22nd January 2012
I have spent that last few weeks struggling with close-up work because having lost of pair of glasses, the replacement pair I got from the opticians seemed to be “long range” rather than “close range” and I insist that this has been my problem in reading measurements when marking out tank tops. I went back to the opticians on Monday and after checking their records they admitted that I was indeed correct and the wrong spec had been ordered.
20th February 2011
The sudden return of the cold weather on Monday sent a chill through Andrew’s heart. We had, after all, added a considerable quantity of plain water to “Pluto” last Sunday when the cooling system appeared a touch low, so Antifreeze strength was not entirely predictable.
30th May 2011
This (long) weekend was the Last Weekend of the Month. There is a danger in all this that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy, that in some way we expect that it will be a wash-out, plan less to do for fear of it going wrong, see every minor problem as a major disaster and come out of it with our convictions reinforced.
27th February 2011
It has been a busy week at Briddon towers. I was out on a commercial job on Tuesday, and Andrew having packed the girlfriend back off for home, went over to Rowsley where there ought to have been a 6.5m length of tube delivered. But it wasn’t there. He rang me, I advised him where to find the supplier’s phone number and contact name, he rang the supplier, the supplier blustered, and it turned out the lorry was half a mile away and the driver “couldn’t find” Peak Rail, Rowsley.
13th February 2011
There is a view that a blog is nothing more than a diary that exists on the ‘web, but there is one important difference. You can pour your heart out on paper, insult anyone you choose, outline your aspirations, all in the knowledge that only you – and perhaps your spouse – are ever likely to read it in your lifetime. The blog is a different matter, and there have been “things going on” which I could not report until all parties had agreed. Too soon would have screwed it all up.
15th May 2011
The invoice arising from last weekend’s auction appeared on Andrew’s e-mail account on Monday and caused a certain amount of consternation. Payment methods acceptable to the auctioneers versus the time available were slightly conflictive – so on Tuesday I added organising a banker’s draft to my list of things to do, which included booking a 3.5ton dropside to collect the purchased lots.
6th March 2011
The run of bad luck seemed to follow me into the first few days of March. A commercial job on Monday got delayed an hour after a chap in a 4×4 and a trailer succeeded in parking it at 45 degrees across the A1 southbound. Although I almost caught up with my plan, the knock-on effect was that when I pressed the button on my bit to make the customer’s bit function, the latter didn’t and I had no time to investigate.
22nd May 2011
It has been a week or pluses and minuses. On Tuesday I went down to Nottingham, to inspect more auction lots of Jarvis’, but obviously the liquidators advertising is now reaching parts and persons not reached before because bids on Friday soon went out of all proportion to the value of what was there – at least to us – so no lorry loads to collect next week. Down in South Wales, 14 901 has been in action covering for defective kettles – is there another ‘14 in daily service at present? It has certainly transformed from being an unwanted Cinderella…
8th May 2011
The overlap between my activities with Andrew and commercial work has been extensive again this week. It was after all, Andrew’s acquisition of the re-railing jacks from Doncaster that enabled me to broker the deal that saw the East Anglian Railway Museum acquire the Plasser crane, and while I was there putting the engine back in, I’d had a chance to have a quick look at more bits coming up for auction. So it was that on Wednesday I back yet again in Doncaster, “officially” inspecting the lots of an on-line auction due to close on Friday.
13th March 2011
Andrew had the day off work on Wednesday and we travelled down to Bicester to view the latest batch of MoD rolling stock that Ramco has on tender. I have many memories of Bicester, from commissioning brand new Thomas Hill locomotives, conducting training courses in old carriages, testing a repowered Ruston and being happily unaware that the brake van at the back of our train was no longer on the rails… They weren’t always happy days, but I knew people there and the place always seemed a hive of activity.