A glorious sunny weekend has seen our first Steam Trains of the season, with the Hudswell Carke doing the honours. We hosted a 70th Birthday – happy Birthday, Mr Birch – and the birthday boy enjoyed taking the controls of the loco (under supervision, of course) for a couple of hours. Wearing a white shirt was a gutsy move, but he seemed to get away with it.
Meanwhile, various projects have pushed on. The FR coach now has completed drawgear at both ends, and just to prove it, we used the Hudswell to shunt it round the yard – the first time it’s moved with steam traction since leaving North Wales (Wot? No Double Fairlie? – the coach was heard to mutter). In the workshop, work has started in earnest on Motor Rail 1320 – this is the 1918 loco which was rebuilt to quarry condition, and will be restored, with the support of a PRISM grant, to the condition in which it worked in industry. It is fair to say that some of the bolts haven’t been out since 1918, and seem quite determined to stay that way, thank you.