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?

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?

Post comments on this blog or email me: truckshunters@googlemail.com


Sid said...

Morning everyone,
On a previous posting Ian you asked if anyone knew the location of the brightly coloured houses used in the photograph.
I'm happy to tell you that it is place called Cinque Terre, Manarola, Italy.
Confirmation of this can be found at http://travel.webshots.com/photo/1306088986025992880xNIIEw

The above photograph isn't taken from the same angle as yours, but the outstanding features of the houses can easily be matched.

Sid said...

Part of the web address is missing..here goes again.

Sid said...

I'll e-mail you the link Ian.

Inga said...

Just wanted to say Hello while the power is on, and unbelievably, the internet is on as well. It comes and goes where I am but it's mostly gone for most people still. Predictions for people in the country to get power and services are as much as 3 months! So I mustn't grumbe as you guys say.
Haven't caught up with all of your comments yet. Life is a little crazy right now.
A friend of mine in Paris wondered why there hadn't been anything in the news in France about this like there was here about their storm in the South. My answer: no fatalities to report. Well, I know of one, a policeman while on duty, clearing tree limbs off a road. But I guess that does not make it [world] news worthy.
Better stop, I promised not to grumble.

Maureen said...

Lovely to hear that Inga is ok. Sorry I have to be brief as pc is iffy and I'm not sure if this will post.
Thought you might like to know that Elbow's concert is being shown on Radio 2 website bbc.co.uk/radio2 and on telly, just press red button when watching bbc and you will see menu to follow. Hope this works!

Vivienne said...

Hi Ian,

I can make it to the Tyneside Cinema cafe on all the dates you've mentioned. How about everyone else?

I hope you enjoy your trip to London.

Love, Vivienne xxx

Ian Robinson said...

Welcome back Inga; keep us closely informed of progress over there. Remember your worldwide truckshunter 'family' is thinking of you...
Thanks Vivienne - any other responses about the next Meeting...
Thanks to everyone who's asked me to re-post Blog 120 - my thoughts and feelings about my last programme at BBC Radio Newcastle on 28 January. I will be re-posting it, unaltered, on this upcoming Friday 6 February.

Hildie said...

Love the signs you photographed at the Railway Museum, Ian! They're super! I just felt like sending them in to The Nightshift! I like the photo Paul took on his super-duper phone too, now wasn't it nice of him? It was great for the likes of us to see him, in such top form too. I can recommend to all you lovely new members of our Truckshunter family that you should give our next meeting a go. Our first meeting was the funniest (in every sense of the word) night of my life so far! Come and join us. Hope some more of our original Truckshunters are able to make it next time too. Ian, have you any way of contacting people like the Rev. Eddie, or Tony in Fenham, or Margaret in Newbiggin or any of the other people who were regular contributors to your programme? By the way, either 25th Feb or 2nd March would be fine for me.
Ian, are you still going to bed early?!! Has your body clock not adjusted yet? Just 'cos you're wanting to go out at 6p.m - makes me think you'll be in bed by ten.