Friday, 13 September 2013

Back at Statfold...

Hi guys. This afternoon after work I jumped into the Saxo and headed off up the M6 & M42 bound for the fabulous Statfold Barn Railway. The brilliant SBR has been mentioned on this blog a few times and for more information about it I would advise reading back a little. The SBR holds three open days a year and tomorrow would be the last one for 2013. Once again I had very kindly been invited to fire one of the beautifully kept narrow gauge locomotives that live here on this private railway. I arrived at Statfold at about 1pm today and was immediately greeted in the car park by the immaculate 0-4-4-0TT Mallet locomotive No9, wearing her striking blue livery. The engine was being test steamed ready for her day on the 'Big Engine Railway' tomorrow. Having locked up the car I walked through to the main locomotive running shed where there were engines.... everywhere! I think we are due to be steaming about 15 locomotives tomorrow, plus at least 10 visiting full size traction engines/steam rollers will be in steam on the field too. It is shaping up to be a great day and I am very much looking forward to it. Today, as normal, I would be helping out with the preparations and my first task was to fill all of the locomotive fireboxes with wood ready for lighting up. I then lit up the large Peckett "Harrogate" for her traditional warming fire (she is a big engine). As the engines emerged from the running shed an old favourite appeared...0-4-0 Quarry Hunslet "Sybil Mary", which I fired & drove at the March Open Day (see post)...
Our (myself & John) steed for tomorrow was to be one of the two new-build sisters, both built at Statfold. Named after her birthplace, "Statfold" was the first of the new pair to be built, in 2005. The little red engine has since travelled far and wide as a mascot for Statfold, as has her cab-less sister "Jack Lane" (of 2006) which we had a cracking day on at the SBR last June (see here). I'm sure the engine will do well tomorrow, where she will be double-heading with much older sister "Sybil Mary" throughout the day. I like the full-length tank handrail and short stubby chimney that "Statfold" has...it looks more at home on a cabbed locomotive...
Later in the day myself & Steve lit up "Sybil Mary" after I had lit "Statfold". The Quarry pair will be hauling the first train tomorrow and so, though they are the smallest engines, they needed to be warmed through to safeguard against bringing them around too quickly in the morning (all this is done out of respect for the engine). I left Statfold at about 6pm and am looking forward to tomorrow immensely. Cheers guys, Sam...

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