The Potters Orchid Railway

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Old Man Aaron
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Re: The Potters Orchid Railway

Post by Old Man Aaron » Tue Dec 28, 2021 2:58 am

This'll be a treat. :D

I see what you mean regarding welding goggles! Will have to bring a pair when I come down there one of these days.. :lol:
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Re: The Potters Orchid Railway

Post by Lonsdaler » Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:25 am

I was asked to pass on this message:
Mr Mainwaring (Captain, retired) general manager of the Greta And Wenningdale Light Railway, sends his regards to Mr Spectre, but expresses his concern at the apparent lapse in behaviour expected from an Englishman in his capacity as a railway official. It's just not cricket Sir!

Personally, I'm thoroughly enjoying his latest escapades down under, and can't wait to hear more - it's far better than any other news from down under lately (purely regarding sport, obviously :lol: )
Phil

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Hydrostatic Dazza
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Re: The Potters Orchid Railway

Post by Hydrostatic Dazza » Thu Dec 30, 2021 12:39 am

Lonsdaler wrote:
Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:25 am
I was asked to pass on this message:
Mr Mainwaring (Captain, retired) general manager of the Greta And Wenningdale Light Railway, sends his regards to Mr Spectre, but expresses his concern at the apparent lapse in behaviour expected from an Englishman in his capacity as a railway official. It's just not cricket Sir!

Personally, I'm thoroughly enjoying his latest escapades down under, and can't wait to hear more - it's far better than any other news from down under lately (purely regarding sport, obviously :lol: )
The POR management team and the chair of the directors will pass on Mr Mainwaring's regards to Mr Spectre, once we have relocated him or he presents himself to staff of the POR as he has not been seen or heard of since he de-trained some time ago at the junction of Orchid House Loop and was given directions of how to proceed on foot to the POR's HQ and his lodgings. Please note the treasurer of the POR will be pursing the significant matter of Mr Spectre traveling on the POR metals without a valid pass or a valid ticket.
Sincerely Captain Plod POR
Cheers from Dazza, The Hydrostatic Lubricator 8)
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Mr Spectre inspects the Potter’s Orchid Railway Part Two

Post by Hydrostatic Dazza » Thu Dec 30, 2021 1:48 am

Brakes apply hard, followed by the familiar odour of hot cast iron brake blocks that all railway men well know, then a jolting halt.
(Ed Apparently the loco on this train does not have a Slomo fitted)

“Mate, this is where you have to get off”
“Why”
“We are going this way and ya gotta go that way to get to HQ”
“But how do I get there ?”
“Yagotta leg it matey”
“Is there any trains going that way so…”
“No more trains going that way till after 21.00, it will be bloody dark then and the big effing hairies will be out and about. ”
“What are the big errr harires ?”
“Huntsman matey, best to keep clear of them fellas”
“How long will take me to walk there? “
"Its not far, you’ll be right”
Toot , a toot toot
“We're off see ya around like a rissole “
“Which way, how far ?”
The guard points in a direction
“that way matey…” the rest of the guards message was lost as the train departed to where ever.
He is tired, bruised, it is hot and humid, the skin on his nose and neck is getting a bit of a red tinge from the UV that earns Queensland the reputation for being the skin cancer capital of the world, however Mr Spectre realises there is no other option, but to start walking muttering
“hairies, huntsman , what on earth does this all mean ?”
“I think he said this way ?”


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“Or was it the other way? It was the other way, yes, I will go that way, blimey it is hot
(Ed. He is not helped by his heavy hi vis coat mother said he must wear so as to not catch a chill)
Mr Spectre thinks to himself,

“No wonder the locals wear thongs and shorts and have cold beverages in their hands at all times."

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"By gosh the cows are effing big here, these beasts are most likely the cause of that sharp stop. Typical of the unfenced lines around here , tsk tsk”
“Approaching large cows, actually very large cows, they appear to not want to eat me, this is a refreshing change to the other fauna and flora here. “


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"Must keep moving to get there before dark." Perspiration soaking him as he trods along the track towards who knows where, not a soul in sight.

