18th May 2002
The Nene Valley "East Coast" Gala

Guy Middleton reviews the day...
from a relatively unusual location....the rear cab of Deltic 55009

Having arrived at Wansford early (0900), I entered the shed area to find 4 fellow co-conspirators from the DPS committee.  It was proposed that 9 and 19 are great, it was seconded (thus passed as a motion – meeting closed; next meeting in the pub at the end of the day).  Having consulted the diagram listing, going for a cuppa in the NVR cantina was the only option as 9 wasn’t due off shed until 1100.  47 401, the maroon 14 and 40 106 which also looked and sounded great were keeping us entertained as we sat in the sunshine.

 Caffeine and nicotine levels up to the usual for daylight hours then we witnessed what must be one of the most convoluted shunts to get Alycidon off shed.  Those of you familiar with Wansford will know the score.  Don’t know how we managed it but we missed 9’s first revenue-earning trip on the NVR.  But it was only to Yarwell, so not all was lost; we had another coffee and fag and waited for it to return.

 Roger Radcliffe (bearded wonder) and I stepped up into the back cab, and waved hello to the volunteers who were in the front cab of the 40 (Double-header you see…). 

At least we were sure there were people on the 40.  During the light engine movement from Barrow-Hill (via Toton, MRT, Doncaster and ECML !) the windscreens had become covered in 19’s exhaust and a veritable menagerie of dead insects.  They were very dirty.

 After chatting to many platform souls who were asking about everything DPS, we were off.  Acceleration was marvellous with our noses being pushed against the cab bulkhead (going backwards you see…).  Seems odd having to shut off at 25mph though, I must say.  Soon we got the squirty cleaner and some rags out, cleaned every surface inside and resolved to do something with the windscreens at Peterborough.

 As soon as the wheels stopped turning, we had the “bomb-bay” doors up and were furiously cleaning whilst someone uncoupled us from the 40, much to the amusement of the 40 lads and most of the people on the platform.  Windows clean, doors shut and out of the cab before you could say Jif or Cif.  On the way back, we did exactly the same as we did outward, joining the drivers in the front cab for the trip from Yarwell to Wansford.  We were careful not to do any cleaning until after the tunnel had been negotiated as our exhaust was dislodging a whole load of kettle-shite (am I allowed to say that?) from it’s ceiling on each run through.

 Off at Wansford, we were.  EWS had overfilled 19 with oil (allegedly) and there was oil all over the engine room floor of 19 that took an hour to clean up.  Roger cleaned the cabs and windscreens and I gave some observational advice to a balding, O-gauge Deltic modeller acquaintance of mine.  19’s turn was to be tomorrow (Sunday).

 Overall, a smashing little gala, short of advertising but reasonably well attended never the less.  It was nice to see 9, 19, the 40 and the spoon together, too.  Not necessarily your normal gala review, but it gives you an insight.

 I ought to say that the above is a personal account and not, necessarily the official view of the Deltic Preservation Society (obviously).  Alycidon and Royal Highland Fusilier have got more running on the NVR before we get off to the NYMR for more DPS Silver Jubilee celebrations.  Visit www.thedps.co.uk to find out more.

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