The Friends of the
National Railway Museum

South of England Group
Vice Presidents: Richard Hardy; Sir William McAlpine Bt, FRSE, FCIT, FRSA

Last Update

    5 April 2011

Isle of Wight
  9 July 1995

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Sunday 9th July, saw a party of fifteen Friends and associates assembled on the 09.25 ex Waterloo train, comprised of a Wessex electric set, and travelled down the old LSWR line to Portsmouth Harbour.  The weather was glorious, the sun shining and the seas calm, which is probably why the crowds followed us, and we found the WIGHTlink catamaran service to Ryde full.  An enforced 1 hour wait for the next service allowed us to contemplate the pros and cons of modern high speed ferries compared to the "pack-'em-in" paddlers!

We boarded the ex London Underground stock at Ryde for the journey down the east side of the Island.

Despite the slight setback of missing our planned ferry, we made Smallbrook Junction in plenty of time to catch the 13.40 train, comprised of Class 02 No 24 Calbourne and her train of vintage carriages, to Wooton.

The party established itself in the saloon of No 6369, an 1887 built Ex-LDCR fourwheeler, splendidly rebuilt at Havenstreet Works in l993. On arrival at Wootton the party divided into smaller groups and went their various ways, some taking the motor coach tour before returning to Havenstreet to see what the Railway's headquarters has to offer, and what a delightful place that is.

A number of engines were on display such as No 8 Freshwater, and for some of us a memory of RAE Farnborough -

the Hawthorne-Leslie 0-4-0ST industrial loco Invincible, which is now based on the IoW steam railway.

The difference in loading gauge between the locos was quite apparent on one siding where the Austerity loco Royal Engineer stood next to ex -LBSCR A1X class No 32640 Newport.
Others in our party returned direct to Havenstreet and then spent some time at Ryde or elsewhere on the island. All returned to the mainland and home having had a very enjoyable day out in good weather and good company.