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"Nice looking signal that."
The natural urges of a railway inspector kick in, up the ladder like a rat up a drain pipe he goes.
“I must inspect and make notes for my report”
"Fully working mechanical lower quadrant semaphore, working lamps, appears to be electrically lit, but the blue lens and white LEDS is not correct. Will have to check these later during the night. If no errr Hairies are about. Possibly a Pendle Valley Model’s kit with some modifications, Workmanship satisfactory.”
Distant conversations and merriment can be heard on the wafting breeze.
“This breeze is a refreshing change, however cool changes may indicate approaching thunderstorms, must press on to locate the POR HQ and my lodgings before evening is upon me” (Ed. Beware of the Hairies!)

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“UK imported Peco SM 32 track. Well laid, crowed rail for the curves, kink free, top and line satisfactory for narrow gauge operations. Track to bed brass screw to masonry plug fastenings quite satisfactory. Track bed substantial poured concrete with no signs of movement and minimal cracking. Track requires urgent ballasting with good 2-3mm granite chips. Vegetation management satisfactory”

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Might have been the cool breeze, might have been the aspirin taking effect, Mr Spectre starts humming a few tunes.
“I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine,
I walk the line”


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“Well, we know where we're goin'
But we don't know where we've been
And we know what we're knowin'
But we can't say what we've seen”


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Mr Spectre comes to a red bridge spanning a rocky gorge, it looks familiar, however his recollections are still hazy.
“Bridge appears to be well made, MVL imported from the UK. Concrete abutments appear to have been modified to accommodate this bridge. No walking planks fitted between the rails to facilitate workers crossing this bridge in safety. Tsk tsk!” “also appears to have decorative lighting fitted. No doubt for the visiting tourists at this time of the year”
A double headed goods train trundles into view and passes just before Mr Spectre was about to attempt to cross the ravine.
“ Locos appear clean and well maintained, the Yellow Bundy Fowler has a Slomo fitted, no whistle warnings were heard before the train crossed this bridge. Will investigate further to confirm if these locos have whistles fitted, or inoperative or simply driver complacency”.
Mr Spectre presses on.


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“18.05, I have come across a cactus garden, strange sounds emanate from some where behind those rocks.”
Mr Spectre contemplates these noises and he recalls the words of the guard about the “big Hairies”
He presses on again, admiring these cactus plants he has not seen before back home.

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“What the fark, sh-t !”
Mr Spectre’s thorough and extensive training from the “Academy of Garden Railway Inspection” especially the module of what to do when confronted by flesh eating dinosaurs when down under such as a Carnosouraus proved to be very useful and so as recalled in his training,“Prey runs, so stay very still” he remained motionless and very quiet.
It is most likely the Carnosorous thought that eating this strange fella in his thick hi vis coat would prove to be a bit too chewie and as his digestion has been rather delicate lately he wandered of to the ravine to get his evening drink and maybe knock over a few of those late afternoon skinny dippers for his supper. They are most palatable with out their clothes to chew through. So Carnosorous left Mr Spectre to a fate of his own doing.
After this confrontation Mr Spectre felt relieved that he was not traveling through a large reptile’s digestive track.
(Ed, Mr Spectre has omitted from his dairy that he will need a change of underwear)


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After a light shower of rain, (Ed. Mother's wise advice about his coat eh !) Mr Spectre has a wee lift of spirits when he leaves the cactus garden as he has entered what he thinks must be Potter’s Junction station yard.
“Have arrived at a small station yard, possibly Potter’s Junction, no yard board signs erected, no buildings can be seen, no signalling installed, it is obvious that the 20mm sunset stone is being used as temporary weed suppression while awaiting further infrastructure embellishments to be added.”


