Friends & Families Invite Day

The grey and dreary weather was not a promising start to our Invitation Day held at the track at Weeting. The showers persisted on and off throughout the morning, but happily they subsided after lunch. True to form the dodgy weather failed to deter many members from bringing their engines along, and we had a good turnout of road and rail engines. Mike H’s expression below sums up the determination of members to play with their engines whatever the weather! His 3″ Burrell agricultural was enjoying one of its first outings since he acquired it a subsequently set about turning it in to the beautiful engine we saw today. Serious work on the crank and other components now mean that it ticks over like a Swiss watch.

Another 3” Burrell seen below was present, this being owned by Mike’s nephew I believe. This was running very well, and always had a good head of steam whilst chugging around the site.

The road steam contingent was also made up of Norman’s 4″ Foster agricultural, Andy’s 4 ½” Burrell agricultural, Mike B’s 4″ Savage tractor, Chris’s 3″ Minnie “Scallywag”, Stephen’s 4 ½” Burrell (on display though not in steam) and Ray’s Lykamobile steam car.

There was activity on the track, including Pete, our regular visitor from the Peterborough club with his 5″ gauge Wisbech & Upwell tram. Pete had also encouraged a few other Peterborough members to visit us today, and we all hope that their enjoyed their visit.

Jason was also seen with his latest creation, a 7 ¼” gauge Sentinel shunter. This was one of the engine’s first trips out, and looked very smart indeed, with very crisp and neat bodywork. He certainly seems to be well pleased with his efforts!Paul S had brought along his 7 ¼” gauge Sweet William “Sambuca”, and a lovely train of narrow gauge slab wagons to compliment this cracking engine. You can see that he has learned from the best and was fully equipped with willing “staff”! Very handy!!

Paul B had brought along one of the Simplexes he is working on, and his half-size Gardner gas engine. The Gardner runs so smoothly and is a joy to watch, with its soft rhythmic exhaust. Young Sam had his model boat on the pond, and like some of the other youngsters present, had a plethora of radio control vehicles to play with. This just goes to show that we are all just playing with toys, no matter what our age is!

The BBQ was expertly tended to by Stuart and members of his family, and was very popular indeed. With our now traditional High Tea served later in the afternoon, I think it is fair to say that everyone was well fed and watered. Our thanks go to all those who provided cakes and nibbles, and to those who worked so hard in the catering department to help make this day so enjoyable.

It was a delight to see life member Eric among us again. He chatted with many of those present, and was chauffeured up to John’s boiler house by Andy’s Burrell to see the big stationary engine in steam.

All in all it was a great day, despite the iffy weather in the morning. Once again our thanks go to all those who helped make today such a successful and pleasant event.

 Kev B – May 2015