Visitors to the National Railway Museum’s Great Hall this autumn will be treated to a spectacular free event as Mallard and its sister locomotives are bathed in spectacular lighting as part of the Illuminating York festival and the Autumn Great Gathering.
Now in its fifth year, the annual ‘Locos in a Different Light’ event which runs from 30 October to 2 November gives visitors the opportunity to see all ‘A4s’ together for a final time before two of Mallard’s sisters return to their homes across the pond. This year’s lighting competition, in which teams of students experiment with lighting effects to bring the iconic Gresley designed locomotives to life, will see the museum open for longer and over a period of four evenings.
The initial competition takes place on the 29 October and the entries are judged by industry professionals during a private event. They will be marked according to a number of categories including; safety and conservation, energy and efficiency, object communication and innovation and aesthetics. For the next four nights (30 and 31 October, 1 and 2 November) members of the public are given the opportunity to not only see the installations for themselves but also have their say on which entry most captures their imagination. Last year students from the Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance were selected as the official winners by a panel of judges including independent lighting designer, Richard Boaste for their innovative lighting of Furness Railway steam locomotive, ‘Coppernob’.
Rose Lindsay Smith, Public Programmes Coordinator at the NRM said: ‘Our annual lighting competition has always been a huge success, and in the year of Mallard’s 75th anniversary this ‘Locos in a Different Light’ promises to be our greatest yet. Due to the success of July’s Great Gathering we are opening the event for four evenings instead of two and we’re hoping that people will come and see the A4s together before they head to different parts of the world. We’re looking forward to seeing the spectacular displays around these iconic locomotives and welcoming members of the public into the museum to enjoy what the students have created.”
Results will be announced the following week and the winning team get the opportunity to drive a locomotive.
The competition has been a huge hit with performing arts students in previous years with many going on to bigger and brighter careers in stage lighting. This year’s event will be attended by students from across the UK, including York College, Kent-based Rose Bruford College, the University of Glamorgan, Barking and Dagenham College and The Da Vinci School in Stevenage. The event is sponsored by AC Special Projects.
‘Locos in a Different Light’ opens to the public from 6.30pm-10pm on the 30 and 31 October, 1, and 2 November. Both parking and admission to the event is free and there is no need to book. The café and gift shop will also be open.