To be continued, if he gets to POR HQ and the Harries do not find him first.
Last edited by Hydrostatic Dazza on Thu Dec 30, 2021 8:01 pm, edited 15 times in total.
Cheers from Dazza, The Hydrostatic Lubricator 8)
The chances of finding out what’s really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied. Douglas Adams

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Mr Spectre inspects the Potter’s Orchid RailwayPart Three

Post by Hydrostatic Dazza » Thu Dec 30, 2021 5:36 am

Mr Spectre continues walking on through the yard but as he did not fully catch all of the guard’s directions (he lays some blame on the Aussie accent and general destruction of proper English down here.) on exiting the yard he mistakenly takes the track leading off to the right rather than taking the left track. This can be appreciated as his feathers are still rather ruffled after meeting a medium sized prehistoric Australian reptile that lurks in the cactus garden and also the effects of the aspirin are diminishing.
Image

“I don’t recall that fool who thinks he is a guard mentioning a tunnel in his directions.”
(Ed. He didn’t, but he did mention a stone over bridge but that was if you had taken the left yard exit)
"I cannot hear any approaching trains and the lack of installed signalling does not give warning clues of approaching trains”
“I suppose there is no other option, throw usual caution to the wind, press on”

"It is dark in here, a bit creepy, what are those reflections on the tunnel roof ? It is very creepy in here. It as though there are hundreds of eyes looking down at me."
(Ed. Those reflections from your Dictaphone’s light torch are off the many eyes of the “Hairies” Best you be ignorant about these for the time being)
Mr Spectre stumbles over a few giant snails he encounters in this very dark tunnel as he continues his way through. To keep his spirits up starts he is onto another Johnny Cash tune .

I Hear The Train A-Comin'; It's Rollin' 'Round The Bend,
And I Ain't Seen The Sunshine Since I Don't Know When,


“Oh dear, that was a whistle, I hear a train train approaching around this bend, there does not appear to be a man refuge in here, oh, gods of Churchwood good grief !"
Mr Spectre’s thorough and extensive physical training he received while studying at the “Academy of Garden Railway Inspection” in Lancashire proved very useful, in particular the 220 shunting yard dash while carrying a clip board and Dictaphone. Mr Spectre actually won a silver medal in the final of the 220 yards during his last semester at the Academy. You could say he was the first of the losers that year.

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After managing to see the light at the end of the tunnel, in particular this tunnel he musters up a decent gallop despite his fatigue, well it could be life or be dashed to death over the buffer beam of a Lady Ann, he manages to scramble his way to the top of the portal. It is not understood why Mr Spectre hurriedly climbed all the way to the top of the tunnel portal, but he did utter
“This is becoming intolerable, it is simply enough for one day.”
He pauses after the train has passed, his heart rate and breathing return to normal rate, he musters up a mediocre measure of composure.
"The unpainted Lady Ann loco, runs well, very smoothly, obviously equipped with a Slomo mech."
However his moral sinks even further because he checked into his cricket follow app on his Dictaphone.
“Good grief, the colonials are going to win the third Ashes test by an innings “
If Mr Spectre is being honest, he was now feeling the tinges of home sickness for 67 Wallaby st and a nice good cup of tea and biscuit with mother before she serves him his supper. However, it seems that the well trained instincts of an inspector of Mr Spectre’s statue and reputation once again kick in.

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“Tunnel Portal is made from clay, fired in a local gas kiln, painted and appears sound but with noticeable alignment defects to the inner poured reinforced concrete walls and roof. However appears satisfactory and sound”
Mr Spectre climbs down from the portal and and continues on his journey, the blisters on his heels are starting to make themselves known.

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"Oh, could it be ? yes, yes I do recall the guard mentioning that I have to cross over a stone arch bridge and I will be at the front door to the offices of the POR."

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"Are these horses friendly, can I get past them or will they eat me ? "
Ed. It seems Mr Spectre is becoming wee bit paranoid.
Using one of the many skills Mr Spectre learnt during his time at the Academy he passes quietly and slowly past the two horses, who seemed quite nonplussed by his presence as they keep a keen lookout for the expected Bundy with a string of cane trucks on the hook to pass by soon, which is most exciting for such thorough breds.
ED. Mr Ed and Francis are well known local train spotters who frequent this bridge. In-between frolicking in a nice nearby paddock they are often seen to be looking over the bridge to watch the POR trains pass by. Some say they get a high sniffing the burnt butane fumes and especially frolicky when they get a sniff of a genuine coal fired loco as it passes by. It is just what horses do here at the Potter’s Orchid Railway.


