On Saturday 8th of Aug a few of us brave souls gathered at the club track for what is hoped will become the first annual road run down to the Saxon pub in Weeting. Four engines made the trip, Michael B (4” little Sampson), Peter E, Andy G (4 1/2” Burrell’s) and Chris H (3” Minnie) Sandra B was our only passenger, keeping Peter company on the trip. The allotted time of departure was decided to be 12:00; high noon! And we were on time, no mean feat when you are relying on the unknowns of raising steam! Michael decided to cross the rally field as this was a slightly shorter distance, in the end however it was to be much harder going with the deep ruts on the field and the extra drag from the grass making progress much slower and more difficult. Peter E did the trip in reverse, leaving from his house and roading to the club and back again. We had to bring our own water for the outward trip however the friendly landlord was only too happy for us to top up from his hose, for the return trip.
On the whole drivers treated us with gracious curiosity, waiting patiently for our ponderous convoy to pass, it took I guess about 30 minutes to make the trip to the pub which is largely downhill, something you don’t even notice in the car. A quick pint a good chat and the usual B&DSME laughs, several people came and had a look at our strange conveyances, the landlord showed great interest and said we were more than welcome to come back, so I guess we will have to! The homeward journey was uneventful, except now the hill made its gradient felt, with coal and water consumption increasing, however Andy said he didn’t add any coal at all on the return trip. Total distance covered was about 2.5 miles, Michael had a grin from ear to ear and I must admit I really enjoyed the experience, best of all no one got crushed by a 20 ton lorry and none of the engines broke down, unlike at the rally when my back axle seized solid a long way from home requiring the assistance of Andy and the “Doom-bar”* I will definitely be having a go at the proposed run from Forncett St Mary to the Tank Museum this October. Why not come and enter or even come as a passenger, a lovely sedate way to see the Autumnal countryside.
*Andy’s son named the pole, his dad keeps safely stowed on his trolley for breakdowns, this has saved several of us recently, and was christened after the Ale “Doombar” served in the beer tent this year. You know you are in trouble after the “Bar of Doom” is unbolted!
Written by Steamfly – Aug 2015