Tanfield Railway 1940s Weekend - September 24th & 25th

This was the first Tanfield Railway 1940s event since 2019, our last show before Covid shut the world down. It's been a long time coming back and I think it was the first large event at the railway since covid restrictions ended. For the first time, we decided to camp there, living a little further away now and with high fuel prices. Lynne had also just bought a new modern plastic tent and wanted to try it out before the year ended. She's not a huge fan of crawling around in canvas tents.

We took the Dodge and M201 to the show, arriving late on Friday afternoon in order to get set up and settled in. The new tent was hidden under our large camo net in the corner of the field and while of modern design, it blended quite well into the trees behind. We were expecting some of our friends the following day, members of our unofficial group "The Hedgehog Heroes". The name came from the Beamish show a few years ago, where a member of the public tried to steal a ration box for a hedgehog house. I'd recently got some magnetic plastic patches made, copied from an original bomb group patch of a hedgehog. All our vehicles now carry this patch.

Two locomotives were running during the weekend - Austerity class 0-6-0 saddle tank No.49 and recently restored "Horden". The main events field was located between the Marley Hill yard and Andrews House station. The military vehicles and the dioramas were located in this field. The Seatones singing group were based at Andrews House station while swing bands played in the carriage shed and another singer performed at the other end of the line at East Tanfield station.
At around 2pm, a seven vehicle convoy set off from the show field along the main road, which runs more or less parallel to the railway, down to East Tanfield station. We stayed there long enough for a coffee & cake stop before returning to the Marley Hill show field. It gave the public at both stations the chance to see the vehicles on the move, rather than just parked up for the day.

Also early afternoon, my daughter put on a bridesmaids dress and joined two other young re-enactors for a wedding photoshoot on and beside the train. Straight after that was an outfit change for the evacuees leaving on the next train.

 Sunday's show followed the same format with another convoy mid afternoon. Some of the vehicles present on Saturday were only there for one day, but several different vehicles turned up on Sunday, so the overall vehicle count was about the same. At times, it was a chilly weekend, thanks to a stiff Northerly wind on Saturday, but thankfully the wind dropped for Sunday and was a little warmer from the West.