August 3rd, 2017

New exhibition in the Penny Salon Gallery

The lastest exhibition at the Penny Salon “micro-gallery” at Ongar station opened it’s doors this week. “Bygone Essex – Reg Batten An Appreciation 1914 – 2014″ is a celebration of Reg’s classical style of photography by his son Malcolm Batten.  It features just a small collection of his father’s work over the decades, including several front pages and illustrated articles from contemporary magazines. Reg spent many Sundays in the 1930s and 40s on a quest to photograph the village’s of Essex. Initially he used his trusty racing tandem bicycle with his brother, and later on, public transport. Reg celebrated his 100th birthday in 2014, and he passed away soon afterwards.

Due to the interest already shown by visitors and people inside the Epping Ongar Railway itself, this presentation will now run through to the Sunday 17th September. The summer “Hot- spots” of Clacton and Southend On Sea weren’t neglected by Reg in his travels either.  His early 1950s picture of the main street in Colchester on a Sunday, which is completely devoid of traffic except for a motor-bus in the far distance, caused great interest on the opening day of viewing.

Fry’s Chocolate Cabinet

Frys Chocolate cabinetReg Battens “travelling kit” of camera, light meter and supporting items that he took with him on his journeys of discovery are now displayed in the exhibition’s c.1890s “Frys Chocolate” glass cabinet. This was gifted to the Epping Ongar Railway and, now refurbished by Malcolm, forms an important part of The Penny Salon’s presentation of artefacts allied to the main displays.

http://eorailway.co.uk/pennysalon


July 24th, 2017

Roll out the barrel again for the steam and diesel trains

Real Ale Festival with Steam Trains

Real Ale Festival with added steam trains!

The Epping Ongar Railway presents over 70 beers at its summer festival this weekend to celebrate 60 years since the tube train first trundled through the Essex countryside.

What could be a better setting for a good ale than a panoramic view of the rolling hills and unique woodlands of Epping Forest?  From the 28th to 30th of July, North Weald station and the heritage trains of the Epping Ongar Railway will again ring out to the sound of clinking glasses.  The 5th beer festival is planned to be the biggest and the best yet.  What’s more, with regular and direct vintage bus services from Epping Underground and Shenfield National Rail, the festival is one of the most accessible rail ale festivals near London.

Live music

Live music onboard the train

A year in the planning

The team started planning once the 83 casks from their 2016 festival had all been collected. Taking inspiration from the 60th anniversary of the first tube train arriving in Ongar, beers with connections to Essex and London will feature heavily, including some brewed especially for the event. Once again in the evenings, the hills will come alive with the sound of music, including at least one dedicated music train each night. A full list of all the beer, cider, food and soft drinks on offer will be published on the railway’s website in advance.

Tutored Tasting

New for this year we will be offering tutored tasting sessions on the Friday of the event. A tutored beer tasting in the company of an expert is a great way of enhancing your appreciation of beer, discovering more about the astonishing range of beer styles, flavours and aromas; how brewers conjure such diversity from simple ingredients and how to match beer with food. Each participant will get to sample and learn about six different beers, especially selected from those available at the festival, whilst travelling through the glorious Essex countryside.

As usual, the funds raised will be ploughed into supporting the operation and maintenance of the classic trains, some of which are now approaching 100 years old. Additionally, the festival will be supporting locally based charity Canalability, which organises broadbeam canal boat experiences for disabled and disadvantaged people.

 

For further information and to book tickets, take a look at www.eorailway.co.uk


July 5th, 2017

Dramatic Success for The Whisky Train

Whisky Train

All aboard the Whisky Train

Saturday 1st July saw our inaugral venture into the world of whisky, with an event hosted by the London whisky tasting group, the ‘Whisky Squad’.  With all 28 tickets sold, participants joined a reserved carriage attached to the Epping Fryer service, to sample 6 whiskies and a selection of Scottish themed cuisine.

Railway Theme

Each of the whiskies was chosen around a railway theme – from the first, a spirit matured in a disused railway tunnel in Japan through to the sixth, from Laophaig, home of the UK’s shortest light railway which transports the peat used from the peat shed to the kiln.

 

A good time was had by all. This was the first of many events to bring something different to the rails. A tutored beer tasting event planned for the Friday of the Real Ale Weekend at the end of July. More details of this can be found on our Real Ale event page.


June 3rd, 2017

EORVS PHOTOGRAPHIC CHARTER A GREAT SUCCESS

On Saturday 20 May, the Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society ran their second Photographic Charter, raising funds for the ongoing restoration projects being carried out by the dedicated Volunteers.

6430 bursts through Stonnard's Hill road bridge.

