I’m seriously beginning to wonder if truckshunters have a direct line to John Ketley, Ian McGaskill, Paul Mooney and all those other gods and goddesses who hold our weather in their purview (wow - purview!). So far, each of our daytime AGMs has been blessed with astonishingly good weather. As I’m agnostic meteorologically as in all other connexions, I can only ascribe this phenomenon to their influence. Add Trai Anfield and/or Wincey Willis to this heady mix and anything’s possible. (Whatever happened to Wincey Willis?)

It was a lovely, warm morning up at the Tanfield Railway and I’m absolutely delighted to say that, along with hardcore regulars Vivienne and Hildie, we were able to welcome newcomer Margaret from Consett. The four of us took a ride on the railway (of course) and great fun was had by all. I seem to have spent the whole time laughing, which is never a bad thing.

Our biggest-ever vote of truckshunter thanks - a round of applause loud enough to echo down the decades to our children’s children - must go to Neville Whaler, a working railwayman and Tanfield volunteer, whose friendly face appears above. We’ve been friends ever since he wrote the Tipsy Duchess’ most appalling lines almost ten years ago (see blogpostings, passim) and, at the AGM, he provided train tickets and tea all round. He has since also sent me the picnic-table group photo. A real gent if ever there was one, gov.

Thanks Nev.

Thanks also to Vivienne, who wasted no time in sending me her pictures of the AGM.

And thanks to the red kite that appeared over the train on the last leg of its journey. I’d almost forgotten what stunningly beautiful creatures they are. Seeing him/her was the best icing that the AGM cake could possibly have had.

Finally, there was some discussion - as there always is - about the next AGM. So... how about meeting again at Tynemouth (for the station market, the castle, the priory, the Spanish Battery and all the other lovely things that the town has to offer) on the weekend of June 20/21. Your reactions, please.

Following my thoughts about the death of South Shields-born poet James Kirkup the other day, I read that in Who’s Who he gave his recreation as ‘standing in shafts of sunlight’. In old age, he changed this to ‘standing in shafts of moonlight’. How elegant and touching is that?

Veteran comic Barry Cryer says his two favourite Bob Monkhouse jokes are....
When it’s my time to go, I want to die like my father - peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming and shouting, like his passengers.
They laughed when I said I wanted to be a comedian. Well, they’re not laughing now.

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


Sid said...

I'm glad everyone had such a good time at Tanfield.
You asked about Wincey Willis, she presents a Sunday morning radio program on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire, 10-1pm.
It was great of Vivienne to circulate those photos so quickly. It's not so long ago it would have taken days...if not a couple of weeks to accomplish. Thanks again Vivienne.

Meg said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the AGM at Tanfield Railway. This was the first one I was able to attend because of illness but it won't be the last. Perhaps next time I'll remember to take my camera or learn which button to press on my mobile phone. Thanks to Ian, Vivienne and Hildie for making me so welcome, I managed to get all the ash out of my hair. Maybe next visit I will look round the signal box, sorry Neville I didn't manage it this time. Looking forward to Tynemouth with perhaps Wendy and Scott in tow.

Hildie said...

I have a confession to make to those of you who were not at Sunday's AGM .......
I nearly didn't get on the train with Ian and Megs and Vivienne!
I was at the station when the 10:30train left and, having studied the carriages, had decided they looked a bit too claustrophobic for my liking.
When our train came in at 11a.m. and I was declining to get on it, Ian literally - one of his favourite words - dragged me across the platform and showed me a special carriage with a balcony
..... a balcony at both ends actually .... and that was it!
I wasn't a peck of bother after that, as I'm sure Ian will confirm!
Megs .... we love meeting new truckshunters ... we hope you got the taste for AGMs. And you'll never guess what! I just found out tonight that my sister knows you!
Apparently, you worked back to back in the same office at University Hospital of North Durham! My sister's name is Mary.
Sid .... we had only brief moments to talk with Truckshunter Neville on Sunday but one of the things he told us was that he isn't able to post on the Truckshunter Blog. He has managed only once to do it. I can't even remember how I set things up to be able to post comments but I wondered if you might be able to offer him some advice .... he is able to read it but not to write on it.

Hildie said...


A student applied for a job at a Welsh tourist attraction using the email address 'atleastimnotwelsh'...
James Kelly,21, also sent his job request to the wrong address!
The horticulture undergraduate sent it to Aberglasney Gardens, Carmarthenshire, instead of to The National Botanic Garden of Wales.
A manager at Aberglasney replied to his email saying, "It may be prudent to change your email address. It could have a detrimental effect on any career aspirations of working in Wales."

James, a student at Pershore Agricultural College said,
"I feel a right fool. I set up the email address when I was at school because several Welsh kids were in my year. I forgot it was with my application and didn't mean to be offensive."

