For many of us the Loco Olympics were the most anticipated event of the year. Not staged since 2019, we planned our event, bought prizes and revised the rules. Competing members chose their locos, charged batteries and hoped for fine weather.
When the day came we were really unsure about anything that we'd planned so we were playing it by ear. As it happened members turned out and the weather was quite kind. Sunshine and showers, some heavy< were predicted and that was exactly what we got.
It was gloriously sunny and warm followed by torrential rain followed by sun and more rain in a sequence repeated all day but we still had loads of fun.
Elliot, Dave, Jon and Joe took the photos.
(Saturday 26th August 2023)
Elliot's personal view of the Loco Olympics, narrated by James the AI.
Elliot cut 30 mins of footage into a short video, never really intended to be a documentary (2.31 mins).
We gathered in bright sunshine but with threatening black clouds and prepared for our day.
Doug looked on as Locos gathered in the sidings.
Alan set up as head judge and the events began.
The final of the Tug of War between Andrew and Elliot, both running Criccieth Castles.
The Smooth Running challenge in progress in the distance.
Much laughter as John's attempt at smooth running ends in disaster.
Meanwhile, the garden looked fantastic.
MRT ran their superb Vintage Train.
And the flowers in the, "Not The Bog Garden", looked stunning.
This sunflower didn't mind rain or sunshine.
Yes, it absolutely threw it down!
Steady as she goes ... Tom participates in the steady running challenge.
While most of us took part in the Olympics, there was lots of running elsewhere on the track.
Elliot warms up Lady Elliver, which is an exceptionally heavy Silver Lady.
Joe's green Bertie and his lovely set of coaches.
The crucial, water filled, chalice-on-a-flat-wagon, brimming while awaiting another excited contestant.
Mike's little Bulldog proves adept at slow and steady running.
Meanwhile, Dave's chunky Lady Anne hauls heavy goods on a very slippy bottom track.
Andrew ran his Billy and his excellent set of coaches.
Elliot test ran his nearly completed Castell Caernarfon, towering over a set of coaches loaned by Joe.
The MRT's Vintage train ran noisily on the main line.
Joe's manual Bertie, happy to chug along while Joe snook off to snap the big engine. Well, a very small big engine.
Lots of passengers all having a trip to the seaside.
Elliot built this Funkey Diesel from a Yatton kit.
Painted in WHR colours, it will soon be renamed ... Thunderbird.
Locos parked at the front station. We really must think up names for locations round our layout.
Dave's heavy goods train really is heavy and a challenge to get round a greasy track.
Dave looking very chilled as his train easily copes with the gentle slopes on the layout.
Andrew's Billy seemed to struggle more than most. Andy has started a Clean The Track campaign but there were no volunteers on Saturday.
Thrills and spills for Mike. It's trickier than it looks.
Jon ran his little Hercules with a nicely modelled driver.
Is it you Jon?
Lady Elliver looking grungy against a dark sky.
Joe's Billy still chugging round.
Chairperson Alan in charge of events and his box of tricks in the foreground.
John's Criccieth Castle in the Haulage Challenge against a set of luggage scales. It won.
Tom participating in the Haulage Challenge not doing so well.
Alan takes a precise timing as contestants tried the Slow Running Challenge.
Everyone studies the exact amount of water needed to top up the sloshy challenge chalice.
It was very serious at times though some runners managed to pick uo almost as much rain as they lost water over the bumps. Mike's tiny, grey, slow running winner is in the foreground.
This brilliant little model crept around the track without stopping to easily win.
It was entertaining but wet.
Our visitors seemed to enjoy the proceedings.
They also liked such a good range of locos running.
We got soaked in the rain.
We dried out in the sunshine.
Then got wet again a bit later until finally the event came to an end.
Alan carefully worked out the scores and we all came inside for the prizes.
We all won something...
There were Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals, Rosettes and a Cup...
...won by Andrew. OR DID HE ??? There was a stewards inquiry and Mike was found to have won with Andrew second. But so as not to create a fuss, Andrew kept the cup and a new one was ordered for Mike.
So everything worked out well in the end.
Alan's excellent documentary video of our Loco Olympics (6.00 mins).
Made up from photos and videos taken on the day. Well worth watching to the very end and maybe a preview of Loco Olympics 2024.
If you have more photos to add to this or other galleries then please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.