The Rededication of 34092 City of Wells
Following 25 years out of service for overhaul, West Country No. 34092 was running again in August 2014 and we have been waiting to hear when it will be rededicated as CITY OF WELLS. At the end of October we were told that the ceremony would be on 25 November 2015 at Bury on the East Lancashire Railway. The date is significant as the original naming of the loco was at Priory Road station in Wells, Somerset on 25 November 1949.
Because of the short notice the current Mayor of Wells was not able to attend so Councillor Colin Price, chairman of Wells Railway Fraternity, had the honour of unveiling the nameplate.
A small group of members travelled up to Lancashire and we took Brenda Fisher with us. Brenda is the widow of David Fisher the artist who produced the painting of 34092 to mark the fortieth anniversary of the Fraternity in 2008. Following the speeches and the unveiling Colin presented, on behalf of the Wells City Council, a terracotta plaque of the City Arms of Wells to Richard Greenwood one of the owners of the locomotive (the loco carries the coat of arms on a shield below both nameplate). Brenda also gave limited edition prints of David’s painting to the four members of the 34092 Partnership who were present.
The locomotive then coupled on to the East Lancashire Railway’s dining train and we were invited aboard together with approximately eighty other guests. As the train ran from Bury Bolton Street station to Ramsbottom lunch was served.
At Ramsbottom the loco ran round and hauled the train tender first back through Bury to Heywood. For the final stage of the trip from Heywood back to our starting point CITY OF WELLS carried the Fraternity’s headboard on the smokebox door.