Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

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Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby MOD » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:26 pm

Today 34053 Bulleid 'Sir Keith Park', which was comprehensively restored by Southern Locomotives Ltd (SLL), was the subject of a Recommissioning ceremony at the Severn Valley Railway Kidderminster terminus.
The VIPs included the New Zealand High Commissioner, a couple of battle of Britain veterans and Sir KP's remaining family, together with dignitaries from SLL and SVR.

As a SVR member and an admirer of SLL this was a special day for me but the 'icing on the cake' was meeting Papa Wedgy before the formalities began.. It was really good to meet you Ray - after all this time and I hope to see you soon at Swanage..

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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby Dougs » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:27 pm

Did the BBMF show up? Ethan and myself were doing a survival weekend in the area and we herd a lot of merlin Engine planes on sat. Not to mention a lot of steam whistles :D
B-)
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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby MOD » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:15 pm

Hi Dougs. I am sure that Papa Wedgy (Ray a.k.a 34053) will be able to confirm this but I was called back home before I got to Bridgnorth. :(

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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby Minty4371 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:31 pm

I have seen a picture of the Hurricane & Spitfire flypast at Bridgnorth.

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Thanks to Joan Green for this photo. Posted on the Southern Locomotives Ltd Facebook Page.
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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby Dougs » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:43 pm

That figures I was at the dudmaston estate just outside bridge north could not see a thing due to the trees but it sure sounded good :D
B-)
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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby Jigsaw » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:03 pm

What a magnificent looking machine :ymapplause:
Thanks for sharing that Ian ;)
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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby MOD » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:15 pm

Minty4371 wrote:I have seen a picture of the Hurricane & Spitfire flypast at Bridgnorth.

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Thanks to Joan Green for this photo. Posted on the Southern Locomotives Ltd Facebook Page.


That photo has earned the photographer a few bottles of Sir Keith Park ale, according to Nick Thompson of SLL - who offered that as a prize in his speech.. ie the BoB flight and SKP together..
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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby 34053 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:52 pm

MOD wrote:As a SVR member and an admirer of SLL this was a special day for me but the 'icing on the cake' was meeting Papa Wedgy before the formalities began.. It was really good to meet you Ray - after all this time and I hope to see you soon at Swanage..

ibw


Thank you Ian. It was also a pleasure to meet your goodself yesterday and 'put a face to the name' (as they say). Your photos are excellent and you obviously had good positions from where you took them. After we met, I went back into the Station to make sure that I meet the three veteran Battle of Britain Spitfire Pilots (Flying Officer Ken Wilkinson, Squadron Leader Tony Pickering and Wing Commander Dick Summers, Each now in their 90's, having been but teenagers when they fought so bravely for the defence of this Country) before they took their places as 'Guests of Honour', on the Platform. It was indeed an honour for me to speak to and also shake the hand of each of these proud men.
I have only returned from Kidderminster this afternoon (having driven up there on Thursday) but I hope to post some of my photos in due course.
In my opinion, it was a magnificent Ceremony and gave real and justly deserved recognition of the debt we owe to Sir Keith Park for what he acheieved during the Battle of Britain (and subsequently, the Battle for Malta).

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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby MOD » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:07 pm

Thanks Ray for your company and for naming the BoB pilots - that was very remiss of me.

I did try and find you before you boarded SKP but there was such a crowd I never saw you or Mama Wedgy again :(

I will catch up with you next year at Swanage....


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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby Nickt » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:17 pm

MOD wrote:Today 34053 Bulleid 'Sir Keith Park', which was comprehensively restored by Southern Locomotives Ltd (SLL), was the subject of a Recommissioning ceremony at the Severn Valley Railway Kidderminster terminus.
The VIPs included the New Zealand High Commissioner, a couple of battle of Britain veterans and Sir KP's remaining family, together with dignitaries from SLL and SVR.

As a SVR member and an admirer of SLL this was a special day for me but the 'icing on the cake' was meeting Papa Wedgy before the formalities began.. It was really good to meet you Ray - after all this time and I hope to see you soon at Swanage..


The New Zealand High Commissioner, and S/L Jim Beirne.

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Geoff Thompson Chairman of SLL.


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Laurette Cummins, great-great-nice of Sir Keith Park

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Terence Prior-Stevens, great-great-nephew of Sir Keith Park

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ibw


I have added a few names to some of the photos. Regards, Nick Thompson
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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby MOD » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:31 pm

Thank you Nick and congratulations to you and SLL and SVR for organising such a fantastic day.

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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby 34053 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:44 pm

MOD wrote:Thank you Nick and congratulations to you and SLL and SVR for organising such a fantastic day.

Ian


I certainly second that :ymapplause: A brilliant day, plus the bonus of perfect weather conditions. I cannot imagine how much hard work and organisation this must have involved.

'Well Done' to all those who made it possible.

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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby MOD » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:16 pm

It seems Nick Thompson is a very modest guy, as well as a brilliant Master of Ceremonies and Director of SLL and I attach this pic (sorry Nick) for those of you who may not be aware of Nickt's 'Bona-Fides'. Nick was also instrumental in ensuring that the speeches didn't overrun too much as it would have been very embarrassing to see the VIPs suddenly enveloped in a cloud of steam as SKP slowly backed away from the platform.

