Sunday, 2 May 2010

Thomas At Shackerstone Day 4: Back on "Fergus"!...

Hi all. After the HUGE festivities of the '65th Birthday Event' the day before, it was nice to have a day with a somewhat later start than 4:15am! Today, myself and Danny were up at 7am (not too bad) to light "Fergus", the Aveiling & Porter 2-2-0, which we would be crewing with owner Mic. Meanwhile, fellow trainee Carl was having his Firing Exam today on "Thomas"; which he passed by the way! Steaming up behind "Henry", myself and Danny cleaned the loco with the polish before the owner arrived. By now, "Fergus" had some steam and Mic got 'him' ticking-over to clear out the cylinder and blast pipe. By 9:20am we were due off shed and, with the Ground Frame (No11) open, out "Fergus" went, driven by Mic. Meanwhile, myself and Danny changed into our good overalls (and more shirts and ties!) before following the loco down to Pockets' Brake Van. The day followed much the same format as the previous Sunday, with me being allowed both goes on the regulator and on the shovel, although it was much colder with a biting wind. The highlight of the day seemed to be coaling "Thomas" by hand(!). Now that was a hard job! Me on the shovel, Rich on the buckets, Danny in the bunker and Carl on the ladders whilst Driver John Britain and Fireman Dave Johnson looked on! However, we managed to get just enough 'very heavy coal' into the bunker for the days work and that was more than enough for our back's to handle; so we gave in at that point. "Thomas" then returned to 'his' duties.

At the end of the day "Fergus" was put back into the shed behind the already finished "Henry". I am still very tired and hope for a good few more hours sleep tonight...I even fell asleep in the pub last night(!); it was such a long day! Thanks for reading folks. I'm due to be on "Fergus" again tomorrow as 3rd person. Evening...

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