As I was down for a fireman training turn, I was reasonably disinterested during the loco prep period in the fact that it was raining, I could mostly skulk in the cab and get my fire going along with cleaning the cab fittings.
Normally you wouldn't expect to get both fireman training and driver training taking place on the same loco. I have no idea why it was happening on this occasion, but nobody else seemed to mind, so neither did I. My usual firing instructor, Ade was there, but this was his first outing as a trainee driver under the instruction of Steve. Clive was going to be my firing instructor. Ade and Steve got on with oiling up the motion (in the rain), whilst I got on with getting my fire going:
|Ade and Steve, out in the rain|
|My nice warm fire|
|Storm sheet fitted|
|Steve instructs Ade in the workings of the hydrostatic lubricator|
|4270's cab is nicely weather proof, unlike 2807's|
The weather was set to turn bad again, so Sean stepped off the footplate and Clive returned for the third trip. This one was fine from the firing point of view, but the weather going down was as abysmal as my firing had been on the second trip. Plenty of thunder, lightning and rain with most of the Cotswold hills lost to view in the low cloud. The knowledge that the cab of a steam loco is in essence a rudimentary Faraday Cage was some reassurance given the frequency and close proximity of the lightning, but it was still an interesting and extremely wet ride. Having just about dried out from the morning's soaking, I was more than a bit disappointed to get drenched yet again, but at least I wasn't hit by lightning. Mercifully, the rain ceased for the tender first return journey, so by the time we made it back to Toddington I was mostly dry again.
|Evidence of the recent deluge on the platform at Winchcombe|
|4270 arrives for her last trip|
|Ade coaling 2807|
|Clive damping down the ash pan before I scrape the ash out.|
You have probably noticed by now that internet is the source of no end of trivia and amusement. One such item that I spotted recently was the current craze of deaf people drenching themselves by pouring a bucket of water over their own heads. So what does this have to do with the GWSR in general and the steam loco dept in particular? I hear you say. Well the answer to that is that if enough people sign up for the sponsored walk for Broadway appeal, mentioning "Ian Chilton" as they do, then Ian will do the deed. Date and location as yet to be ascertained, but a video by way of evidence will appear on this blog soon after the event. Personally I'm hoping for platform 2 at Toddington whilst loco 2 is taking water after the first round trip on Saturday August 2nd, but I'm not holding my breath.
|Ian Chilton, he won't be allowed to wear a hat at the time.|
The sponsored walk for the Broadway Station appeal is looming large now, in fact Tina and I will be setting off on Friday. All support gratefully received.