Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of absence

22nd January 2017

Once again when I would normally be writing this I am on my way down south, with the prospect of being 'on set' at 07.30 to look forward to.

As usual (?), I am refraining from saying anything that might be in any way relative to the movie as such – suffice it to say that the 3 days I was expecting to do last week metamorphosed into all 5 by which time I'd run out of clean clothes (I was expecting to be home Tuesday night for a for a re-load) and I think some people were standing upwind of me. The team I am working with are mostly Bluebell stalwarts, and within the close-knit film industry personnel we have been dubbed 'The Railway Children' – though which one of us they think is Jenny Agutter I don't wish to find out.

But it has meant that I have been away from normal activity during the week and Andrew even cancelled Team Frod's planned visit.

However, during the week Andrew has successfully won some bits on another tender and Saturday we went over to Skegness together to collect them, once we'd unloaded from the van my 'loco essentials' and accumulated rubbish. I hadn't been to Ramco before, indeed, I haven't had much luck at anything ex-MoD since the Ministry started putting its equipment through that disposal outlet. What Andrew had acquired on the one hand were a set of 4 'hull stands', i.e. supports to carry the hull of an Army tank while it is under repair. We had some back at RMS Locotec at Wakefield and they are a more portable alternative to the ex-Bombardier stands (which take a forklift or an army of Team Frod huffing and puffing) or wooden blocks. Together with them, he's acquired an alternative aperture card scanner. We have a number of aperture cards (which were used to hold 35mm sized negatives of drawings) we want to digitise, and acquired a scanner some time ago. But we hadn't done our homework fully, and without an interface we couldn't use it. The interface though was special and although we found out who manufactured it, they told us they were bound by contractual arrangements to a third party and that company weren't interested in supporting the product in any way. Impasse. This ex-MoD one though, uses several alternative SCSI interfaces which Andrew has already checked he can purchase, with driver software available to download. So provided it works and hasn't had some internal catastrophe, it may be the answer. It does at least power up though may want a bit of attention to the optics before we know for sure.

Some weeks ago I entered a short story competition being run by the Yorkshire Wolds Railway in conjunction with Fantastic Books. My entry has made the 'long list' (and that's probably as far as it will get) which means they want to print it in the 'anthology' to be published around April time. This I found out as I was driving back on Friday night when they rang me to find out why I hadn't responded to their e-mail sent earlier in the week. But when I'm down south I'm not taking a laptop, don't attempt to see e-mails on my phone, and don't seem to be suffering from any withdrawal symptoms, though it does rely on the boss to text me any changes to start time. So I had better get moving. Toodle pip.

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