Elsewhere - www.andrewbriddonlocos.co.uk - you can see the "official" face of the locomotive collection my son has built up. Here on "Weekend Rails" you can read a blow-by-blow account of our work in restoring and improving them.
22nd September 2013
As I have said before, there are weeks when I am doing too much unpaid for the “collection”. This week has been one such. On Tuesday, although D8 Penyghent, was rostered according to Peak Rail's website, in practice we had been asked to provide and man 14 901 as D8s regular driver had a hospital appointment. I had been hoping that, by now, we would have had drivers trained up and ready to enjoy this experience, but although I am 'keeping up the momentum' on training (as per my instructions), we have no-one yet who has had experience of driving in passenger service and with all these person-carrying things in tow. So it was down to me to drive the loco, supported by one of my trainees to act as Secondman, and, as he to was not signed to act as a pilot, Rob S to perform that role. And I was under strict orders that I must do all the driving.
8th September 2013
In a post back in February ('of the locos at Scunthorpe') I bemoaned a certain magazine that took text from either this blog or Andrew's website, condensed it, and in so doing made it inaccurate and our work seem ineffectual. The latest edition came out on Thursday, and guess what? They've done it again!
14th July 2013
Of course, when I said that next Friday's plans were set in stone, what I should have said was that they were set in er - Blu-tak - and might be slightly ply-able.
4th August 2013
No sooner had I committed my anticipated demise to the web on last week's blog than news came through that on the contrary, my fellow Germans would valiantly defend against the Allies to enable the train – and me – to escape uninjured. But all of that in a little while.
18th August 2013
The grand changeover of Weekend Rails to a slightly different appearance is drawing ever nearer and will almost certainly be during the next week. You'll see a slightly different sub-headline, and the left hand column will change and there'll be a sort of monthly gallery section where you can see all the pictures and videos outside the main blog section. I hope you will like the new style and features. Last time I looked, 2010 and half of 2011's posts had been copied across, so there should be no loss for any newcomers sufficiently interested to wade back through.
21st July 2013
No sooner had I pressed the publish button on last week's blog than my phone rang. It was Ben Riley letting me know that the pieces of hardwood I'd passed him had now been transformed into the subframe for the Drewry's cab floor. I popped down one evening with Andrew to take a look, and sure enough the necessary longitudinals, cross-members and uprights were present and correct. Andrew did some painting on Libby's casing parts.
7th July 2013
Years ago, when I was working at Thomas Hills, a new competitor appeared on the scene - Wilmott Brothers, a plant dealer/hirer based near Nottingham. Now, to my mind, if you are in business and representing your employer to customers, there is only one way you can regard a competitor. He is the Brand X your powder will out-wash; he is scum, nothing he does is right and he has no right to exist. It is your job, every day (but without openly slagging him off, the etiquette of business does not allow it, that is why he is referred to as Brand X) to get out there and ensure that the customers know that you are the better supplier than he can ever be.
11th August 2013
I haven't mentioned much about the sale of Briddon Towers of late. Suffice it to say that after going on the market on July 1st, we had our first offer within 3 days (before the “For Sale” sign actually went up), and by agreement with the Estate Agents, opted for written bids to be in a week or so later. In fact 8 such bids were received, all of them in excess of the original asking price, and after a bit of a hiccough the sale is going through. I am using a Licenced Conveyancer located in South Wales: I only say all of this to observe that a Freepost envelope, posted on Wednesday 24th July, finally arrived with the Conveyancers on Monday 5th August.
26th August 2013
There were a couple of things I neglected to mention in last week's blog. The first is that I am now on the Minor Railways Extended Trunk Dialling system and can be reached on 056 2026 – Andrew will be on shortly, but first I must drill a hole through the wall to get a further phone wire through!
1st September 2013
OK, hands up all of you who logged on last Sunday night or Monday expecting to find the latest post? Didn't I say assume Monday on a Bank Holiday weekend?
28th July 2013
If you thought last week's blog was a little terse, then let me explain. Late in the week my computer had gone kaput. It had been struggling for a while, acting strangely, the usual error messages popping up with increasing regularity and certain pieces of software inexplicably taking up 99% of processor time, that sort of thing, but suddenly it went black. So I dug my father's old one out of storage, and was writing last week's instalment with the casing open and my two hard drives cabled up but sat on a shoe box alongside. Of course, Windows suddenly decided that as the hardware had changed radically,