Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Long Weekend (part 2)

Well as I suppose there was a part 1 to last weekend, there should also be a part 2.  My usual Sunday lie-in was sacrificed on the altar of steam and at stupid O'Clock I pitched up at Toddington ready to get Foremarke Hall spruced up and ready for the day's work.  The first loco off shed in the morning though was to be 8F, 45160, crewed by Ben Evason & Tom Couling.
Ben Evason in seasonal attire
The rule about not wearing red on operational duties is apparently more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule during the Santa Season :-)   

It was announced today that Ben will be taking over from Jeff Lacey as roster clerk.  After 15 years of service as roster clerk, Jeff has decided that it is a good time to relinquish that particlular role. Tom Couling was firing for Ben and today was to be Tom's last turn before retiring from the footplate after 28 years service on the railway.  I am anticipating a report soon regarding Tom's time on the GWSR & the presentation that was made at Winchcombe during the afternoon.
Tom Couling & Ben Evason
I have been in elevated company these last few days, on Saturday I was being driven around on Foremarke Hall by Andy Meredith, the current chairman of the steam locomotive dept, and on Sunday I was being driven on the same engine by Ian Butler who it has been announced today will be taking over as chairman in January and whose driving instructor for the day, Mark Young has been announced as being the deputy chairman and consequently the chairman for 2014.  Although a trainee driver, Ian never seems happier than when he is shoveling coal about.
Ian Butler
Mark Young noticed that one of the fire irons had become rather bent.  No problem for Mark, just heat it up to red hot in the fire then lever it back into shape underneath a convenient bit of track:
Mark Young
Tina & Mark
Not many firemen on the GWSR insist on fixing their lipstick before having their photo taken, but Tina does.  She more than kindly passed the shovel over to me for a while.  Whilst the clangs of shovel hitting the firehole door hadn't diminished much since Saturday, I hope that the accompanying expletives had.  Tina has long since coveted Tom Couling's firing shovel which has now been loaned to her on a long term basis.  She was delighted when we got back to Toddington at the end of the day and found it in the mess coach waiting for her.

Many thanks indeed to Andy, Jeff & Tom for all the hard work that they have put into the roles that they have, or are in the process of relinquishing, doubtless they will all relish the free time that they will now have on their hands.

Congratulations to Ben, Mark and Ian on their appointments, I am sure that they will all prove to be a great success in the roles that they are about to take up and judging by the number of emails that have been whizzing by during the course of today, they are also extremely popular appointments amongst the department members.

1 comment:

  1. Arrived here thanks to Peter at Rolling Stock.

    Great blog and will look forward to more close up photos of the 'not often seen' parts of the engines. Great stuff. Thanks.