Because of engineering work, we had to stable at Southall on the night before the trip. We are grateful to LSL and their representative for making us welcome, and making their facilities available to us. Before leaving for Paddington, we topped up the tender with water and coal. Departure from Southall was at six thirty.
The tour departed from platform twelve on time at five past eight. We arrived at the two pick-up points, Slough and Reading, on time, though we left sevem minutes late to allow two late running service trains to pass us. This led to a similarly late arrival at Theale up-loop for watering, but slick work saw us leave three minutes early. The subsequent running was slow behind a service train until we reached Bedwyn. However, we still topped Savernake at a reported sixty four miles per hour. We were brought to a stop by a red signal on the approach to Woodborough because of reports of a trespasser at a public foot crossing. After some more good running, water was taken at Frome. We left three minutes early, with a subsequent similar early arrival at Taunton.
The West Somerset Railway had sensibly decided to attach a diesel to the rear of the train because of the gradients and early morning rain. In the event, this was not needed. The local crew handled our engine very well, and we arrived at Minehead for servicing six minutes early. As Clan Line is too heavy for the turntable, we hauled the train back to Bishops Lydeard tender first.
Our thanks go to the West Somerset Railway team who were very helpful, and made us feel very welcome.