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Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
See also John Raby's blogs at www.rabylee.uk/linesidingindex.html


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sandstone Steam Gala Sunday 1 April 2012

The last morning saw a return to the beautiful clear weather that had been hoped for. The farmers shouldn't be begrudged the rain, I suppose.

We left the hotel for the last time and headed across to Sandstone.

Highland Hotel, Ficksburg

Just the one locomotove was in steam for the last day - the Sena Sugar Estates Peckett and it did one last run for the benefit of the visiting Germans.

At Hoekfontein

On the Grootvraai loop.

Many people had left or were about to leave but there were still a few left sunning themselves in front of the Waenhuis in the Hoekfontein farm complex.

There was just time for a couple of shots around Hoekfontein Station before we departed on our drive back to the airport at Bloemfontein.

The Gala was a great event that I would recommend to any 2ft gauge steam enthusiast. And there is much of interest besides in all kinds of road transport, agricultural and military equipment. The scenery and the wildlife are an added bonus. If you get the chance to go to a Sandstone Gala, take it!

The whole thing is an enormous tribute to Wilfrid Mole and the work he has done, almost single-handedly, to preserve so much of the narrow gauge railway equipment of southern Africa. Wilf is an unassuming character who goes to great pains to make sure that his guests enjoy their visit to Sandstone. Hopefully his efforts will be better appreciated within South Africa over time.

Wilf Mole with helper

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