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“Oh, I see a building, that must be the POR offices, yay! Thank the god of Stanier, I have made it.“
Mr Spectre would have to admit he approached the building with some trepidation.
“POR offices, I think this is the correct location, this building, it appears to be, errr , rustic at best. One would expect better for the offices of a public railway.”

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“Windows are missing, it is looks incomplete. There seems to be a commotion upstairs, a gathering of some sort. “

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“No door knocker or buzzer, no signage to designate the building's purpose”
"There is a note on the door, it reads Welcome Mr Spectre, howsa ya bum for grubs? Come in, up the stairs to the board room”

Mr Spectre enters the building after kicking the door in. It is fortunate that he is wearing his steel capped boots. He has no idea why he put the door back on it’s hinges. Perhaps it just his tidy habit well learnt from his Mother's good parenting.

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“Confirmed, there is no window glazing fitted to this building’s lower floors.”
“Load voices and merriment is emanating from upstairs, I will investigate”
“My last will and testament is with mother ”

Mr Spectre's Hobnby/Triang OO collection will find a safe home if he meets his premature demise.
"Hello is there anybody here ?
Ed of course there is,
No response so he repeats his question a bit louder.
"Hello is there anybody here ?
"About bloody time, Mr Spectre, come on up the stairs."

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"Hey every one, Mr Spectre is here, where have ya been, what have you been up to ? Howsa ya bum for grubs? Pull up a chair, sit down, kick ya boots off, we'll get ya a plate of tucker, sorry we had to start without you, or our tucker would have gone cold, what kept you?"
Mr Spectre mumbles into his Dictaphone.
“Board members and social visitors seem friendly despite being loud and rather uncouth. “

Image
"We are just studying our latest addition to our Safe Working System. This upgrade will be useful to our operations. What do you think of that eh, marvelous work there from John, it will white wash over everything and tidy up discrepancies. That John fella is a clever fella. What ya say to that eh ?"
“ Railway infrastructure seems satisfactory, standards reasonable however deep investigation into the operating parameters, documentation and safe working procedures of the POR will be urgently required as there seems to be serious shortcomings and breeches of standard operational practices”


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"You look thirsty, let me pour you a glass, this will slide nicely down past the tonsils, it's a nice South Australian Shiraz that Hugh brought along, bless him, hey you don’t grow this nectar up in your neck of the woods eh
Cheers to Mr Spectre everyone"

Clink sounds of glasses.
"I reckon by the way Mr Spectre downed that glass he was mighty thirsty."

Image
Oh, I think Mr Spectre has turned in for the night.
He did not say much!


To be continued.
Cheers from Dazza, The Hydrostatic Lubricator 8)
The chances of finding out what’s really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied. Douglas Adams

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Re: The Potters Orchid Railway

Post by Peter Butler » Thu Dec 30, 2021 11:15 am

Epic !!!!
The best things in life are free.... so why am I doing this?

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Re: The Potters Orchid Railway

Post by ge_rik » Thu Dec 30, 2021 12:29 pm

This is becoming a literary masterpiece.

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Re: The Potters Orchid Railway

Post by Old Man Aaron » Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:41 am

Almost don't want to see this inspection end! :mrgreen:
Regards,
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Re: The Potters Orchid Railway

Post by Hydrostatic Dazza » Sun Jan 02, 2022 7:46 pm

Old Man Aaron wrote:
Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:41 am
Almost don't want to see this inspection end! :mrgreen:
Stay tuned in the weeks to come
More to come.
I have a lot more material on hand
Last edited by Hydrostatic Dazza on Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers from Dazza, The Hydrostatic Lubricator 8)
The chances of finding out what’s really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied. Douglas Adams

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Mr Spectre inspects the POR Part Four

Post by Hydrostatic Dazza » Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:53 pm

