Sunday, 24 May 2009

Battlefield Line "Anything Goes Gala" Day 2

After staying on site overnight in the railway's sleeper coach, I got up at 5:40am ready for a 6:00am 'sign on'. George, the day's driver, soon arrived and we made our way to the shed. "Mayflower" was simmering inside with 20psi still on the clock from the day before. George made the necessary checks before Pocket's, the day's fireman, arrived. Myself and Pockets then went into the inspection pit under the locomotive and then filled the inside oil-pots. The 02 shunter was started before dragging "Mayflower" out of the shed into the morning sunshine. The forecast had promised lovely weather throughout the day and we were definately looking forward to it! Once "Mayflower" was outside I set to cleaning the bottom-end (wheels, frames, rods etc) whilst Pockets lit the fire. Meanwhile, George filled the mechanical lubricators. As the fire began to take hold, the locomotive began to make steam once again. She simmered quietly as I continued with my cleaning.
The locomotive's owner soon arrived and set to cleaning the boiler barrel. After finishing the bottom end, I climbed up into the cab and began cleaning the cab brasses. At 10am the morning DMU service left for Shenton, meaning that we had only 45 minutes or so to move the engine off shed and make our way onto the stock. After putting away the cleaning materials, we moved 1306 off shed at around 10:30am. Once she was coupled to the train, myself, George & Pockets went to get changed into our smart overalls. Once changed, we awaited departure before the DMU returned. At 11am we got the "right away" from Shackerstone and "Mayflower" barked up the cutting towards Barton Bridge. We made it to Shenton in good time before returning tender first. On arrival back at Shack at 11:55am, we had an 85 minute wait until our next service so we pulled into platform 1 to display the locomotive. A party of my family then arrived for a visit and a train ride, resulting in the picture of me in the cab (above)! My family visited the footplate and were surpised at the size of the 10ftx4ft firebox of 1306. They also tried out the very comfortable leather fireman's seat! At around 1:10pm, we got 'the road' from the signalman (Danny) to cross to Platform 2 and couple back up to the stock for our 1:20pm train. Pockets allowed me to fire on this journey which was, to say the least, very tiring, due to both the heat and me not being used to the 10ft firebox! At Shenton we ran round quickly and recieved 3 pints of squash from the Buffet Car which, I must say, went down amazingly fast! I also fired on the return run which also included a 2:03pm booked stop at Market Bosworth Station so that passengers could leave the train to view the ever increasing amount of restoration that is taking place there. (The image above was taken from the window of the train as we returned to Shackerstone. It shows me leaning out from the B1 to check the coaches). Once back at Shack, it was time to uncouple the loco again before trundling back into platform 1 for a 95 minute wait until our last service. This time we parked in the shade of the large trees near the footbridge as the heat was becoming a little too much for us! However, we soon cooled down once we got into the shade and enjoyed an ice lolly each! My family commented on how lovely the B1 was and what a lovely day they had had before leaving. The 95 minute wait soon passed us by and we were soon back in platform 2 at the head of the 3:50pm train to Shenton, our last run. Pockets built up the fire whilst George made the final checks. The locomotive's owner was also on the footplate for the last trip. We made our way briskly to Shenton before quickly running round for the last time. We left Shenton on time at 4:25pm before chugging happily back to Shackerstone. After uncoupling from the train for one last time we sat on the end of the stock whilst 37 905 departed with it to Shenton on the 5pm. Once the train was clear of the station, we received the all clear to proceed to the water tower. After watering, myself & George crossed the B1 back over into platform 1 before Andy adjusted the ground frame. We then proceeded into the "dock road" before chugging up into the engine shed. "Mayflower"s boiler was then filled, the ashpan emptied, the wheels chocked, the water treatment added and the footplate doors locked. She was then ready for the next day's work. We then locked up the engine shed before returning to platform 1 to the staff room before signing off...See you tomorrow 1306!

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