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5th Spring Ale & Steam Weekend on 18th & 19th May 2013



  North Cotswold GWR Beer Festival Sells Out Yet Again


  The Fifth Spring GWR Beer Festival held at Winchcombe Station, in conjunction with the Glos/Wark Railway on the weekend of 18th to 19th May was a tremendous success. Despite lack of sunshine the crowds yet again turned out en masse to drink their way through 24 barrels of beer and 5 tubs of cider and perry. Please click here for the Beer & Cider List. Over 500 people visited the festival on Saturday with 150 on Sunday but more than sufficient to consume the remaining beer and cider by early afternoon on Sunday allowing clearing up to commence after another hectic festival.


  The beers were served from the North platform waiting room with the doors removed to assist access. With two steam trains and a diesel running throughout the weekend bringing more new customers it kept the staff very busy on Saturday when 508 glasses were issued. Some new staff joined three shifts of mainly regular helpers who were tested in serving a superb range of beer in excellent condition. No rain but warm weather encouraged the customers to spread out along the platform and grass banks following weeks of poor weather. The usual marquee next to the bar provided a covered seating facility with additional tables and chairs provided was well used including a sales point for Postlip tickets manned by Glos CAMRA


  Donnington Gold (4.0%) was the first beer to run out and won Beer of the Festival confirming the interest in a new Donnington Beer by many of the very experienced customers. Thanks to Festival Coordinator John Stocks and Martyn Herbert for selecting  an excellent range of beer and to Bar Manager Rob James for his preparation and control.


  GWR were delighted with the major additional revenue of over £3000 ferrying mainly CAMRA members  on the trains and additional catering which will help fund the extension of the line north towards Broadway. Andrew Smith from GWR thanked CAMRA and the helpers for their hard work and the excellent festival and look forward to the Second Autumn GWR Beer Festival planned for 14th and 15th September 2013. Next  year the Autumn GWR will move forward to become a Summer  GWR Festival on 16th and 17th August 2014.


  Thanks to everyone who attended and to the helpers and set up teams.


  Report by : Roger Price, North Cotswold CAMRA Branch Chairman


Beers 1 to 16 ready to go

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Beers 17 to 24 ready to go

First Shift ready on Saturday in their nice new Festival polo shirts

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First steam train. The famous ex Southern Railway “Schools” Class engine 925 “Cheltenham” arrives 09:58 hrs on Saturday. This engine is part of the National Railway Collection, on loan to the GWR.

Second steam train, number 2807 of the Great Western Churchward 2800 class, arrives11:09 hrs on Saturday. This class was introduced in 1903, so 2807 is 110 years old this year.

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Crowds building up early before midday on Saturday.

Harriers Staff resting in the tent before their first shift

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Staff in full flow on Saturday at 13:39 hrs.

Landlord training his son to jump the queue

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Andrew Smith showing Dick how to be a GWR guard

Staff Photo after a successful Festival. Spot the slim one.

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Last train back to Cheltenham.