|Ben wasn't to be moved|
|In fact, most of the volunteers present weren't moving|
|Sean, Cliff & Andy are now passed out at leaning on shovels|
|Kev gets into the wartime spirit with his tin hat|
|Somewhere, Ed has a picture of me taking a picture of him|
|and unusually, Cliff had brought along his camera to capture the proceedings for posterity|
|2807 sets off for the front|
The planet's favourite prairie had only arrived the day before and was already passed fit for active service. I don't know who her rostered cleaner was, but he managed to overlook buffing up those rusty smokebox door locking arms in his quest to drink tea on Saturday morning. You just can't get the staff!
|5542 fighting fit and ready to take on the Nazis|
|WD 348 AKA 8274/45166|
Out in the car park at Toddington, all sorts of merriment was taking place, military vehicles and re-enactors of all shapes and sizes were to be found along with Morris dancers and what purported to be an unexploded bomb
|IED in the car park|
|Tim & John tried the subtle 'hit it with a sledge hammer' technique|
|Ed & Tim look on as Mark puts the full weight of the Matbro into the job.|
You'll have noticed from the last blog entry that I had been around on Wednesday. Whilst I was there, Mike Hoskin had collared me and asked me if I could do a spot of videoing of the 8F in it's WD livery for him. He had been roped into helping out in the Flag & Whistle on Saturday and would be driving the 8F on the Sunday, so he couldn't do it himself. That was all the excuse that I needed to come along on the Sunday and indulge in a little line side photography. Mike loaned me his video camera which turned out to be remarkably easy to operate. I just perched it on a tripod and let it run, whilst I grabbed a few photos with my own camera. In spite of the dreary weather forecast, the sun actually shone for a bit in the morning and in fact it turned out to be a distinct improvement on the Saturday when we had been on the receiving end of a fairly heavy shower of hailstones at one point. Here is an edited selection of photos from the day.
|5542 approaching Dixton cutting. Note the fine display of primroses.|
|WD 348 in Dixton cutting.|
|Sadly the sound of the hill climb at Prescott will have spoiled the sound track of the video|
|The gala freight train assembled at Winchcombe, 14 vehicles plus 2 brake vans|
|2807 approaching Greet tunnel|
|5542 exiting Greet tunnel|
|WD 348 about to enter Greet tunnel|
Late in the day or not, the car park at Toddington was still a seething mass of activity. The Morris Dancers caught my eye, several had appropriate WWII slogans painted onto their faces:
|Have.... ice cream?|
Q. Why did God invent train spotters?
A. So that Morris Dancers would have someone to laugh at!
I even found time for a rather belated breakfast in the Flag & Whistle before setting off down to Chicken Curve for the final shot of the day. This would of course be the spectacular shot of the setting sun glinting off the side of the 8F as she rounded the curve. Unfortunately, although Mike did as he had been requested and gave the 8F plenty of chuff as he came round Chicken Curve, my instructions to the sun had fallen on deaf ears.
|WD 348 rounds Chicken Curve|
Finally on a sad note, one of the railway's better known supporters Brian Peacey passed away on the 12th of April. He would always give a cheerful wave from his garden at the first train of the day as it passed his house in Bishops Cleeve. Brian will be much missed by the members of the steam loco dept and several expressed an intention to attend his funeral which was held this afternoon. Yesterday, Ben halted the first train of the day outside his house and presented a card and some flowers as a mark of respect before carrying on to Cheltenham.