LAST FRIDAY’S ‘COUNCIL MEETING’
A very VERY big thankyou to to everyone who recklessly took the metaphorical bull by the horns and turned out for last Friday’s first post-apocalyptic Council Meeting. It was a hoot and I hope and suspect that everyone present enjoyed it as much as I did - especially as that wicked and capricious rapscallion Paul Wappat had the temerity to arrive halfway through the proceedings. The photo above was taken by him (which is why it’s a bit fuzzy). Vivienne's pictures are much better; I'll post some of them next time - to tempt even more truckshunters to the next Meeting.
My thanks to everyone who played their part in arranging this one. I can’t wait for the next one...
Speaking of which, how about holding our second Meeting towards the end of February? 25th? 26th? March 2nd? And how about a venue in Newcastle? Tyneside Cinema coffee room/bar? A little earlier, too. About 1800? We need to discuss our very first outing - or ‘shunt’! Any votes for the snowdrop display at Howick Hall? Or will we be too late?
NATIONAL RAILWAY MUSEUM
As I mentioned on-air, my friend Kathy suggested that it might be a good idea to arrange a special trip for myself on the day after I finished at the BBC. I could see the obvious logic of this and promptly booked return tickets to York for Thursday 29th. Because, even though I profess to be an admirer (rather than a knowledgeable enthusiast) for trains, engines, locomotives and such, I had never visited the National Railway Museum.
So that’s where I spent my first day of unemployment!
It’s the largest railway museum on Earth - which is exactly as it should be, all things considered - and I don’t really know where to start in describing it. Suffice to say that the personal audio tour takes three hours. There are freight trains, royal trains, milk trains, post trains. The shinkansen (the Japanese bullet train) sits within yards of Eurostar emerging from a tunnel, a replica of Stephenson’s Rocket and the record-breaking Mallard ‘streak’. My favourite engine - the LMS Black Five - is there in all its shiny black-polished glory alongside the humblest of little colliery tank engines. They even have the footbridge from Percy Main station on Tyneside.
And if you’ve been, you’ll know exactly how impossible it is to describe that part of the museum called the Warehouse. So I won’t even try... (Are there degrees of impossibility?)
If, on the other hand, you haven’t visited the museum yet, then do as I did and fill the gaping hole in your experience of the world and its wonders by dashing there post-haste. You won’t regret it.
On second thoughts, it could be a singularly appropriate venue for one of our Shunts, couldn’t it?
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