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|On Sunday 29th July, twenty Friends joined our summer
outing. We met outside Didcot station in glorious
sunshine and high temperatures, before we made our way to
the Pendon Museum at Long Wittenham. Here we were
treated to a private guided tour round both floors of the
Our guides explained the background to the building of the
super-detailed models - the 4mm rolling stock on the
Also the exquisite buildings and scenery on the "Vale of the
White Horse". If you have not visited the museum it is
a real eye-opener and even if you have, there has been a
good deal of progress in recent years.
From there it was back to Didcot, to the Great Western
We had lunch before watching the demonstrations of the
travelling post office service, hauled with gusto by
Castle-Class No 5051 Earl
Bathurst As there was a professional film
crew on hand from Harlech TV, we were treated to several
retakes - the volunteer Post Office stand-ins were really
made to work, hauling the mail-bags up to the pick-up
equipment in the summer heat. Those of you in the
South West and Wales, should keep an eye out to see if you
spot any of the group in the background when the programme
is finally screened.
A leisurely tour followed round the extensive site, taking
in the replica broad-gauge exchange sidings, the carriage
sheds with the GWR diesel railcar.
Followed by rides on the two demonstration trains and
inspections of the National Collection's 1857 Wantage
Tramway 0-4-0WT Shannon
and the Pollen E -
four GWR, 1909-built, 6-wheel vehicles which together form a
girder wagon set.
For those who didn't manage to join us on the visits, and
for those who did but want to find out more about the Pendon
Museum, Ken Surman has agreed to give us a
talk on the history and future of the establishment in
next year's lecture programme.