The changing of the seasons

When I was at school….Before we go on, let me clarify two points. 1:- It wasn’t THAT long ago (really), and 2:- It was NOT a famous/infamous Grammar school in the Cheadle area of Manchester. Anyway, when I was at school every so often an enormous Bell & Howell film projector would be hauled into the in the main hall. It was a big thing, and I always imagined the scene was a bit like dragging the stones used to build Stonehenge. The teacher would throw a switch and the bulb would start to warm up. All over the area street lights would dim due to the current draw. Drax power station would light extra boilers – you get the idea. Eventually, a Disney wildlife documentary would be screened. This would create the lasting impression that Lemmings commit mass suicide.Of course, we now know that to be rubbish – it is (of course) Meerkats which commit mass suicide. Simples. At some stage in the film, a gravelly voice would say “…and the eternal cycle of the seasons, spring follows winter….”. We finally saw some signs at Apedale that Spring may be seriously considering following Winter this year. Firstly, we’ve got the snowplough out, thereby guaranteeing no snow for the next ten years. Secondly, it was actually sunny yesterday. This allowed us to finish brake testing on the Baguley Drewry and therefore permit its entry into passenger service this season. These days, there’s no reassuring man from HMRI to sign everything off; in the ROGS era, one has to verify for oneself that the thing is safe. Hence we tend to be pretty thorough. The final test was with the loco, all the passenger coaches and a five-ton Motor Rail on the back simulating the weight of the passengers – the whole ensemble making a pretty impressive site with the mighty Perkins diesel fighting to the upper reaches on the power curve as it fights to reach 10mph downhill. So, with seven weeks to go to start of passenger service, we now have two passenger diesels. Thankfully, we also now have a crest for the railway. Thanks to an international design competition, we have produced what you see below. Nice isn’t it? If you think it’s nice, get in touch here. If you don’t like it, then please remember what happened to the Lemmings.