I visited the show on Saturday, and can honestly say it was one of the best events I have EVER seen!!
Firstly the Apedale Valley Railway is a brilliant place, what a little gem! The fact that the lines run all over the place really gives it the perfect light railway feel. The amount of locos and rolling stock on show was incredible, and it was wonderful to see so many WW1 era locos in one place (the Baldwin being my favourite). Then there were all the displays, camps, reenactors, vehicles, horses.....truly marvellous! There was always something going on, a loco passing here, another on shunting there, a simplex running back and forth between trenches and camp. And there was such a good, relaxed atmosphere that you just don't get with so many big history/railway events!
One of my absolute favourite aspects of it though, having spent years going to English Heritage/National Trust/Large reenactments, was the fact it didn't feel constrained by health & safety! People were wondering everywhere, over tracks, standing right next to locomotives, and they just let us use our common sense. If something was coming, it would whistle/hooter and people would get out of the way, no fuss no bother. If they needed to move something they would say and people would move.....relaxed, calm, friendly. The cavalry display had lancers galloping with lances down literally a few feet from the spectators! English Heritage officials would have a heart attack if they saw that, but the feeling of a cavalryman on horseback thunder that close past you is breathtaking!
I often feel at big events that the crowd are seen as a nuisance by the organisers, but this was superb! The staff/volunteers and people taking part were friendly and helpful. Well done to everyone who organised and contributed to it!!
Edit: My entire photo album from the day is here
Edited by The Midland Mole, 16 July 2018 - 09:06 .