Sunday, 30 May 2010

Bank Holiday at Shackerstone...

Hello everyone. Today, as it was the Bank Holiday weekend, I was at Shackerstone for another day working for the Steam Department. Earlier in the week I had been asked if I would help with the 2-2-0 Aveiling & Porter No9449 "The Blue Circle" and so, happily; I accepted. Carl picked me up this morning (thanks Carl!) and we arrived at Shack' for 8am before quickly heading down to the loco yard where the immaculate B1 "Mayflower" and the diminutive Aveiling awaited us. After cleaning off the grate from the day before and checking both water gauges, I laid a bed of coal (1 lump thick, as usual) on the bars. This coal-bed was then complimented by a strong pile of wood, topped off by a lit, turpentine-soaked rag. I then threw two or three more rags (unlit) around the box to coax various areas of the wood before placing a 2nd lit-rag under the door; the other having been thrown up towards the front. The little A & P soon came round and, after alot of cleaning by myself, owner Mic, Driver Carl and Trainee Dave, the engine was soon ready. The loco was rostered on Brake Van rides today (including Pockets' 25-ton Southern-van), whilst "Mayflower" was hauling the main 6-coach rake, including visiting LNER Beavertail Observation Saloon from the GCR, Loughborough. (Check out the video above for the Brake Van rides with No9449...Meanwhile, see the video below for a preview of the Beavertail Saloon!...look out for the odd glimpse of me admiring views in that one!)...
(Both video's come courtesy of Mr.C.Simmons, a friend of mine from Shackerstone). Throughout the day, both between trains and during the run-round(s), we offered Brake Van Ride's to the public; No9449 is perfectly suited to this task, indeed! Just before the last trip, with the loco coaled and disposed of, we cleaned ourselves up ready for a run on the last trip of the day with No1306 and the Beavertail Saloon. The Beavertail is visiting the railway, from the GCR, until early September and will be running every weekend until then. The wonderfully-restored Saloon offers panoramic views of the Leicestershire countryside and, this weekend, was offering Cream Tea's to the public (with an additional charge on the normal fare). I, having never rode in the Saloon before, throughly enjoyed myself, as did many of colleagues with me! The comfort and the views were 2nd to none and I very much recommend a ride! For the railways website, click HERE. After our run, we "all changed" and I was soon 'signed off' and on my way home. (Thanks for the lift home Phil!). I will next be at Shackerstone in a few weeks, look out for more news from there as it happens! Thanks for reading folks, Good Evening...

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