Today is the start of the spring gala. It always seems to me that this is the real start of the new season, the running days before this being tasters and practices for the real thing.
I hadn't intended to be on the trains today, but an unexpected change of plans meant that I was able to 'pop into' Bishops Lydeard for a while. First thing to be seen was the US Army Transportation Loco sat in the QB siding. And a fine sight it was too.
It was well loaded with military vehicles - jeeps, guns and even a landing craft - not quite sure where that was going to. Well done to the team who turned out the train. It looked splendid and is a credit to all who have worked so hard on it. I understand more work is planned ready for running it again during the 1940s weekend.
At that point, the QB arrived at the station - and well it would have been rude not to board and sample the offerings. As always, a great presentation and a very tasty steak and ale pie made the journey down to Williton most enjoyable. even a chickatarian is allowed a day off!
A nifty turnaround at Williton saw me behind the double headed panniers back to BL. A jourrney spent in the brake van riding shotgun with Chris Austin who was transferring valuable historic artefacts from BA museum up to BL.
Later in the day I understand that the S160 decided to shed some parts along the line which meant a rescue by 7714, so a late end to the day for some. As always, in these circumstances the dedication and commitment by the railway staff is second to none. Well done to all.
And especially well done to the new rookie waiter in the QB - say hello to the young lad if you're on the train tomorrow!