The Rutlander Rides again

Hello once again friends and welcome to another Sunday blog update…….. on a Thursday. Yes ok, I think we need to get used to the fact that we cant always get these things out on the day of the event but any whooo we are hear now so lets press on shall we.

Sunday morning saw the return to passenger operations at the museum and seen as non of the diesel fleet down there are currently vacuum brake fitted it meant and early start to get one of the steamers fired up, this being the ever popular Sir Thomas Royden. After a very early start from home the first few of us arrived at 5.30 to prep the engine. There was no time for delay so it was sign in, pull the engine out the shed, check the engine over, build the fire and get it lit. Whilst I tended to the fire and oiled round Sam and Thomas.S cleaned the loco down ready for its days work. Sam being the ever resourceful type had the foresight to bring with him dinner for the entire crew which he positioned on the fire box as soon as he arrived .

Some time after 8 o’clock the rest of both the ID&RPG and rocks teams started arriving. Stephens first task was to get 1382 started in readiness to pull imp back out for more of the old paint to be removed and a fresh coat to be added. As the Ruston division didn’t arrive until a little while later, Stephen took the opportunity to have a check round to make sure 1382 was still behaving properly. If you have trained eyes and ears you can pick up on the smallest of faults before they become an issue. All that was reported was a minor oil leak which was cleaned up and will be seen to on her next service that is due in October.

By 10 o’clock STR was sat in the platform simmering away nicely, there were however two problems No.1 the shark brake van had started to look a little weathered having been parked for a fair while and problem No.2 and by far the biggest issue of all ……………. it was 10 AM and I still hadn’t had a brew!!!!. Fortunately, with it being an operating day and being the time of day it was the cafe was open. Barbara and the brilliant cafe crew had plenty of bacon baps and mugs of tea at the ready so with breakfast consumed and a brew in hand we cleaned down the brake vans and started the passenger rides. This was a shorter run than normal as part of the running line was still closed for maintenance so we were running up and down twice so passengers still got a similar duration as they would normally.

Once the day got under way Mike, Andrew, Gary and Chris all carried on with there amazing efforts on Imp. Panels were fitted and adjusted, bolts tightened and paint work sorted. For saying Imp has only been with us since December shes really come along way. Stephen busied in the field with the telehandler, organising many years of accumulated clutter whilst Thomas.S, Ben, Patrick and Gary.W all gave 1382 a good scrub and polish.

By 1 o’clock we took a short stop for dinner. Sam vanished off the foot plate of STR only to reappear armed with plates, knifes and folks. And for those who hadn’t guessed from the photo he had brought us all jacket potatoes, having been baking since 5.30 they were lovely and soft all we had to do was place the bean on the end of the shovel and warm them through in the fire box. We have challenged him to do a full Sunday roast for next time but first he may need a bigger shovel.

After our short break we carried on running until 3.30 after which time the public had all gone so we put all the stock back, ashed out STR and put all the locos away. Most members started packing up and going home however Stephen, Gary.w and my self all stayed until 7 o’clock to further tidy the field. By the end of the day it was very clear where we had been and it feels like real progress is being made in the efforts to stop the over growth from calming all the important materials and equipment that are placed out there. We are working on a long term plan to make the field a more usable space and also organise what is both in there and up on the loading dock. Both areas are used for storage but its all become jumbled up over the years so this will be a recurring theme over the next few months. However we are uncovering some really interesting things so stay tuned .

We hope you have found this blog interesting so far. We are always looking for ways to improve our group and any media we output so if you have any suggesting please feel free to leave a comment, contact us through our Facebook page or send us an email until next time folks stay safe and well and as always thank you for reading.

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