A great deal of preparation goes into making an event like the Speed to the West gala happen, which will be glossed over, because for the most part, although necessary, it is dull. The fun stuff starts when you turn up at Toddington to get it all ready. I started on Wednesday last week, and then only because my grand daughter's second birthday was on the Tuesday. Much against her mother's better judgement, I am hoping to indoctrinate her in the ways of Thomas the Tank Engine very soon.
Anyway, I digress as usual. The Wednesday gang were in fine form and set to work fetching in the pallet delivery from Saturday and placing it in their compound, along with chopping up enough to refill the wood store.
|Mechanical assistance was sought...|
|...but the job was finished off by hand.|
|Dinmore Manor put in an appearance on the service train while we were at it.|
|Wadebridge's tender appears|
|Shortly followed by Raveningham Hall and her tender|
|Filling Raveningham Halls' tender with water|
|Raveningham Hall even turned up with some coal on board.|
|Neil in a hi-viz t-ashirt in the 73.|
|Marshalling the freight train at Winchcombe|
Thursday also saw the arrival of Bulleid light pacific, 34007, Wadebridge. It always seems like it's getting close when the visiting locos are on site. Well, I say that, we were still awaiting the delivery of Wells, which was by now a week over due.
|Dan with the Red Dragon headboard that he made|
|Steve gets 2807 ready for action|
|Ian stands in for Wells in a two Bulleid line up.|
|Stopping for a quick check to make sure nothing is getting too hot|
|Almost looks like a light engine move from this angle|
A spot of loco cleaning was called for, no harm in prepping as much as possible the day before. Wadebridge received plenty of attention.
|Getting Wadebridge spick-and-|
|Wadebridge's wheels in reflection on one of the many puddles in the yard|
|Dan, practicing his left handed firing technique|
|Ade shifting some weights|
|Putting up the marquee|
|Ben risks getting very wet|
|What's that where the draw bar should be?|
|It's on there somewhere?|
|Aha, found it.|
As an antidote to the stress of wondering where on earth Wells was, Ben and Andy went for a spin around the car park on one of the visiting traction engines.
|Life in the fast lane.|
The signal box is really coming on, you can't help but be impressed with it.
|Broadway signal box|
|Ready for grit blasting|
|My old physics teacher and friends serenaded us.|
|Better late than never|