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Radley Rail Gala – Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Didcot-Oxford Railway

On the 12th June 1994, Radley celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Didcot-Oxford Radley with a Rail Gala. This event was organised by local people, most notably Denis Standen, and held in conjunction with parallel celebrations at the Didcot Railway Centre. The event featured the Kennington Oxford Band, the Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers, a model railway and railway engineering exhibition, a display of photographs, a craft fair and children’s fairground/play area. Throughout the day, a steam train service operated between Oxford and Didcot ferrying people between the various celebratory events.

souvenir programme of the event was published and sold for £1. This contained interesting articles about the railway by Denis Standen, David Heath, Peter Heath and Jean Deller.

Here are some photographs of the actual event.


The Gala Steam Special hauled by No 5029 ‘Nunney Castle’ bearing the placard ‘1844-1994 Didcot-Oxford Railway’ approaches Radley station.



An interesting juxtaposition of the old and the new as a Thames Turbo train, very new at the time, draws into Radley station alongside the Steam Special, hauled by ‘Nunney Castle’, waiting at the opposite platform.



The Gala Steam Special, hauled by ‘Nunney Castle’, leaving Radley station.



Another view of the Gala Steam Special hauled by ‘Nunney Castle’ leaving Radley station.

Many people wore Victorian costumes (some more authentic than others!) to add a period flavour to the proceedings.

Here are some photographs of them.


Denis ‘Isambard Kingdom’ Standen


WI member, Ida Holst



WI member, Judy Person


WI member, Barbara Wootton

More photographs of the event





Would you buy a programme from this man?



Left to right: Sheila Robbins, Mrs ‘Victoria Regina’ Robbins, Jeanette Howes, I K Brunel, Denis ‘Isambard Kingdom’ Standen



Northbound steam train approaching Radley Station


The Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers performing at Radley Station

Photos courtesy of Basil Crowley, Lynda Pasquire, Denis and Jennie Standen

Permanent link to this article: http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/radley-rail-gala-celebrating-the-150th-anniversary-of-the-didcot-oxford-railway/