o)


I took only one video, it was taken at around 4am on Saturday so apologies in advance if the quality is a bit poor...



  1. You have to realise Julia, that those were Important Men taking Important Historical Photographs, not just some blokes with expensive Nikons...
    Men + camera + steam loco = flippin' nuisance! (I nearly ran one over last year near Dove Holes as he ran across the road from me to photograph a steam railtour.)

    I like to visit railways on 'normal' weekends, avoiding the galas and the crowds, in the hope that I can wander freely (or sneak about anyway!).

    1. Hehe, thanks Paul.

      Its the fact they stand there for ages and dont seem to do anything. I think they are waiting for the 'ultimate' photo that will be so good they will never take another photo again! The photo of them above was take on Bewdley Station at about 10pm on Friday.
      I can understand that weekdays would be quieter but then there isnt anything moving too. I like to see steam engines in steam.

  2. Did consider a trip down, but then sense prevailed :) Would like to see steam at night and after a trip to Welsh valleys did rustle an interest in things GWR. You stay all night?
    t'other Tom

  3. Thanks Tom.

    Wholly recommend it though, even if its just to experience the sight, sound, and atmosphere of a steam railway at night. It wont help dissuading you from GWR though!
    I did stay overnight. I slept in the back of my van in Kidderminster Station car park!

  4. Lovely photos Julia, they really capture the atmosphere of the place. It's a pity the MHR don't do night time shoots at their events anymore. Their Gala at the end of next month has a GWR theme to it too.

    Sadly at events like this you'll always get folks that will do anything to get the photo they want with complete disregard for anyone else.


    1. Thank you Tom.

      I am surprised not to have seen you at the SVR this weekend, I would have thought it would appeal to you. I would really suggest you try a steam railway in the dark sometime, they are totally different.