16/05/2003 – 18/05/2003 Mid-Hants Railway

Our second visit to this railway and this time with 31271 on her first visit away from Butterley . This Gala visit for 271 had been postponed from the previous year whilst teething troubles were being rectified post overhaul.As we hadn’t had time to sort the bodywork out and afford 271 with a repaint, an effort was made to ‘ tidy up’ the external appearence which included fire damage around the radiator area ! The Gala organiser however being most pleased with this ‘scrapyard’ look ..!

31271 arrives at Alresford ready to work an Alton service…16/05/03 photo M Bryant

A ‘B’ exam was carried out and the UAT was passed with no problems . Of interest No 5 Axle was found to be stamped ‘Sept 1958 ‘ so is almost certain to have been fitted under a ‘Toffee Apple’ at some point..! Movement away from Butterley on 14th May was provided by 47737 which was substituted due to the failure of the rostered 47224. The 47 hauled 271 to Wembley where 46035 performed the honours the following day to Alton.

Awaiting departure from Ropley with an Alton train is 31271…16/05/03

Trainload Coal 56104 & Trainload Construction 31271 at Medstead awaiting ‘the road’..18/05/03

During the event most trains were worked singularly by 271 which lived up to her reputation as a very loud and strong piece of kit.We even gained a further round trip when visiting 47224 failed with a burnt-out compressor which to Freightliner’s credit, was repaired on the Friday evening. Locos that 271 worked with over the weekend were resident 33208 and visiting 56104 , also in Trainload livery.

In between duties , 31271 is stabled at Alton…18/05/03

Wearing ‘ The Royal Goyle Hotel’ headboard , 31271 at Alresford with an Alton bound train…18/05/03

All in all a superb weekend with no problems encountered together with much refreshment including a hilarious and rather lively bus trip to the Flower Pots Brew Pub in Cheriton. Excellent…!

31271 returned back to the Midlands on 20th May behind 46035 with arrival at Swanwick around 1700 hrs.