SERA {CovRC} Autumn Gala

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Established Member
7 Jun 2005
Marwell Zoo
Alright gang,

Just got back from a good weekend at the Coventry Railway Centre Autumn gala, run by the Suburban Electric Railway Association { }
The weekend started at a delayed 07:40 when Paul1609 picked me up from my place, as it was his turn to drive. A quick stop at the petrol station for supplies and we were off.
As Coxster had again pulled out at short notice, it was straight to Coventry railway station to meet Chaz and Blackfour. Paul1609 made reasonable time, i doubt his exact time figures as the speedo reading was alot lower than when i drive up there.
Meeting Chaz and Blackfour, we headed to the nearby Burger King for breakfast and lunch rolled into one, also to absorb some of the alcohol i had drunk the night before
We got to the site about 10:30 and met up with afew of the other volunteers and discussed the plan for the day
I can't remember much of what happened until about when SERA01UK arrived. After a detailed prep, the resident diesel shunter was started and the gala was under way
The first job of the big shunt was to close up the gap between the HAP and EPB, created by a wagon leaving the site. SERA01UK, with the assistance of Chaz, used the diesel shunter to push the HAP onto the EPB and the pair were coupled together and the handbrake re applied.
The next move was to push the BIG buffet car and another EPB, further down a spur, to allow room for a later shunt. This was quite a big move and so everybody on site had a part to play
Paul1609 and I fought our way through the minature jungle, to enter the far cab of the EPB. We were to release the brakes on the unit when ready, to allow it to move forward. After alot of mucking about release the brakes {the unit hadn't been moved for many years}, we were off! Chaz and Blackfour assisted on the footplate whilst Paul1609 and I rode in the leading cab of the EPB. When we had progressed along the track far enough to allow for the next shunt, the convoy was brought to a stop and the brakes were reapplied to the EPB.
We made our way back to the rest of the work party, who were uncoupling the diesel shunter from the BIG buffet car, or trying to anyway :D. During the shunting, the loco's buffers became locked with a piece of boarding protecting the coach vestibule, after abit of work, the vehicles were finally seperated.
The final planned move of the day was to put the electric loco, Spondon, and accompanying brake van, onto the main siding, to allow the BIG buffet to be placed in position for collection by low loader {it's going to the Great Central to join they're CIG}
The shunter was backed down onto the loco and van, and coupled up. A range of drivers and shunters then carried out the move
The first day was drawing to a close and nearly all of the planned work for the weekend was done, so it was time for abit of fun. Under the supervision of SERA01UK, everybody had a go at driving the diesel loco up and down.
While we finished off at the site, Paul1609 gave Chaz a lift to the station, then we made our way to the hotel.
After checking in, i had a quick bath before joining Paul1609 and Blackfour in the bar. We decided to order food from the bar rather than the restaraunt and after about 10 minutes and 2 detailed examinations of the menu, Paul1609 finally decided what he wanted to eat
Talking over dinner, Paul1609 revealed that he had already fallen out with the people in the room next door, they're telly was too loud for him to read his Thomas the tank engine magazine.
After 2 beers, i announced i was going to bed {i'd had abit of a bender the night before}. This met with disapproval from Paul1609. I tried to give him the chance to avoid embarrasment again {Paul1609 has already been drank under the table by TheSlash once}
About midnight, Blackfour retired to bed, while TheSlash and Paul1609 stayed in the bar until closing time at 2am {before the clocks went back}, where TheSlash once again drank Paul1609 under the table, it was easier than last time also.
We all met up for breakfast about 09:30 i think and after checking out, left the hotel at 10:15 for the site
On arrival, we found we were the first pway members to arrive, so we began work on the planned track alterations, this included learning the interesting way to start a JCB :d
More to follow....
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