It's often possible to get bad weather in October but this year was quite exceptional. Storm Babet shut Scotland completely and deposited millions of gallons of water over Derbyshire in just 36 hours. We'd never seen floods like it and great chunks of Derby City Centre were affected.
Less than a week later was our Autumn Night Run and the ongoing forecast was rain, rain and more rain.
But just as hope was starting to fade, the forecasters started to predict that Wednesday would just be cloudy. Fingers were crossed and by the Tuesday the weather experts were talking about sunshine. We packed our stock, checked our lighting, charged our batteries and hoped for anything other than rain.
On the day it was sunny. More than that it was warm. Not a cloud in the sky. We had a great turnout of members and we all enjoyed our chip supper.
Mike, Phil, Joe and Elliot took the photos.
(Wednesday 25th October 2023)
Mike arrived early and got to grips with his Riverdale Coal Fired Katie.
Mike was soon joined by Doug and the club started to fill up.
One of the biggest turnouts since COVID.
The Upper and Lower tracks were busy when Elliot and John arrived, mid-afternoon.
Darkness and a chip supper arrived as we tested our lights.
Joe arrived after work and got cracking running and snapping.
Joe's atmospheric video (1:39 mins)
Tom had built a rather clever isolating system for the top track so that un-insulated wheeled trains could stand on the top sidings.
Andrew ran his brilliant blue coaches with full illumination.
Phil ran his lovely Regner Willi with magnetically fixed driver as shown in our newsletter.
It ran surprisingly well on our very clean 45mm top track and ended up pulling Tom's train as well.
Meanwhile Colin arrived with piles of wood and got on with repairing the fence with head gardener Glenis.
Mike swapped to the bottom track and ran his impressive Talyllyn train.
Tom ran his track powered loco...
... and his ever faithful Mortimer...
...while Mike rested his Katie and prepared to head to the Chippie.
There was feverish steaming...
... by Mike, Andrew, Eric and everybody else....
...as darkness descended...
...and chaos began. But then the chips arrived and we took a break.
After supper it was really dark and the lights created a beautiful setting.
Many of us swapped to battery power including Phil with his much modified Phil Sharples Box Cab diesel.
Phil's rear end.
Andrew's wonderful fully illuminated stock behind a Criccieth Castle.
Steamers tended to stay in the sidings.
Joe's scratch built Diesel on an IP Engineering chassis, waiting to run.
Wise Man John silhouetted in the stable doorway, presenting an nonseasonal nativity scene and following a bright star perhaps.
Elliot shows off Thunderbird, his recently completed Funkey Diesel
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