Monday, 10 September 2012

Shackerstone Gala: Unloading The Loco's...

Hi everyone. Today I left work at 2pm as normal and continued straight over to Shackerstone in the Saxo. Driving in up the driveway I could see the tell-tale signs of a large road trailer. Sure enough, there was the filthy exterior of "Sir Gomer"; freshly returned from its visit to the Chinnor Railway. The Peckett was waiting to be unloaded from Mr Antell's trailer and was duly untied. We then made up the ramp using the heavy rails and strengthening bars before bringing the 0-6-0ST slowly down and back onto home soil. The 1932-built loco was then hitched up to the Class 08 before being dragged up the loading road and into the north end sidings. As soon as "Sir G" was out of the way there was a loud noise (almost like an air-horn) and the sight of orange beacons signalled the arrival of Reid Freight's red truck, with a slightly tree-infested 5521 on board. The Prairie (owned by Bill Parker) was brought up by Reid's following a visit to the Swindon & Cricklade Railway. The Western 2-6-2 stood proudly on the back of the trailer whilst preparations were made for her unloading...
5521 was soon unloaded by the Reid guys, whilst we shunted the Loadhaul (JCB) around and coaled the Peckett. When the Prairie was unloaded the Class 47 diesel was pressed into action and shoved 5521 and "Sir G" up through Platform 1 and Ground Frame No11 before climbing up into the loco shed. 3803 had to be pushed back slightly to allow the pair access but a small shunt soon relieved this. Outside it had just begun to rain and so we had definately got them inside just in time! The shed was still alive with activity, even though it was already 8pm. I left at 8:30pm as I was beginning to grow tired after being in work at 6am this morning (cue many tiny violins!). I must admit the gala is really coming together now. The Black 5 will be arriving tomorrow...oh yes! Cheers guys. Sam...

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