Saturday 20th February 2010 and it's Steam Gala time on The East Lancashire Railway.

 Ex-MSC tank locomotive No.32 "Gothenburg" was simmering in Rawtenstall station while advertising £10 driving sessions. This locomotive, together with its sister, was offered for sale by the MSC Co in the 1970's for around £2000!

 It's approximately 42 years since I last saw 70013 "Oliver Cromwell" as it stormed out of Manchester Exchange station heading towards Salford on one of the farewell specials. The station had been closed because there were so many people wanting to see the departure so, with several years trainspotting experience at Victoria/Exchange, I sneaked in through the Royal Mail distribution area and managed to watch it leave. So, when I saw the ELR were entertaining "Oliver" I had to go to see it and it's here at Rawtenstall waiting to depart for Heywood. The cold weather was ideal for steam.

 Arrival at Bury and a chance to give the engine a lookover. A steam gala is not the ideal function for taking photographs unless track access is available, Too many people around to get clear shots but that's what finances such events.

 A run back to Ramsbottom behind 71000 "Duke of Gloucester" which was unfortunately running in reverse. This was the first real run out since its overhaul at Bury so it was good to see it looking well.

 Several of the trains were topped and tailed and on this occasion ex Southern Railway, King Arthur class, number 30777 "Sir Lamiel" was tacked on the rear. Much steam was in evidence.

 There was time to spare before the return train so a quick inspection of the town revealed this artifact - it's known as THE TILTED VASE By Edward Allington. The sculpture, manufactured in bronze, occupies a central position on the site of the original market place More on Page 2

 92036 "Bertolt Brecht" waits for green with a train comprising mainly ZCA Sea Urchins. The consist continued down the WCML. 12/02/2010

 175010 en route for South Wales. 12/02/2010

 221112 "Ferdinand Magellan" arrived off the Chester line, Euston bound. 12/02/2010

An unidentified Pendolino heads South at speed.  12/02/2010

 Racing through Crewe station at around 80mph, 390015 "Virgin Crusader" heads South.....

.....where it passes classmate 390011 "City of Lichfield" at a closing speed of circa 160mph, I just missed being able to have them in shot head-to-head. These trains are just about on the speed limit for identification. 12/02/2010

 The unique class 67 number 67018 "Keith Heller" arrived off the WCML with a variety of stock. 12/02/2010

 The train later left on the Stoke line, presumably to Marcroft Engineering at Stoke-on-Trent. 12/02/2010