Posts Tagged ‘Bill Parker’

Steam Show a Smash Hit

Saturday, 3 May 2008

report compiled by BTWT’s Assistant Editor

wolsztyn_guest_loco

Son et lumière et vapeur on the Friday night

Dyspozytor is a confirmed curmudgeon with a propensity to rant about anything and everything that crosses his path. So it’s something of a surprise that he e-mailed back from the Wolsztyn Steam Show impressed with what he saw. The light show on Friday, now in its second year, was very popular, made more memorable by the participation of 109 109 (see photo above) from Hungary. Saturday had something for all the family. There was a bouncy castle and free balloons for the kids, a variety of live bands playing for mum and more steam engines in steam than you could possibly count for dad.

ex GWR small prairie 5521 showing the flag

Further prompting yielded the information that the catering in the VIP enclosure was first class. (How on earth editing ‘Behind the Water Tower’ gets anyone into the PKP Cargo VIP enclosure is a mystery.) His judgement might also have been influenced by the fact that he apparently spent a considerable amount of time chatting up a young female blogger from Poznan on the pretext that she was in a better position to photograph Bill Parker’s small GWR prairie than he was! (Dyspozytor is infamous for his unlikely chat up lines.) When he gets back from Wolsztyn we will no doubt get the usual grumbly post, till then it seems this year’s Wolsztyn Steam Show was a great hit.

Year by year the crowds get bigger, soon there will be no room for more.

We couldn’t believe our eyes…

Friday, 25 April 2008

Wolsztyn Parade of Steam Locomotives 2007

Wondering whether it would be worthwhile to visit next weekend’s Wolsztyn Steam Gala? Here’s a flavour of last year’s event courtesy of Steam Railway magazine.

… we couldn’t believe our eyes at Wolsztyn. When it comes to organised chaos Wolsztyn makes Llangollen look like a village fete. Trevor Jones of the Wolsztyn Experience arranged the trip to the Polish steam shed’s 100th birthday and I was glad to see so many STEAM RAILWAY readers on it. Like me, they didn’t know what was about to hit them.

From the moment we landed at a former Russian airbase we knew this would be an unusual day. When Bill Parker’s Prairie No. 5521, waiting to take us from the airbases’ nearest railhead at Babymost to Wolstyn, was passed by the fastest preserved, main line legal, steam locomotive in the world, German ‘Pacific’ 18.201 – ‘unusual’ became stupendously surreal.

Again, the day’s celebrations were unique and spectacular. Every time Bill’s Prairie made its spirited runpasts in front of the (estimated) 10,000 strong crowds, I felt an overwhelming surge of pride. Not just patriotic (although the Prairie was by far the most delightful engine on show), but pride because, as an enthusiast, I am a tiny part of all this. If Bill and Trevor didn’t think anyone would be bothered, they wouldn’t have gone to such extraordinary lengths to make it happen…

(read complete article)