Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
what lies beneath
Somebody asked via the comments area - what's wrong with prussian blue and LMS?
I thought my reply perhaps should reach a wider audience!
The problems are many! To remember the LMS you would need to be about 64, to remember S&D livery about 80. Most of us that are members of the Trust were inspired by our own memories of the line (invariably 1950s/60s BR) or by the photographic work of Ivo and others (again almost exclusively 1950s/60s). This was the heyday of the line and the era we're pledged to recreate - so the station, signal box and rolling stock need to be strictly in those liveries with no exceptions. Anything else will feel wrong and will sharply remind the visitor that they are at a 'heritage' or preserved site.
With a homogenous feel to the line hopefully whole new generations of fans will grow up seeing the new S&D as a real railway rather than a big train set! How many 'heritage' lines are nothing more than a heterogenous collection of visible egos, locos and wagons and coaches painted in whatever colour the owner or owning groups fancies? It's not good business and it's not right for what we're doing. All the owners we've advised the livery policy to have agreed 100% - they just want to see the S&D running again. It's gained us a lot of kudos in the heritage movement.
The S&D isn't like other 'heritage' or private lines, but a unique attempt to bring a WORKING steam railway back to Somerset and Dorset, a line that is steam because that's the most economic way to run a line and that does proper justice to the incredible 'heritage' of what the S&D is for most people - a classic English cross-country line of the 50s and 60s.
For Prussian blue and other colours that really do not do anything for most people, or are justified by their historic connontations only, then other sites such as Washford, who are not trying to recreate the S&D, exist to keep them happy.
And remember, 'Somerset and Dorset' was used right up to BR days to advertise/brand the route. It will always be the 1950s and 60s (for Shillingstone) look where stretches of the line are being restored. We've always been honest in our aims to rebuild the route
1950s style, as well as to provide a genuine transport link in this beautiful part of Wessex.
The Sentinel is going to look fantastic in black with a BR number, and the real test is to ask those who remember the Sentinels working what they'd prefer. And they've to a man said 'BR black'!
The S&D was an extraordinary line with a huge degree of support and love from the public. We owe it to them to recreate it as closely as we can to how they remember it, and to all those thousands of enthusiasts and countryside lovers who only knew it through the work of Ivo Peters, David Cross and others.