Last weekend I made it to the Top Left Hand Corner of Wales for the first time in far too long to join the Hunslet 125 birthday party to celebrate the best two locomotives on the Ffestiniog Railway. The double Fairlie is an excellent machine but for a satisfying day out on a loco, give me a Lady any day (my view may be biased due to being about as regular as you can get to being Blanche’s regular fireman for the 2005 and 2006 seasons).
Despite not having booked to do anything until the Tuesday before, and having offered to do whatever needed doing including “third man on the sand drier” I was given what was considered to be that turn – late night stewarding in Minffordd Yard while the public got p….. at the Yard Arms. Not only was it actually a good laugh and an excellent view of the birthday Ladies’ parallel run, but it then got me good turns on Saturday and Sunday doing the Shuntathon in the Yard and including gravity trains on the Sunday. It was good to get “back in the saddle” or back on the waggon side as it actually is. Not only did I get “my” old waggon but I can report that gravity is still switched on in North Wales, so good result all round really.
The organising “big guns”, who are the same ones that pulled off Vintage 2005 (except Bruno and FP who were about 8 then) and a few of the other events, really showed their skills in this one. So thanks to Geoff, Diller, Fringe, Bonks, Bruno, FP, and all the others who I haven’t named who got involved in delivering the goods yet again.
Sitting in the Yard Arms on Sunday evening, being manned by the brewery boss himself, looking round at all the knackered but satisfied volunteers, helped me remember that despite any politics, this railway, my railway, the Ffestiniog Railway, is the best in the world.
It was good to be home.