Dennis Wilcock

Friends Bespoke Clothing

Economy Stud front Coverall WD002

Economy Stud Front Coverall

More items of clothing have been added to the Friends range. The latest arrivals are a Premium Polo Shirt, and Economy Stud Front Coverall and a flame Resistant Coverall. All are the usual high quality and can be ordered at the Friends Special Offers web pages.

More items will be added in the next few days so keep an eye out on the Special Offers page.









Cadeby Memorial Rally & Boston Steam Party 13-14 August – David Rae Reports

Cadeby Ruby Jubilee 2003Teddy Mtsorrel 24.10.15

This event at Quorn & Woodhouse is a welcome reminder for those of us with affectionate memories of the Cadeby steam events, staged by the Rev. ‘Teddy’ Boston at Cadeby Rectory from the mid-1960’s and, after his untimely death in 1986, by Mrs Audrey Boston and friends until the collection was closed and later dispersed in 2005.

Cadeby was a special place, a tiny village in Leicestershire where the 1960’s rectory was almost surrounded by the 2 foot gauge Cadeby Light Railway, around the sharp curves of which Bagnall 0-4-0ST ‘Pixie’ and a train of RAF munitions wagons loaded with visitors would gyrate through the trees. The garden sidings held a collection of narrow gauge industrial petrol and diesel locos, including a rare Baguley from the Lilleshall Abbey & Woodland Railway meant to look like a steam loco. At the front, the Peckett 2112, one of the smallest standard gauge locos built, stood on parade but never steamed. It has since become the tiny star of the preserved railway circuit, appearing at the Mountsorrel Branch reopening. However the Aveling & Porter steam road roller named ‘Thistledown’ and the Foster agricultural engine ‘Fiery Elias’ regularly rumbled around the narrow lanes of the village.

In the grounds, model railway fans would be astounded by the hut containing the vast ‘Olton Prior’ 00 gauge layout, commemorating the prime of the Great Western Railway, and the house also held a fine collection of models and railwayana.

Visitors were always welcome on the special Saturday steamings at Cadeby, never more so than prior to Christmas when teenies would encounter ‘Santa’ dispensing gifts from his grotto in the coal cellar. The whole place was imbued by Teddy’s larger-than-life character and generosity. Such a creation would never be possible today: imagine a country parson building a railway round the garden and inviting people to turn up and ride. Especially on a line with an elegantly simple set of four rules, the third reassuringly being ‘Them that gets it off gets it on’!


No.70013 re-enters Traffic

Saturday 16 July 2016. BR Standard Class 7P Britannia 4-6-2 70013 Oliver Cromwell on its first day back in service after major overhaul, drifts downgrade towards Loughborough, Great Central Railway.On 16th July, 2016 BR Standard Class  No.70013 "Oliver Cromwell" returned to traffic on the GCR after a long and comprehensive overhaul.

The NRM owned locomotive was photographed by John Storer as it drifted towards Loughborough Central.

The locomotive has had new tyres fitted at Riley's in Bury after the wheelsets were removed on the wheeldrop at Butterley. Cylinder and valve work has been completed at Loughborough as has the fitting of flue tubes.

A period of running in on the GCR will be undertaken before the locomotive is ready again for Network Rail action.

Thomas Cook Special

Tuesday 5 July 2016 celebrated 175 years since Thomas Cook ran its first rail excursion from Leicester to Loughborough. To commemorate this anniversary Thomas Cook and The Great Central Railway at Loughborough ran a series of trains between Loughborough and Leicester carrying members of staff, local dignitaries and scoolchildren. Here, Standard Class 9F 2-10-0 92214 now named Leicester City climbs away from Loughborough carry the appropriate headboard.On Tuesday 5th July, 2016 marked 175 years since Thomas Cook ran his first rail excursion from Leicester to Loughborough. To commemorate this anniversary Thomas Cook and The Great Central Railway ran a series of trains between Loughborough and Leicester carrying members of staff, local dignitaries and scoolchildren. Here, photographed by John Storer, BR Standard Class 9F 2-10-0 No.92214 now named "Leicester City" climbs away from Loughborough and approaches Woodthorpe Bridge carrying the appropriate headboard. The earthworks on the western side of the railway are those associated with a housing development.

It was 1841 when Mr Cook, a cabinet maker, arranged for a train to take 500 people at a shilling a head on the 12 miles from Leicester to Loughborough (on the Midland line!).

