It is a well known fact that Santa Claus maintains lists of who has been naughty and who has been nice; presents if you're on the nice list, a lump of coal if you're on the naughty list. People such as myself who may not have necessarily been paragons of virtue should be extremely concerned at this time of year. I should be concerned, but I'm not. Yours truly works in the field of IT and knows just a thing or two about the rudiments of ethical hacking, never mind a whole lot more about unethical hacking. Let's just say that security is not all it might be as far as Santa’s computer systems are concerned and that any enterprising young (ok, not so young) chap with the slightest whim to access the naughty & nice lists could do so quite easily. Thus it is that every year I can go to bed on Christmas Eve secure in the knowledge that I am on Santa's nice list, for the perfectly good reason that I have put myself there. These days I rarely content myself with just that of course, some years ago I moved Mrs Claus onto the naughty list and was amused to discover that Santa had been spotted on Boxing Day sporting a black eye. This Christmas Eve, it came to pass that Santa paid me a visit using the nearest chimney to where I happened to be, and because I had booked myself on for the Santa Specials, that happened to be the rather nice copper capped chimney of 7903, Foremarke Hall. There were two trains out, the first (2807) crewed by George, Tina, Ben & Dan, the second (7903) by Adrian, Steve, Matt & myself. Whilst hacking into Santa's naughty and nice lists, I had taken the liberty of placing George, Tina, Ben & Dan onto the naughty list.... in fact I was amused to discover that one of them was already there. Here is a rather blurry picture of them as our trains crossed later in the day at Gotherington:
|Dan, Ben,George & Tina|
Anyway, unbeknown to me Santa was coming down the chimney of Foremarke Hall just as we were in the process of lighting her up. Wet wood from the wood store and damp lighting up rags meant that extreme methods of initiating combustion had to be employed with unforeseen and unfortunate consequences. This still taken from CCTV footage records the actual moment that Santa started clambering down the chimney.
|Santa about to enter Foremarke Hall's chimney|
Click here to find out what happened next.
Whilst not wishing to appear to advertise other musical parodies by the duo that recorded that, I feel obliged to point out that many other works of theirs are definitely not safe for work, in fact I can guarantee that there is something in there to offend everybody; miners as well as minors. You have been warned!
The cleanup afterwards was not inconsiderable and the pressures of meeting the timetable meant that not quite all of the job was finished before we set off.
|Steve Burnett, a wizard on the shovel in more ways than one.|
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year from all of us at the GWSR.