Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my dinghy cruising blog about my John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. Built over three years, Arwen was launched in August 2007. She is a standing lug yawl 14' 6" in length. This blog records our dinghy cruising voyages together around the coastal waters of SW England.
Arwen has an associated YouTube channel so visit to find our most recent cruises and click subscribe.
On this blog you will find posts about dinghy cruising locations, accounts of our voyages, maintenance tips and 'How to's' ranging from rigging standing lug sails and building galley boxes to using 'anchor buddies' and creating 'pilotage notes'. I hope you find something that inspires you to get out on the water in your boat. Drop us a comment and happy sailing.
Steve and Arwen

Friday 10 May 2019

Great Western Railway family heritage

A visit up north to see family led to visits to a railway museum and a local volunteer steam railway with Dad and youngest nephew.

Dad and Grandad were GWR men through and through - so some local family history here. It was good for Dad to discover some engines in the museum that he had worked on way back in the fifties.
There is something about 'steam' isn't there.

Ah! Brunel, an amazing engineer

15,000 worked at this railway workshop in its heyday

The patterns and casting department where many apprentices started

skilled carpentry at the carriage works 

During WW2, women took on many of the skilled jobs

Caerphilly Castle 

down into the pits

Assessing her big ends

GWR engineers prided themselves on being the best and during the Twenties, thirties, forties and fifties, it was inevitably GWR engines that won most of the time trial competitions between the various railway companies

Even now, my Dad can still listen to any steam engine that passes him and diagnose within seconds exactly what is wrong with extraordinary skill

Dad had been on the footplate of this loco many times, one of his 'babies' he frequently worked on 

levers, copper pipe, swooshes of steam, roaring fire - what's not to like riding the footplate 

Paddington to Penzance - the Cornish Riveria Express

King George V

One of Dad's 'babies

GWR sheep were always so well behaved

Polished brass and copper

aah...the ancient original railway art posters 

The picnic basket often carried on longer train journeys 

The 'cocktail/buffet car' above and as it is preserved below today 

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