Friday, 14 September 2012

Shackerstone Gala: So Much Work...

Hi everyone. Well, what a day! There was just so much to do. I arrived at Shackerstone at 8am and found the Black 5 just about to be lit in the shed. She would be slowly warmed through during the day and given a fitness to run exam prior to tomorrow's big gala. There was a large steam department crew forming at the shed front and soon everyone had a job. I for one headed down to start cleaning up my loco for tomorrow, which would be Prairie No5521. The 2-6-2 turned up looking a little dirty and so I set to with the polishing mop and some Autoglym so as to bring up the tanks and smokebox. I was quite happy with this task as you could really see a difference. Meanwhile, Carl & Samantha were cleaning up "Sir G" whilst the two Andy's, Shelley and Steve took the Black 5. Dave, Danny, Miles and Mic meanwhile were cleaning the 38 up. "Blue Circle" had already been cleaned and looked fit for a king. We broke for lunch at Midday and then continued with our tasks throughout the afternoon.

Other jobs included lighting warming fires, cleaning brass, chopping wood, shunting, filling tanks with water, tidying up, getting the real ale onto the train, p-way and god only knows what else! The shunting of the freight began at 6pm and continued until 8:30ish under lamplight and night time shunting signals. I was in command of the 02 shunter with Danny in charge of the 08. Together we worked on, getting the train together, if only into 3 seperate sections. The remainder of the shunting would be done at first light, allowing the freight to leave on time at 9am tomorrow morning. Meanwhile I had also lit up 5521, attempting to slowly bring her around into light steam in order to use the injectors to get the water level up. There was only 1/4 of a glass in there and this would dissapear when heading down the slope out of the shed in the morning. With the help of Dave I was able to get the level up and we left the loco with 70psi on the clock and a full boiler, at around 7pm - all ready for tomorrow! I eventually left the railway at 9:30pm, with most jobs now complete and ready for what promises to be a fantastic day tomorrow. Lets hope we're busy! What a day...I'm tired! Thank you for reading folks. Here's to a fab gala. Cheers...

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