Saturday, 20 August 2016

Tyseley: "Rood Ashton" Rain Or Shine...

Hi all. Today included another jaunt over to Tyseley to help with the Saturday preparation of the "Shakespeare Express". The usual 'Shakespeare Engine' No4965 "Rood Ashton Hall" would be prepped under threatening skies as the weather simply refused to make its mind up. I arrived not long after 10am in dreary conditions and immediately set to eating my recently collected breakfast, courtesy of the Tyseley Corner Cafe...
Stomach satisfied, I changed into my (now a snug fit!) overalls before wandering down through the loco shed. I discovered Andrew and Alastair already with 4965, which was outside on No1 road having her warming fire lit. The immaculate Hall had a week off last week as the larger Castle Class No5043 did the honours on the "Welsh Marches" trip whilst Sunday engineering works prevented the running of the Shakespeare. With the fire now lit, 4965 began crackling away to herself. After a good chat and a cuppa', we began some of the usual shunting procedures. I opted to work the Signalbox, still enjoying the practise which helps keep everything fresh. The trusty Class 08 rumbled down onto the waiting stock at Platform 1 road, ready to pick up the load and trundle over to the turntable to collect another coach. The track layout at Tyseley requires plenty of shunting to get the consist in the all-important correct order. Here, the 08 is spotted through the signalbox window, with me having just pulled off the Starter signal allowing it to move away with the coaches. The road would then have to be changed accordingly before setting back...
"The Class 08 Waiting With The ECS"
The 08' went down into the turntable road with most of the rake and the little Ruston mechanical 0-4-0 was then called into action to shunt out the extra coach. The 08' then drew the coach from the turntable before proceeding back over to Platform 1 road to make up the final formation. With the stock shunted, the call was made for the Hall and so I signalled the 08' over into the Workshop Siding (No1 Road). We then had a break for lunch whilst more intermittent rain fell, before returning to the job soon after. The Hall was dragged from her resting place and propelled down into the turntable area ready for coaling. The digger filled up the engines tender before the 08' took her back to the shed...
"The 08' And The Hall Return To The Shed"
With the 08' back 'inside', the Signalbox could be shut up and switched out. The Hall was now warming up nicely and sat simmering quietly outside the shed as the changeable weather continued. One minute you had warm sun, the next minute it was pouring down...
Despite the weather, 4965 looked immaculate today thanks to the efforts of the midweek cleaning team. She looks well for 87 years old...
"GWR Hall Class No4965 'Rood Ashton Hall' of 1929"
I left Tyseley at around 5:30pm after another most enjoyable day around some beautiful main line steam locomotives. The "Shakespeare" is out & about tomorrow and after that there are two more weeks of steam to Stratford to enjoy before the season ends. For more information just click here. There are also other excursions available to book which see the Tyseley engines steaming further afield. Well folks, that's it for me for a bit. Monday morning we're off on holiday...I can't wait. All the best everyone - Keep Steaming - Sam...

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