Before that though, the last blog post feature on 35006 having passed her boiler test prompted Roger to send me the following photo of Ian setting 35006's safety valves.
|Photo courtesy of Roger Bush|
Anyway, Wednesday 15th, was a firing turn for me on the "Planet's Favourite Prairie", 5542. It was also a driver training turn for John under the tuition of Mark. Chris appeared early to clean the PFP on what started out as a fairly miserable morning weather wise.
|Chris cleans the PFP in the damp.|
|Tony exchanges tokens with Bob.|
|Running round at Laverton|
There's always a lot to do in a short space of time if you have to run out to Laverton and back, we got the Station Master to assist with refilling the PFP's water tanks.
|"Ooh, I've never done this before!"|
|John (l) and Mark, in the Planet's Favourite Office|
|Mark and the plaque.|
|John wields a paint brush|
|(l-r), Steve, John, Tim & Phil admiring their work|
|Mark at work|
|Tim went on to paint them with rust inhibiting primer|
|Eleanor painting the wheels from 7820's tender|
|Phil inspects the work and consumes a lollipop|
|Ian heats the rivet, Rob holds the rivet in a pair of tongs|
|Rivet being inserted, Mark prepares to turn the head of the rivet over|
|David painting the supports|
|David, David & Mark, fixing the display board in place|
|The finished display board.|
For the evening, I was booked down as fireman on an owner's evening with the PFP.
|Driver Andy makes the cabside number plates sparkle before we set off|
|Sat at Toddington awaiting the 5542 group's guests|
Directors, shareholders and their relatives/friends all wanted to come up and see their loco and as expected a few wanted footplate rides too.
|Andy with John Wood of the 5542 group.|
|Our first passenger, I seem to recollect that his name was Keith, sorry if I got that wrong|
|The PFP's shadow on the hillside|
|Andy, posing for the camera rather than tucking into his fish and chips.|
Once the PFP had been safely tucked up in bed, a cup of tea consumed and a shower taken, it was straight off to Lake District for me to trample over the fells and also to sample some narrow gauge steam on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway and at Threlkeld Quarry.
And finally, modern men are supposed to be "In touch with their feminine side". I haven't a clue what that's supposed to mean, quite possibly that we're expected to take more than one bath each year or even change our underwear occasionally. There again, it might not, what do I know! What I do know however is that if I had to have a dark side to be in touch with, then diesel hydraulics would be that dark side. Hymek, D7076, which was the guest loco for this year's diesel gala is one that I'm pretty sure that I haven't clapped eyes on since it last ran for BR. Anyway, Neil (who was driving D7076) kindly pulled the lever marked "Clag" when he noticed me on the over bridge between Toddington and Laverton.
|D7076 on its way to Laverton (thanks Neil)|
|D7076 silhouetted on Stanway Viaduct|