Mr Spectre has a very long and deep sleep the night he arrived which is most understandable. However as first light appeared around 04.30 the Spangled Drongos, Channel Bills and the Koels commenced announcing to the world their existence and Mr Spectre could not help but consider this awful early morning din as most unwelcome in his current fragile state. He managed to roll over, stuff a couple of pillows over his head and get some more snoring time. Around 08.00 Mr Spectre was aroused from his comatose sleep by the familiar sounds of steam train operations, shunting, laughter and some not so choice words. As he lay in his private room upstairs at the POR headquarters from the bits of conversations he could hear on the breeze he suspected some spillage of product being conveyed had occurred and it seemed most likely due to a derailment caused by bad train handling by a couple of young drivers.
“I will have to look into the details of this today during my inspection. “
(At this time Mr Spectre was not aware that POR Waiver Book # 1 was already enabled, so now everything and anything un desirable is ignored, covered up, hand of God interventions and the only alcohol policy enforced is to enjoy responsibly if you so desire.


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Early this very morning Mr Spectre’s traveling Trunk had been rescued from Red Bridge Gorge by Preston, Feathers and Trousers and then delivered to HQ. When they got back at POR HQ it was noticed that Mr Spectre’s Dictaphone had been left on the dinning room table and the low battery light was flashing. As the latches had been popped during that eventful plunge off Red Bridge they were able to rummage around inside his trunk and there under many Lingerie souvenirs they found his Dictaphone charger and plugged it in for Mr Spectre as he slept. It will be noted that after a period of previous criminality these three are well reformed and much valued hard working staff for the POR.
Morning, showered, shave (Yay, as he smelt like a Gorilla’s armpit after all of yesterday hiking under that heavy coat in the humidity) 09.00, Mr Spectre consumed a hearty cooked breakie (breakfast) prepared by MAM (Mary Ann) who is also the POR’s chair of the board of directors. This morning meal was most welcome by Mr Spectre as he his only nourishment the day before was a few aspirin and a very big glass of wine. After flossing and brushing his fangs, Mr Spectre disconnected his Dictaphone from the charger and with fresh underwear, ironed shirt, charged Dictaphone along with two brand new red and black pens and a yellow highlighter pen attached to his clip board Mr Spectre confronted the day in very good spirits.


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He even said hello to Mr Ed and Francis as he paused while crossing the stone bridge that leads to the POR HQ and lodgings.
“A Lady Ann with quarry tippers on the hook, operational whistle, runs smooth, realistic speeds, obviously Slomo equipped.”
“Did that horse just say G’day to me?”
"Big Hairies, talking horses, what is this place down under?

He continues on his way, whistling and singing another Johnny Cash tune.
"Cause he was going down a grade making 90 miles an hour,
The whistle broke into a scream.
He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle,
Scalded to death by steam."


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“Ello Ello, what do we have here ? Evidence from the commotion I heard this morning? “
“Check POR incident reports are completed and filed correctly “ (The newly introduced waiver book now takes care of this sort of stuff as well as anything and everything)
Mr Spectre continues to the yard and sidings at Potters Junction as there are locomotives in the yard that he was most keen to inspect.

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“Visiting locomotive, Roundhouse Billy kit. There may be shortcomings on the security on the cylinder fixing to the frame.”

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“Another visiting locomotive, Lady Ann chassis, home built coal fired boiler. Build quality appears satisfactory"

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“Ello ello, another derailment, not caused by a track or rolling stock defect. Cause due to young drivers not heeding the strict POR policy of not pushing tippers.” “tail lamp upside down”

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“Fine looking Lady Ann, private owner, apparently a regular visitor to the POR. Tidy cab, well set up, kit built, resonator whistle fitted, Slomo equipped, smooth runner. Most satisfactory”

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“Working SLR lamps fitted for evening runs. Splendid.”
“was that the effing guard I had to contend with yesterday ?”
Cheers from Dazza, The Hydrostatic Lubricator 8)
The chances of finding out what’s really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied. Douglas Adams

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Mr Spectre inspects the POR Part Five

Post by Hydrostatic Dazza » Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:22 pm

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“Visiting rolling stock, issues with flange thickness and wheel back to back dimension not meeting the + - 0.20mm tolerance of 28mm, currently not certified to run. “

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“Battery powered section car, working front head light and tail lamp. Used check to run the road before running of train services proper begins. Driver looks extremely pale, requires skilled painting, book this task into the improvement notices for 2022. “

