|Best of luck in finding your own copy|
You may have noticed lately that it has been rather warm. I have been out and about on the footplate on some of the hotter days. If you cast your mind back to the 29th of June, I was firing Foremarke Hall. This was also the hottest day of the year so far, I overheard the guard say that he had recorded 33 degrees Centigrade in the guard van. The footplate doesn't have a thermometer, however I have no doubt at all that with the fire going, the footplate temperature was well in excess of that. Suffice it to say that the brass monkeys were nowhere to be seen, on this occasion they were concerned that the heat would melt away the parts that they hold most dear!
We weren't the only ones out and about who had been foolish enough to light a fire, the lineside clearance team were at it too:
|Lineside clearance team...|
|...and their fire|
I have no idea who the chap is in the photo below, but for the first few trips, every time we appeared at Winchcombe, he appeared on the platform with 3 bottles of cold water for the crew. I can't possibly stress enough how welcome this was. He wasn't there for the last trip, and we had to resort to dropping Tom (cleaner) off at Toddington signal box to fetch us more water before we departed for Broadway.
|Thank you very much, it was highly appreciated|
|Looks like a nice spot to have a brew!|
|He tried right handed to start with...|
|...but did rather better when he switched sides.|
We do have one driver who has threatened to pinch the bottom of any fireman who dares to fire from his side of the cab, I gave Tom some advice on how to use the shovel to change that driver's mind should this actually happen.
The drainage team were hard at work in the blazing heat too
|Somewhere there is a photo of me taking a photo of them, taking a photo....|
For my sins, I was back on the footplate again on Friday, this time for a footplate experience day with Foremarke Hall. This was more like the day before, except that we didn't have the benefits of a convertible car.
|Mark (driver) prepping Foremarke Hall|
|Mark cleaning the first gummed up glass on the lubricator|
|John (L) & David|
I suggested to Mrs Blogger that we might book a place on a footplate experience course for my father-in-law. She suggested that it probably wouldn't be the ideal gift for him, but that perhaps it would be better suited to my mother-in-law.
|(L-R), Brian, Paul and Mark (driver)|
|Richard operating the water column at Cheltenham Race Course|
|Mark clinging on to the delivery hose|
|Better than many of our firemen manage|
|My Wednesday correspondent, Peter was one|
Meanwhile, there was much noise on the platform, some of the pine trees were being chopped down and mulched
|Chopping down trees...|
|...converting them to sawdust|
|As hollow as an election promise!|
The footplate experience courses are all sold out for the rest of this year I'm afraid. Should you wish to sign up for one next year, all the information that you'll need will found by clicking on this link.
The preparations for the new mess building are ongoing. The area to the south the goods shed will be cleared shortly. The new container with a side entrance functioning as the oil store will be moved to where the existing oil store is.
|The side entrance in use (photo courtesy of Peter Gutteridge)|
|The old wood store departing for Lydney (photo courtesy of Mark Young)|
The preparations for the big move around included a big shunt, that amongst other things saw 2874 to and fro around the yard
|2874 being shunted (photo courtesy of Martin Ginger)|
|Finance director, Richard W (L) gives John C his 15 year long service award.|