|Dan gets decorating|
|Andrew & Ed|
Today marked a few more firsts as well. This was Steve Oddy's first trip in his new capacity as driving instructor and for Cliff Faulkner, this was his first official driving lesson.
|Cliff Faulkner & Steve Oddy|
Santa couldn't be kept waiting and soon enough the 8F was disappearing off shed to collect children to take to Santa's grotto.
|8F,45160 setting off|
|Dan, Ed, Andrew & Tim|
|1442 as she is today|
|1442 on the steam loco dept Christmas card|
|Lizzie nearing Honeybourne|
Back at Toddington, there were several tasks that needed attending too. Most of them involved being stood out in the freezing cold and shoveling ballast from one place to another. The one that didn't, involved painting up the vestibule of the nice warm mess coach. Did I mention that it was warm? Still not being a complete idiot, that is the one I decided to do. The vestibule is at the end of the coach nearest the toilet block, I lost track of the number of people who having had too many cups of tea, had to squeeze past, usually getting paint on themselves in the process only to repeat the process as they came back. Speaking of the toilet block, it appears to have delusions of grandeur and thinks that it is rather like the Hotel California, "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave". It appears that once you have shut the door behind you, it refuses to open again. Plaintive cries for help in escaping were heard several times throughout the course of the day.
Eventually of course, Santa had been visited by all the children and departed in his sleigh leaving the 8F free to return to shed at Toddington. Note that the pits here have lights in them, a luxury that we didn't have when operating out of Winchcombe.
|45160 at the end of the day|