Monday, 21 December 2009

Ho ho ho

This weekend was the last of the Santa Special events at Locomotion and to add to the festive feel, the temperatures dropped and the snow stayed - indeed, more fell on Saturday night. It got so cold on Saturday that one of Furness 20's injectors that had frozen on Friday night never fully thawed out. We therefore elected on Saturday afternoon to bring the engine and Dutch shunter in overnight to prevent any more frost problems and make sure the diesel stood a chance of starting on Sunday morning to pull 20 out. The nice warm museum interior provided an impromptu caravan site for Tim Owen and Alan Middleton - with temperatures below -4 degrees Centigrade, it was no weather for engines or people to be outside.
Sunday morning dawned very cold but bright, and fortunately we had put a hosepipe into 20s tender overnight from inside as the external hose used for watering stayed frozen all weekend. With a chimney lid on, the engine still had steam from the previous day so Alan set to work lighting the fire whilst we pulled 20 out and put her over the pit for preparation. Here's the view from 663's cab as we head down to the water tower.
After 20 had been oiled and steam raised, she moved off to begin her work, but not before we posed her in the snow for next year's Christmas card pictures!

1348 visitors later, I don't know how many trips to and fro, and floors mopped, bins emptied and tickets clipped; plus 1 1/2 hours as relief driver, it was time to pack up. We took pity on the poor frozen 03 which looked like an iced cake and put it inside along with 663 and 20.

Tim, Alan & Kate spent another night in the museum (and watched on a video "Night at The Museum"!) and found a use for the 03 as a wine cooler for their dinner bottle of white...
With the museum now closed until 4th January, we are shunting tomorrow to put the Stirling tender inside and also move the HAA Merry Go Round hopper to the workshop so it can join the queue for attention - then of course still paperwork and other things to get on with.
In the meantime, I'd like to wish you all a Happy & Peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year, let's see what 2010 brings!

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