19th September 2010
Ever since I went self-employed, if I am at home at lunch time, I seem to end up watching Bargain Hunt over my sandwiches. It has little relevance to this blog, save that it involves auctions, an environment that Mrs B is quite familiar with. Ever since Barclays bank screwed up my business back in 2001, we have watched a particular monthly auction in Sheffield, and over the years a surprising amount of tools and tackle have come our way from there, from swaging machines to sack trucks.
26th September 2010
I have been doing a lot for Andrew this week. For starters having agreed to Plan B for the air cleaners on the ‘14, I started looking for a suitable modern rectangular air cleaner element. I identified 3 from my old Fleetguard catalogue, but a quick call showed that one was obsolete and the others had not been sold in the UK for years.
22nd August 2010
On Monday night Andrew had us pop back over to Rowsley and fire up the ‘14 so that he could set up the rpm range again. We were there barely half-an-hour but that meant that I could return on Thursday afternoon to start driver training, but forgot my camera so no photos of it shuffling around Rowsley re-arranging wagons.
12th September 2010
Saturday: Rowsley seems to be becoming a second home lately. With me having all my gear in the 407, and Andrew wanting to run the Land Rover to collect some bits for “Coronation”, we ended up taking two vehicles. In the end it was fortuitous that the Land Rover was there, for the Heritage Shunter Trust’s ‘new’ mobile crane was stuck in mud and the Land Rover ended up assisting it on to terra firma.
14th November 2010
During the week we said a metaphoric goodbye to another of Andrew’s locos – “Claire” – depicted below. It was I suppose inevitable that with three ‘identical’ Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0DHs – “Claire” “Grace” and “Beverley” – Andrew needing to thin out the numbers would lead to one or even two of them departing, but I have fond memories of “Claire” – one of the most travelled locos in the collection.
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.
So, this is what 2011 looks like. Ah well, just the same as 2010 to me. During the week, I put a new page up on Andrew’s website, offering “souvenirs” from D9500. For what true Heritage Diesel fan’s home is complete without a genuine, certified piston or half-bearing shell, the latter even offered on polished wood plinth with engraved label? What a shame he didn’t think of it before Christmas….
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.