Sunday, 11 July 2010

"Showing Around Shack"...

Hello everyone. Another short one today; must make a nice change from the 'heavy-reading' of some of the other posts! Today I was picked up by fellow CMES Driver, Emma, at 1pm for a ride over to see the "Big Stuff" at Shackerstone. Of course I am an active member of the Steam Department down here but the purpose of today was simply to show Emma around; "behind the scenes" as it were. On arrival we made our way up to the station where I sorted Emma out with the customary 'Platform Ticket' (for insurance purposes). After 'Signing On', off we went down to the Loco Shed where Mic was the solitary worker today. In the doorway stood the diminutive Aveiling & Porter 2-2-0; "The Blue Circle", behind which was the huge 'Eastern Lady'; LNER B1 No1306 "Mayflower". I must admit, even I still find it hard not to stand in awe of "Mayflower" each time I see her! Whilst in the shed we also took a look at the other vehicles stored inside; such as the Southern Railway 'Luggage Van', the unusual 'Riding Van', the Bubblecar, old "Lamport No3" (pictured above) and of course our 'Pride of the Fleet'; Peckett "Sir Gomer" (now reunited with her cab once again). From here we headed out into the South Yard where we took a quick glimpse at the delapidated chassis' of RSH "Richard III" and Hudswell Clarke "Waleswood". We then had a quick look up the South Cutting where the 2-car DMU stands. From here, it was off down to the North End where the Diesel's dwell; via the 'Steam Loco Burial Ground' at the front of the sheds, and the station. On show in the North End were the usual suspects; such as the three Class 56's currently on site. However, down the very back are my two favourites; one being Shackerstone's own 'Little Lost Engine' (Peckett "Dunlop No7") and the other being the extremely rare MR Triple-Axle Brake Van. "Dunlop No7" is in a shocking state, having been left out in the open for years. The boiler is present but is badly corroded and the inner firebox has been cut from the inside! The tubes are also missing, as are the inspection ports; probably long-lost by now! "Poor old engine!". She was a 'runner' back in the 1970s but her firebox was condemned. I fear she may rot here for ever more; though I still visit her from time to time on one "tour" or another!! From the 'Lost Loco' we headed back up the yard to the Station where he enjoyed a cuppa' before returning home. Thanks for the lifts Emma and I hope you enjoyed the tour! Thanks for reading folks. Good Evening...

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