The first outing of the Scammell Mechanical Horse (tractor unit only) was on 27th June, when Steve and I took it out to the front of the station for the Forties Weekend display. The painting was complete except for the front wheel and a section under the floor, none of which was particularly noticeable, especially in a photograph. The lettering and G.W.R roundels attracted the eye of the railway enthusiasts and provided a link with the S.V.R as the unit stood proudly at the end of a row of visiting vintage cars. It certainly attracted a fair bit of attention. I saw people examining it or taking photos throughout the day, so our efforts seem well worthwhile.
It would have been much better if we could have driven the lorry into position, but there is some mechanical work yet to be done so the poor old thing had to suffer the indignity of a tow behind my van. The Scammell did show who was boss, though, by running over its tow rope and stopping very abruptly, much to the amusement of Steve and myself - and a few bystanders.
Progress is a little sporadic because the Scammell remains a fill-in job for when the weather is bad or when we just get fed up with our main project, the speartop fencing at the back of the Restaurant Car Platform.
On the gas lamp front, we fitted the lamp at the far end of the platform first. We felt that this small addition completely transformed the whole station, but were brought down to earth a couple of weeks later when talking to Keith – he hadn't even noticed it! The other two lamps have been assembled now that the gas internals from Sugg Lighting have arrived but have not been erected at the time of writing.
I have noticed that the outer end wall of the Porters Shed is in dire need of a paint job, as the paint is peeling to bare wood. However this and other station maintenance is being tackled by 'The Wednesday Team' and Friends members Bob Leonard and Graham Ward, Keith the Stationmaster and Dave the Caretaker. There is plenty of work to do to keep the station in good order, and much of it is a 'stitch in time' where a lick of paint can save big money later on.
Mick Yarker. October 2009