A new procedure for this operating year is that smoke boxes are to be checked at night during disposal, but not emptied until the following morning. I'm a big fan of this change, the task is so much more pleasant to do when the loco is cold.
|Only takes a few minutes when it's cold.|
|Paul at work|
|Just what the doctor ordered|
A swift check in the cab revealed that I had some water space in the boiler and already 50 PSI on the pressure gauge. This was turning into a nice easy start to the day.
|All was good in here.|
|Roxanne, You don't have to put on the red light.|
|The great escape in progress!|
|4270 sets off for the start of its day's work|
|35006 has had the exterior of her cab repainted, it looks very smart again now|
|Ready to go, Paul does a bit of last minute cleaning too|
|4270 is in there somewhere.|
|Not so this time, we were held up at the bracket|
|Back on time.|
|You won't get any more in there|
I'd noticed that one or two other crews had taken to toasting hot cross buns during the layover between trips at Toddington. That had seemed like a good dea to me, so I gave it a go.
|Cross buns getting hot.|
|The rest were quite passable though|
|Jeff in the office.|
|One day her prince will come!|
|Waiting for train 1|
|Staged photo, Paul is right handed really.|
A key part of sticking to the timetable at CRC and avoiding blowing off, is to be well practiced at hooking off and back on again. The less time you are down there, the more time you have to prep your fire and keep the boiler under control. Paul managed this process quickly and safely without any need for intervention.
|Paul hooking off at CRC|
The weather forecast hadn't suggested rain, but it had been very grey and overcast so far and often looked like it might rain. The exposed cab of Dinmore Manor isn't the best place to be in the rain when running tender first. By this time, well into our last trip, there were even sunny spells. We were all quite pleased to have managed to stay dry all day.
|Jeff, pleased that we had kept dry.|
|The model railway coach, resplendent in its freshly applied TPO livery|
|Paul rakes out the ash pan.|
|Dinmore Manor about to go round to the shed, the class 20 waiting to leave with our stock|
|Blocking the view|
At this point, the class 20 pulled out. Phil was on board acting as second man, he was heard to utter the blasphemous statement "It's the way forward" as they went past. He will be unceremoniously stripped of his firing shovel the next time he shows his face at Toddington.
|Class 20 off on trip 3.|
|(l-r) Eleanor, John, John & Matt creating one of the damper operating linkages|
|Trial fit on the new ash pan.|
|Every time I look something new has been added.|
|Safety valves having a busy day|
In one of those happy coincidences, it turned out that an old friend that I hadn't seen for a couple of years was on the platform too along with his dad who he had been taking on a day out on our line. It's always nice when that sort of thing happens. I encouraged them both to come back again.
And finally, unless you slept clean through Wednesday, you can't fail to have noticed that it was April Fools Day. A couple of pranks of note caught out a few of the unwary on our railway. Our head of training sent out the following via email on the morning of April 1st:
George caused quite a stir when he posted the following picture on a well known social media site with the caption "Guess what.....":
|Has the GWSR's Samson met his Delilah?|
|George is in there somewhere!|