|2807 wearing the last of the tinsel|
|Cliff prepares to set back off of the pit|
|Ed & James emptying the pit in the rain|
|George Forrest hides in a smoke screen created by the diesel shunter|
|Wood store and dismantled pallets|
|Mike Wathen plumbing in the new wash basins|
|The glove that has curled up its toes|
|The view ahead from the DMU|
Next followed the assessed disposal process resulting in 2807 being put to bed in the shed. Normally at this point it would be a case of signing off and driving home for my tea.... and a much needed shower. On this occasion, however this was also the date of the steam loco dept's Christmas dinner, 18:30 at the Harvest Home pub back in Winchcombe. We were booked to return back at Toddington at 17:45, leaving 45 minutes for me to cover off the disposal (which for 2807 in the evening is commendably little) then head off to Winchcombe. It should have been achievable, but as it turns out it wasn't, even with Tony Stockwell at the regulator doing his best to recover time. The need to shunt the 8F's stock at Winchcombe when we started meant that we set off quarter of an hour down on the timetable. That followed by the need to coal up 2807 when we got back to Toddington conspired together to add up to me not getting to Winchcombe until an hour later than I should have done. My apologies to all who were sat around waiting for me. To those who are interested, photos from the Christmas dinner will hopefully be provided by Tina Sutton in the near future and will become the subject of another blog post.
Finally my thanks to Cliff & Sean for taking the time to assess me yesterday as well as the myriad people who have signed off light-ups/warming fires for me recently. Apparently there is a nice shiny new 'steam raiser certificate' sat in my mail slot in the mess coach. It should also be mentioned that both Cliff & Tony were re-assessed as fireman & driver respectively and passed with flying colours, I had no doubt that they would of course.
This seems to be an appropriate way to finish off