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“Personal locomotive of the chairperson on the board of director.s (MAM) . Seen running just earlier this morning. Kit built by MAM, Slomo equipped, Regner whistle fitted, after raising steam, when the burner is tuned to maintain a boiler pressure of 20-30lb will give actual moving run times of 40 to 43 minutes with a 12 axle train or a string of tippers. But whistle is asthmatic at 20 psi. Excellent performer and reliable. Completion of the paint work and details are a scheduled workshop task for 2022. “

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“Accucraft open bogie wagon, carrying empty wine bottle. No doubt consumed by the POR board directors. What was that noise in the cactus garden ? Best I move on.”

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“Factory supplied Taliesin, lined by Mark Acton. Owned by Captain Plod. Runs satisfactorily, but cannot be Slomo equipped so a high degree of realistic steady running is not possible. Slomo wagon will be fitted with a zero back lash coupling, booked as a workshop task, possible Red Room project in 2022.” "Best run times is only 30 mins, but not yet run in and also Captain Plod suspects the forward running valve timing can be improved. Unstable burner till warm, can cause damage with blow back into the cab. Suspect this is due to the return superheater restricting flame gas flow. Protective shielding has been to prevent re-occurrence of servo arm melt damage due any future blow backs when lighting up. “
Mr Spectre spent considerable admiring this loco.

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Taliesin is often seen as the lead loco when double heading.

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“Bundaberg Fowler. Slomo equipped, excellent runner. At this time a working resonator whistle is being made by the owner. Regular visitor to the POR.“

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“Replica Queensland steam driver’s tool box is used by the owner of the Bundy Fowler for stowage and transport of his loco and tools. This earns significant Garden Railway Kool Kat points. “

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"The Bundy Fowler owner’s string of cane trucks for running behind his loco. Steel ballast fitted to leading truck to remove derailment problems”

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“Under utilised go pro camera fitted to four wheel open wagon, a couple of videos have been posted on utube. There needs to be improvement of camera operation and frequency of filming followed by publishing.“

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“Kit built guards van by MAM POR board chair. Has a manure odour emanating from it. Guard is a bit iffy. Van is well stocked with Aspirin. Working SLR models tail lamp also working SLR lamp inside. Currently not booked for any scheduled repainting”

After an uneventful morning in and about Potter’s Junction Yard Mr Spectre then proceeded on his walking track inspection beyond the Potter’s Junction yard limits.
To be continued.
Cheers from Dazza, The Hydrostatic Lubricator 8)
The chances of finding out what’s really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied. Douglas Adams

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Re: The Potters Orchid Railway

Post by invicta280 » Wed Jan 12, 2022 9:05 pm

Ah yes, the waiver book. Great idea! Was that Mr Ed we saw, the famous talking horse?

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Re: The Potters Orchid Railway

Post by ge_rik » Thu Jan 13, 2022 9:06 am

Are you sure your surname isn't Dickens, Dazza?

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Re: The Potters Orchid Railway

Post by Hydrostatic Dazza » Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:15 am

invicta280 wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 9:05 pm
Ah yes, the waiver book. Great idea! Was that Mr Ed we saw, the famous talking horse?

Yes it is Mr Ed, with his girlfriend Francis who has to spend some time with him train spotting before she sees an action from him later on .
:lol:
Cheers from Dazza, The Hydrostatic Lubricator 8)
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Re: The Potters Orchid Railway

Post by Hydrostatic Dazza » Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:20 am

ge_rik wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 9:06 am
Are you sure your surname isn't Dickens, Dazza?

Rik
Well I have read some Dickens and I have a few more to read, after all he was involved in a railway crash. I have a decent pile of books to read and I do like to reread some books after 5 -10 years have passed, I feel I get more out of them. Hitchhiker's Guide the Galaxy and the books after I read every 10 -15 years.
I am currently reading some Mr Stinger railway detective novels.
As long as some find some light entertainment with Mr Spectre's POR visit I will continue for a wee while longer as I think I maybe half way through my material.
Cheers from Dazza, The Hydrostatic Lubricator 8)
The chances of finding out what’s really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied. Douglas Adams

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