As I write these notes, two of our locos are away from home, 4270 is off to the East Lancs Railway for a while and will be taking part in their gala in October, and staying for the Santa season. Dinmore Manor is coming to the end of her summer season at the West Somerset Railway by taking part in their gala and will be returning to us shortly.
Also of note in my absence has been our last Day Out With Thomas (DOWT) weekend. The descendants of Rev A.W. Awdry who wrote the original Thomas books have long since sold their interest in the rights and the current owners don't feel that having DOWT events with real steam locomotives on heritage railways is in their best interests, hoping that people will visit their theme park instead. I find this a rather regrettable state of affairs, the DOWT events were quite fun for the fooplate crews at least, and most importantly it fired an interest in steam in the next generation, a generation that we will need to pass the regulator handle to, when we graduate to the great footplate in the sky. A photo from the event passed on to me showed that even the fish that gets reeled in from Thomas' water tanks knew that the end was nigh and flopped off onto the tracks to die
|A flounder? Photo courtesy of Peter Gutteridge|
As has been mentioned in these pages before, Thomas comes somewhere under the definition of LGBT, having been born with the name Jessie. Regardless of the surgery required to convert him from being a lady saddle tank to a gentleman side tank, this will be one more steam locomotive that may now struggle to find enough steamings to fund its next heavy general overhaul. For an interesting article & video on the post industrial life of this locomotive, please click on this link.
And finally, on a far more cheery note, I can pass on the good news that we have one more fireman.
|John(l) & Inspector Irving|