Saturday, 5 March 2016

Tyseley: A Winter's Tale...

Evening all. Today was another very chilly day volunteering over at Tyseley. I arrived at just before 10am to find the shed alive with the unmistakable, ear-splitting sound of rivet caulking. The deafening bangs of the air hammer really carry through the shed! Having changed into my overalls I was off to help with some shunting that was going on outside. The yard of the former 84E requires some strict navigation with so many locomotives on site and thus the completion of a simple A to B manoeuvre can take longer than anticipated. A beautiful sight at the shed doors today was the LMS pacific No6201 "Princess Elizabeth". Built at Crewe in 1933, "Lizzie" is the second of Stanier's powerful 7P Princess Royal class. Having returned to steam in 2015 at Tyseley, the maroon giant was today enjoying some TLC from a few members of her loving owning society. You can just imagine those Crewe men standing there in shock at the lineside as she steamed by, having been used to the much smaller Fowler 2P 4-4-0s and such like. The change must have been staggering.

After the shunting, I found myself helping out with a few small jobs on the ever progressing overhaul of 7029 "Clun Castle". The shed, like any steam shed in this weather, was very chilly today. After such a mild Winter I don't see why March has become so bitter but, allas, that's life. Any all-year-round railway volunteer will know what I mean when I say the feeling didn't return to my toes until I was driving home! Later in the day, after lunch, we did some return shunting to put everything back where it was before shutting down the diesel shunter for the day. I left at around 4:30pm for my drive back through the Birmingham suburbs towards the M42. It had been another very pleasant day at Tyseley Loco Works and I often feel like a kid in a sweet shop with all the kit and interesting projects one can study whilst there! Cheers all, Sam...

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