Ex-Baptist preacher Mr Cook wanted people to attend a temperance meeting, which promoted abstinence from alcohol.

It was the start of the package holiday industry and the company that bears his name still operates today.

“Leicester City” comes to the GCR

92214 Leicester City - Graham WignallOn 2nd July, 2016 No.92214 "Leicester City" rolled in to Loughborough Central station on the GCR. BR Standard 9F 2-10-0 had been named to celebrate the triumph of the City's football team in winning the Premiership football competition from a position of being underdogs.

The new nameplates, with the City's light blue background, will be carried for a short period.

The splendid looking locomotive was photographed by Gram Wignall.

D1705 “Sparrowhawk” makes Progress

D1705 at Boden Rail - Ian FarnfieldIan Farnfield captured the progress on the restoration on D1705 "Sparrowhawk" at the end of May, 2016.

The locomotive is seen in the works of Boden Rail at Washwood Heath, Birmingham where is it is having extensive body repairs before  being re-liveried in BR Corporate Blue with wrap around yellow cab windows.

The Type 1 Locomotive Company (T1LC) Class 47 has had the boiler and engine room roofs refurbished, new floor plates in the cab doorways and has undergone much re- plating.

It is expected the D1705 will be back to the GCR in time for the Autumn Diesel Gala to be held on 10th ans 11th September.

DCRT Raffle to Support Reunification

Raffle Ticket - 2016With Main Line No.167 arriving on doormats members of Friends will find included in the posting a book of raffle tickets (apologies to anyone who objects to this kind of fund raising).

This year the proceeds of the raffle will be used to support the refurbishment of Bridge 331 over the Grand Union Canal just north of the Locomotive Shed at Loughborough. This is an essential part of the Reunification Project and with sufficient funds work is expected to start at the end of this year.

Please give the raffle all possible support to speed the day when we can run trains on a steam operated heritage railway between Leicester and Nottingham.

Please send remittances, ticket stubs, unwanted tickets and request for further tickets to Andy Fillingham, Spinney Close, Main Street, Kibworth Harcourt, Leicester, LE 8 0NQ.

As usual we have a fabulous range of prizes but the main prize is the Reunification of the two halves of the Great Central Railway - the realisation of a 50 year dream!

Model Rail 2016

Model Rail, 2016 - Dominic Heal BBC - Graham WignallModel Rail, 2016 certainly drew in the crowds over the extended weekend.

On Friday, 17th June a BBC East Midlands Today crew with reporter Dominic Heal attended the event at Quorn & Woodhouse to view some of the 70+ layouts on display. Graham Wignall captured Dominic examining one of the layouts for the television programme.

The station at Q&W was packed as crowds were transported by train from the GCR's other three stations by steam locomotives No.6990 "Witherslack Hall" and No.45305, diesel locomotive 45041 "Royal Tank Regiment" and the DMU running a shuttle from Loughborough to Rothley and back.

With Quorn & Woodhouse the main centre for the event with its 36,000 square foot marquee, which covered the goods shed and the Tin Shed (!), the other stations were not neglected with displays at Rothley and at Loughborough where trade stands were also present.

It was a fantastic event and if you missed it this year the dates are already in place for 2017 - 16th to 18th June!


Area Group Programmes in Place

The first programmes of slide and film evenings for new season of the Friends two Area Groups have been posted on the website at the Area Group page.

As usual they is a wide variety of interest for all tastes and members are encouraged to bring along family, friends and colleagues for an enjoyable evening out.

Friends Badge Available to Members

Friends BadgeA high quality 22mm diameter bright nickel plated pin badge with a hard polished enamel emblem of the Friends of the Great Central Main Line logo with a butterfly clasp mounting is now available to members.  It provides a high quality complement to the excellent range of clothing offered by Friends.

It costs £3.50 including postage and packaging and can be obtained by sending a cheque made payable to Great Central Railway to Barry Lycett, 21 Finches Hill, Rugeley, WS15 2TN. Please include your full name and address and your FoGCML membership number and your telephone number in case of queries.

The badge may also be ordered with other Friends items through the Multi Order Form by marking on that form the order for the badge.

This is a limited edition offer so please post your order as quickly as possible.





Our next running day

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
We are running passenger trains on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week.

Due to the recent very hot and dry conditions, and the resulting risk of lineside fires, we will be operating an all-diesel service on Thursday.

Class 37 37714 Metro Cammel Diesel Railcar

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