Sid said...

That's a good bit of Nightshift Newsreel Hildie, got any more. I'll have a look for some as well.
Neville, anything I can do to help you get on here would be a pleasure.
If you can view this page then logging on might be the problem. Scroll down to the " sign up here" and click on it (before you write your posting). Follow the instructions for signing in. If that fails then re-new your blogger account. I hope it works.

Hildie said...

More for the Nightshift Newsreel, Sid ......
According to 'The Guardian' confidendial notes , detailing how Gordon Brown should apply his make-up. were left in a black cab at Kings Cross Station.
The make-up instructions were as follows:
1. Transparent brush - foam all over.
2. Small pot - under eyes, dimple and creases. (Blend in).
3. Clinique - all over again, like painting a wall. Go over ears. Shut eyes - then go over lids. Then, with make-up pad, smooth over the liquid.
4. Powder (dark brush) Terracotta Guerlain - all over.


Taking afternoon naps can dramatically cut the risk of heart disease.

At McDonald's, in New Zealand, they serve apricot pis instead of apple ones.

"Rugged" is a two-syllable word that can be made one syllable by adding letters to it to make the word "shrugged".

No two cornflakes look the same.

(I never did understand why we did that cricket thing)
Shane Warne became the first man to take 700 Test wickets when he bowled Andrew Strauss during the fourth Ashes Test in the winter of 2006 ..... riveting, isn't it?!

You know , I must have saved a fortune in postage stamps since Ian stopped broadcasting ... I was a proper little regular at sending in all this sort of stuff by snail mail.
However, I'd rather be still buying the stamps!

Ian, who do you listen to on the radio? Is there anyone worth a listen?

Sid, thanks for the advice for Neville.

Sid said...

Can I remind you good folks of an item that Ian did about 'mooning'.
Every year, on the second Saturday in July, a 'Mooning of the Amtrak trains' takes place in Laguna Niguel, California.
Thousands of people gather in the area of the Mugs Away Saloon to drop their pants as the Amtrak trains pass by. The trains are normally full, and slow down to let the passengers enjoy the show fully.
Over the years it has turned into a festival similar to a Mardi Gras Celebration.....
Now I wonder...surely not...its too far.

Sid said...

Nightshift Newsreel..
In August, 1975 three men were on their way to rob the Royal Bank Of Scotland at Rothesay, when they got stuck in the revolving doors. They had to be helped free by members of staff and, after thanking everyone, they sheepishly left the building.

A few minutes later they returned and announced their intention of robbing the bank. However, none of the staff believed them. At first, they demanded £5,000. The head cashier laughed at them, convinced it was a practical joke.

Considerably disheartened by this, the gang leader reduced his demand to £500, then to £50. By this stage the cashier could barely control herself for laughter.

Then one of the would-be robbers jumped over the counter and fell awkwardly on the floor, clutching at his ankle. The other two decided enough was enough and fled, but got trapped in the revolving doors (again) on the way out. They were soon arrested.

Sid said...

And one for you Hildie...

Two men in Kentucky tried to pull the front off an ATM cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front off the machine though, they pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove home...leaving the bumper complete with their licence plate still attached to the cash machine. They were soon helping the police with their enquiries.

Hildie said...

Love that one, Sid .... almost the perfect crime!
How's your weather at the caravan? Must be much better for you this year ...... now that you don't have to blog from the Morrison's car park at Hawick.
Know what the date is for Durham Big Meeting? There was some talk, last Sunday, of a delegation of Truckshunters attending this year.
Also, did you ever mention to Ian your suggestion of Saltwell Park for one of the AGMs?
Wonder if Ian realised we truckshunters were up to mischief, Thursday night, texting in to Paul's programme ... hope we weren't too naughty. I remember one time when we were sending texts in - to Michael Poulter (a Sunday afternoon I think) ... and he was struggling under the truckshunter bombardment! He took it all in good spirit .... even though he said we were taking over the programme!

Sid said...

It's a lovely day here Hidie. Talking of mischief...I had hoped to cause a bit of interest in the Amtrak Mooning Festival. An ideal occasion for an AGM. The Truckshunters are soo laid back it didn't even raise an eyebrow.

Ian Robinson said...

Sid...your comment/suggestion has certainly NOT gone unnoticed. I think you might have something. I'm just not quite sure what. I'll marshall my thoughts and expound in blogposting 148, if that's OK.

Sid said...

That's fine by me Ian.

Ian Robinson said...

Whenever I draft two blogs in quick succession, I always worry that you might miss the 'middle' one. So please be aware that, as I type this, there are now TWO postings following this one...
LOVE the stories and comments on THIS one. Will do my best to add my own, via a new posting, tomorrow or Wednesday...