6430 bursts through Stonnard’s Hill road bridge.

The first for this evening was the Society’s use of a Steam Locomotive; the first charter – which ran back in 2014 – had been exclusively Diesel traction. This time, visiting Pannier No. 6430 took the starring role, coupled to a small freight train which included the recently-refurbished Fruit D wagon. The attending guests were formed of members from the EORVS and local photography groups, who were treated to access to some lineside areas for live run-pasts, finished off with a shoot around the station at North Weald.

“It was great evening and seemed to be enjoyed by all,” noted Owen Hayward, the EORVS Publicity Officer and organiser for the event. “I’ve seen some great stills from our guests, and despite a rather gloomy outlook in the morning, the weather held off and the sun even made an appearance!

“I’m indebted to the assistance provided by Robert Good (Society Vice-Chairman) and Geoff Silcock (of Sentimental Journeys charters) in making the evening run smoothly, and of course to the volunteer crews who worked hard on the day. The money raised by the evening will go towards restoring more of the EOR rolling stock, such as Shark Brake Van DB993760 and Mark 1 BCK 21059.”

A second photographic evening has already been arranged for August, and will provide an opportunity to picture Metropolitan 1 on our former London Underground line. Places are available at a cost of £40 per person (£35 to EORVS members) and anyone interested is advised to email Owen Hayward for details.

Photographs by Owen Hayward. Not for reproduction without permission.

May 27th, 2017

EOR Guide Book – Updated And Released

The Epping Ongar Railway is proud to relaunch its Guide Book publication in time for the 5th Anniversary of the branch opening as a major heritage attraction. Initially published in 2012, the update (carried out by one of our own volunteers) includes new cover art, archive photography and updated stock lists.

Copies are available now from our Gift Shops, Ticket Offices and via Mail Order – be sure to pick up your copy during your next visit!


May 24th, 2017

‘Micro-Gallery’ to open at Ongar Station

The Epping Ongar Railway will be opening a new ‘micro-gallery’ at Ongar Station on Saturday 27 May. The gallery is in the Ladies Waiting Room at Ongar. A volunteer and professional photographer who specialises in steam photography, Geoff Silcock, has worked alongside the Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society members to transform the room into a place to display photographs and pictures. Mr Silcock has worked with local photographic and historical societies to bring a programme of interesting and relevant exhibitions to the Railway. The Gallery has been named The Penny Salon and will be open whenever trains are running to provide interest for the passengers.

Geoff Silcock, who has organised the gallery, said “The latter- day Epping Ongar Railway has recognised a need for entertaining its visitors arriving at Ongar Station from its steam and diesel trains, plus its heritage buses, and the free bijou exhibition area is now expected to operate for its visitors from Saturday 27 May at peak times throughout the year.

The inaugural month from the Saturday 27 May through to 18 June will be presented by The Essex Monochrome Society with Black and White images mainly from in and around Essex, including steam trains. The second month’s presentation starts with the Railway’s Victorian Weekend on 24/25 June, and will feature “The Railway comes to Ongar” presented by the Ongar Historical Millenium Society from its extensive archive. Future items will include presentations of unseen work from the the 1930s onwards in local Essex and surrounding counties, plus the work of top transport photographers and painters around the Southern Counties


April 10th, 2017

A 5 Mile Easter Egg Hunt on the Edge of London – Possibly the longest in Essex!

Between the 14th and 17th of April, Epping Ongar Railway’s beloved Bertie Bunny will be leading what could be the longest Easter Egg Hunt in Essex! The egg hunt will run the length of the railway track from Ongar through to Coopersale, which is the length of 131,579 eggs placed end to end! Children will be asked to find the eggs which have been hidden by Bertie around the Railway. They will have some clues to help them and any child who completes their egg sheet is entitled to a special Easter prize.

Bertie Bunny, the Head of Eggs and Easter, has said:

“I was concerned when I learnt that some mischievous people said at the beginning of April that the Railway was extending to Dunmow but now relieved that for now we’re just going to Coopersale with the egg hunt. It always takes me ages to hide them, running along over 5 miles of track, but I do my best to think of the best places to put them all. The egg in one of the places is a lot easier to place this year – can you tell which one it might be?”

All participants will need to buy tickets, family tickets are available for £34 in advance online, and includes all the activities. Tickets can also be purchased on the day, either on the buses or from the ticket office at the station. The 339 heritage buses will be running from directly outside Epping station to North Weald station regularly to pick up passengers.

Rodger Green, Bertie’s Keeper, has said:
“Children will be able to have their faces painted, colour in their egg sheets and even dance with Bertie Bunny at our children’s disco, ‘The Bunny Hop and watch a special magic show.”