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BTW Nick I like the Freudian slip in the caption you added to my pic of SKP's Gt Gt NICE ;)

I almost didn't recognise you without your overalls and I heard you say it would be a long time before you would be caught wearing a tie again. Which leads me nicely to Papa Wedgy and his Concorde tie ... I am very envious of that Ray. :ymapplause:


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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby Dan4th » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:19 pm

What a coincidence!

I have a Niece who is Nice as well :p

Not everyone does!

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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby 34053 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:41 pm

I am in the process of sorting out which of my Pics to Post under this Topic. In the meantime, here is the link to the Southern Locomotives Ltd 'galleries' section of the website, with some Pics of this Great Day [Pics 1 to 36 incl:***

https://picasaweb.google.com/1168391414 ... ugust2013#

Hope that you enjoy them :)

PW

EDIT:*** The number of photos now significantly increased and reconfigured. Please see later Post below.
Last edited by 34053 on Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby MOD » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:08 pm

Thanks for the link Ray. I hope to see what happened after I left..


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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby Minty4371 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:26 pm

Very nice photos in the link Ray.
Glad you had a wonderful day.
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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby 34053 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:34 pm

Minty4371 wrote:Very nice photos in the link Ray.
Glad you had a wonderful day.


Thank you Robert. Yes, it was a truly memorable day and so well organised :ymapplause: A real pleasure to be reunited with 'my' Locomotive again :D

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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby 34053 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:40 pm

The photos for this occasion have now been 'reconfigured' on the SLL Gallery. Additional pics have now been included and all put into their correct order. (So the ones you looked at previously are now dispersed amongst the others). The number of photos now totals 272, but please don't be put off by this. They are well worth working through, to give you a real 'flavour' of the Day.
As an added 'incentive', who will be the first person to identify the photo which shows Mama Wedgy & Papa Wedgy? No prize for this though ;)

Here is the Link, Pics 1 to 272 incl (don't forget to read the captions; Nickt has 'a way with words'):

https://picasaweb.google.com/1168391414 ... 3812238146

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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby Minty4371 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:09 pm

Very good photographs. Thank you for sharing the link.
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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby 34053 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:52 pm

Here is a selection from the many photos that I took on 'Recommissioning' Day. I hope you like them (they are different to the ones on the SLL website).
First of all, here is a short video of 34053 'Sir Keith Park' arriving on the Platform at Kidderminster Station, at 1020hrs. (I was most fortunate to walk on to the Platform at that precise moment and quickly start taking the video):



Now for the photos:

- Kidderminster Station:
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The Platform, ready for the Ceremony:
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34053 'Sir Keith Park' arrives (1020 hrs):
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On the front of 'Sir Keith Park' are (L-R): The New Zealand Flag; The RAF Ensign; The Union Flag:
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The Veteran 'Battle of Britain' Spitfire Pilots take their places as Guests of Honour (Seated:W/C Dick Summers (nearest camera) and S/L Tony Pickering. Standing: F/O Ken Wilkinson):
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The Guard of Honour - 156 (Kidderminster) Squadron ATC - enters the Platform (1120 hrs):
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The Speeches:
Nick Thompson (SLL Director)
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Geoff Thompson (SLL Chairman)
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Nick Ralls (SVR General Manager)
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Squadron Leader Jim Beirne
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Terence Stevens-Prior (Great great nephew of Sir Keith Park)
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Sir Lockwood Smith (New Zealand High Commissioner) who performed the Unveiling Ceremony
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The Unveiled Nameplate and RAF Crest:
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- Bridgnorth Station:
The RAF Association Standard Bearers climb the stairs of the Footbridge:
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The Standard Bearers on the Footbridge, awaiting the Flypast:
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The Flypast (two circuits) by the Spitfire and Hurricane of the 'Battle of Britain Memorial Flight' (1400 hrs):
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The Spitfire returns for the final 'salute':
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PW and a bottle of 'Sir Keith Park' Ale:
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34053 'Sir Keith Park' after arrival back at Kidderminster Station (approx 1530 hrs):
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Other Special Guests included:
- Laurette Cummins (Great great Neice of Sir Keith Park)
- Wing Commander Nick Olney (Air Advisor, New Zealand Defence Staff)
- Oliver Bulleid (Grandson of OVS Bulleid, the Designer of the 'Merchant Navy', 'Battle of Britain' and 'West Country' Classes of Locomotives)
- Sean Day-Lewis (Vice President of the Bulleid Society and Author of ''Bulleid - Last Giants of Steam'')
- John Fry and Roger Cruise (of the Bulleid Society)
- Air Vice- Marshal Pat O'Reilly (of the RAF Association)
- Ian Silvester (the major sponsor of the Restoration of 34053 'Sir Keith Park')

PW
Last edited by Sooty655 on Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Video embedded.
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Re: Sir Keith Park recommissioning ceremony with Papa Wedgy

Postby Minty4371 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:46 pm

Thank you very much Ray for the photos and video of the event from your perspective. It was good to read about the restoration of the locomotive on here, and see the photos from the SLL website.
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