Saturday, 31 December 2011

Thank You & Goodnight...

Hi everyone. Well, here we are for the very last time in 2011! It has gone very quickly indeed. Time really does fly. So here is the 2011 over-view. All of the mentioned events in this post are documented on the blog itself so, if you wish, please do check back and have a read. Right, lets start as we mean to go on, with JANUARY...
January was a bitter one this year, but that didn't stop us. We started the year with a visit to CMES on New Years Day for the public running. On the 2nd, I enjoyed a firing turn on Pannier No5786 at Shackerstone. The following weekend I attended both a steam up at CMES and my belated 19th birthday outing to the GCR for a trip on the wonderful "Elizabethan" dining train. There were two more visits to Shackerstone that month, for working parties. At the end of the month, I made my annual visit to the GCR's fabulous Winter Steam Gala. Next: FEBRUARY...
February was a quieter one this year. There were 3 visits to Shackerstone, including the return of GWR Small Prairie No5542. Another outing was across to Washwood Heath in Birmingham for a day working on the beautiful B1 "Mayflower". The loco was then undergoing a full bottom-end overhaul. Moving swiftly on, to MARCH...
March started with the arrival of the huge GWR 2-8-0 No3803 at Shackerstone from Buckfastleigh. Admittedly, we didn't think it would come...but thankfully it did! There were 4 visits to Shackerstone this month. Two posts regard our visit to the 2011 Large Scale Model Rail show with our O Gauge LEGO Model Railway layout. The 2nd of those posts shows Mr John Britt with his coal-fired 32mm gauge engines. There was also a post about my 00 gauge garden railway. 5542 was also still at Shackerstone this month, with her & 3803 being joined later on by the Jinty 47298 (as Thomas). Another month soon flew by and APRIL was here...
In April, I had a bit of a busy one. I got my first 2 turns on the marvellous 3803 and also had 3 encounters with the B1 "Mayflower" (1 working on her at W.Heath and 2 on her footplate). I also had a day second-manning a Class 25, a day at the CMES Royal Steam Up and two main line spotting days: one with 6201 "Princess Elizabeth" and one with "Britannia". Finally, there were 2 days spent on my garden railway and a very hot working day at CMES. "Phew, so much to say!". But, time flies, and so MAY arrived very quickly...
This month was very pleasant. I had two days driving the 7.25" Romulus "James": one at GEC and one at Rugby MES. We also visited the Echills Wood Railway at Kingsbury and had a day driving the Sweet Pea for the public at CMES. There was another garden railway day and of course our first visit of 2011 to the Bala Lake Railway in Wales. We spent a weekend down there in May, enjoying 2 days on the footplate of the favourable 0-4-0ST "Maid Marian". May also saw the return to steam of Ken's 5" gauge 0-6-0T "Achilles" following water pump repair. At the end of the month, Shackerstone held a Models Weekend. I spent 2 days there: one day linesiding and visiting the show, and the other day on the footplate of 1306 "Mayflower". JUNE was next...
June was another good month. It began with a visit to the delightful 15" gauge Evesham Vale Light Railway, where I also got a footplate ride. There was also a flying visit to the GEC and a large 'Fish n Chip' Steam Up at CMES. Mid-month I was rostered on the Buffet Car at Shackerstone, shortly followed by a successful steam test for Ken's "Achilles" tank. Three loco turns at Shackerstone then followed: 1 very wet day on 3803 and 2 days on 47298 at Thomas. At the very end of the month, I got my new car: my beloved yellow Saxo VTR. Dear me, this is turning into a long post! Anyway, on with JULY...July was very good. First, I received the most generous gift that I have ever had. Ken handed ownership of his 5" gauge 0-6-0T "Achilles" over to me. Thank you so much. There was later a flying visit to the GEC and a quick drive on "James", followed by our holiday to Skegness. This holiday included visits to the Mablethorpe Model Railway, the very small local 7.25" line and of course the quaint 15" gauge Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway. The CCLR visit was particularly nice, including a footplate ride on the GCR 8K/LNER 04. After returning from holiday I had a turn at CMES the day after, with "Achilles". Later that month there was another outing for "Achilles", this time to the GEC in Binley. Finally, there was a turn on 3803 at Shackerstone and the GEC invite day at CMES. Oh, and a garden railway post! Well, the show must go on so here is AUGUST...
Well, August was a busy one. But, allas, here we go. We started the month with our Torquay holiday. This week included a visit to the Babbacombe Cliff Railway and two visits to the Paignton & Dartmouth Railway: one linesiding and one on the train. It was lovely to see the GWR Heavy Tanks at work, and of course the newly repainted Black Manor. At the end of the week I also visited the huge Torbay Steam Fair. Returning from holiday, we immediately had a turn at the GEC with "Achilles". Soon after, there was a working day at Shackerstone Loco Works as Peckett "Sir Gomer" neared completion. Mid-month, I was on 'holiday' again, this time to Wales. This visit started with a long days travel to the historic Talyllyn Railway: my first visit. Another first came that afternoon when I swung by the quaint Fairbourne Railway. From Fairbourne I drove across to Bala for a 4-night stay, including 3 days firing on the lovely Quarry Hunslets. On the Tuesday, I returned home via a first visit to the Welshpool & Llanfair Railway. Also that month were a turn on 3803, a turn in the Signalbox at Shack, a private visit to Pete's 7.25" railway and a turn at CMES. After a busy August, we hit SEPTEMBER...
There were 2 turns at Shackerstone at the start of this month: one on "Jessie" and one in the Shop. The first weekend also saw the return of "Sir Gomer". This month I was also on the cover of Engineering in Miniature magazine and had an article published inside. There was also a turn on 3803 this month and of course I accompanied "Sir Gomer" on her volcanic visit to the Pontypool Railway in Wales. Next, OCTOBER...
As the days began to draw shorter, I was still very busy. The first post of the month was about "Achilles", following her return to service after repair. There was also a day driving "James" at GEC and two turns on the Jinty for Thomas at Shackerstone. There were then 2 posts regarding the annual Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition and a Birthday Party at GEC that included "Achilles" pulling trains. The Night Run at GEC soon followed: that was a great night! Finally, there was a shed turn at Shackerstone. NOVEMBER followed...
The first posts of this month were a day with "Achilles" and a turn on 3803 at Shackerstone. There also 2 shed days at Shackerstone, a visit to Warley 2011 at the NEC and a turn on the footplate of "Sir Gomer" on the first Santa's. Futhermore, there was a post regarding the spotting of the two main line Pannier Tanks at Nuneaton. Last but not least, we have DECEMBER...
This month, there were 2 turns on 3803 at Shackerstone and a shed day, not to mention a day stewarding the Santa's. Furthermore, I accompanied "Sir Gomer" on another one of her loan visits - this time to the Cholsey & Wallingford Railway near Oxford. I also enjoyed a festive driving turn on "James" at the GEC and I spotted "Tornado" at Bedworth of all places. Finally, we took "Achilles" to RPMR today and had a great time.

Well, thats it folks. Thats pretty much everything I've done this year! Dear me, there was alot wasn't there?! No wonder I'm always so tired! Now for a few thank you's. Thank you to everyone at Shackerstone, CMES, GEC and Bala Lake Railway. Special thanks to Ken, Eddie J and James B: I have appreciated your help and kindness this year very much. Finally, thank you very much to everyone who has read this blog in 2011, and prior. I appreciate it very much. Please DO comment if you wish: its always nice to hear from people who are reading! Finally, again, thank you. HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone. Thank You & Goodnight...Sam...

No comments: