Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy New Year & RPMR Steam Up (Post No1 of 2010!)...

Hi again all! May I start off 2010 by welcoming you all back to "Sammy's World" and wishing you all a very happy & healthy year! Today I was off up to Coventry Model Engineering Society for their first member's 'Steam Up' day of the year. On arrival I was greeted by fellow members Eric & Peter before the three of us set about setting up the catering facilities for the day. Once the marquee, tables and cooking instruments were set up, myself and Peter turned our attention to starting the Generator, with varying degrees of success I might add! With the petrol, circuit breakers & choke switched on, I began pulling the 'Start Rope'. However, after a good few pulls nothing happened. We checked the generator over again before a 2nd attempt commenced. Then, out of nowhere, my efforts on the rope were rewarded by a slighty spluttery start-up. However, it was to be the 'same old story' as, just as I let out a sigh of relief, the generator cut out!! Not wanting to give up just yet, we had a few more tries and, at last, the generator revved-up and held its own. "Thank Goodness!". This then provided electricity to the cooking equipment so, arguably, starting the generator was the most important job of the day! With the job done, Peter set 'railing' his locomotive: 0-4-0 Compass House electric shunter, "Benella". In the meantime I, very much out of character I might add(!), set about preparing the club's Class 37 electric! (Pictured above).
With myself (on the 37) and Peter (with "Benella") now flying around the track, the third loco of the day duly arrived in the form of Mr Farr's 0-6-0 'Butch' Side Tank. The brass-liveried steamer was prepared on the 'run up rail' before taking a run. Meanwhile, back with the 37, I had had about three laps and had just about had enough of the cold weather and the noticeable lack of heat coming from the loco! (Shame its not a steam engine!). Therefore, I decided to run the locomotive back onto the siding before switching her back 'off'. I do very much see the usefulness of these electrics. They are very powerful, reliable, quiet and cost effective yet, I generally find them much more pleasant to drive on a warm day! No offence to electric loco owners! We all then indulged in the day's refreshments which, in this case, took the form of 'bacon butties' and hot tomato soup! (Great stuff for a cold day like today!). Later, with the 'Butch' chugging happily around the track, Peter very kindly offered me a drive of his electric, "Benella". I thankfully accepted and had, as always, an enjoyable drive on this comfortable locomotive. Thank you Peter! Finally, as the day drew towards its end, a second steamer arrived in the form of Mr Morris' beautiful 3.5" gauge model of one of the LNWR's 'Jumbo' Class locomotive's, "Lady Joan". These 2-4-0 machines, represented in preservation by "Hardwicke", took part in the famous 'Races to the North'. "Lady Joan" is pictured on an earlier date below...
The little "Lady Joan" was at the track for a yearly 'steam test' and, after passing with flying colours, made her way onto the 2000ft-long track for a run. The little 2-4-0, in the careful hands of her owner, soon set off around the challenging track and was later spotted chugging along happily with no problems. Though two steamers had turned up this is, unfortunately, a relatively small amount for the average 'steam up'. (We normally have at least 4 or 5). However, the club had been running for the public the day before and it was bitterly cold. Lets hope we see more engines next time! After everything had been put away we retired to the club hut for a cup of tea and a chat in the cosy, heated(!) surroundings. Finally, at about 4:30pm, I left for home with fellow CMES driver, Emma, giving me a lift. Thanks for that Emma, really appreciate it! All in all it had been a good day and it was nice to simply stand and chat with fellow drivers and the loco owners too. Well, there we go, this has been the first post of 2010 and, I assure you, I will try my best to add as many posts as possible with as much quality as possible again this year! Thank you all for reading. Best Wishes, Sam.

1 comment:

peter1uk said...

g00gleonHi Sammy
Another good read. I agree that it is warmer driving steam in the cold although the steam which makes for good photos can blur your vision. On Saturday an electric loco was used to move the coal back to the store. There may even be some photos around. Will keep you posted.
Peter (the Graduate)