On the return to Stewarts Lane after the recent Torbay Express, we were not able to turn Clan Line. Therefore, we had to do this on the morning of the trip. There was also extra shunting involved in getting our support coach on the rear of the stock. This meant that the support crew members who were working on the fire started work at four o'clock, after a full day's work on the previous day.
When the shunting was done, we were able to get into Victoria more or less on time, only to find that there were problems with the generator car. This had to be taken back to Stewarts Lane by Clan Line. A formerly common sight was then re-enacted, with our locomotive backing on to the train in the station. Because of all this kerfuffle, we eventually left forty five minutes late. The loss of our path meant that we suffered further delays, and these were made worse by track circuit problems. As intended, we took the Great Western mainline from Reading, and we finally arrived at Bristol fifty minutes late.
Our usual plan is to service the train in Bristol East Yard, but we had learnt the previous night that this wouldn't be possible. Once again, Barton Hill came to our rescue, and we serviced there. As before, everybody was extremely welcoming and helpful. Some hard work by the support crew meant that we made up all the lost time, and more, and were ready to depart ten minutes before the booked time. However, because of signalling delays, we eventually left Bristol fifteen minutes late. Some good running ensured that we got back into Victoria on time.
All was not over, though. Delays on the turning move meant that we didn't get back to the shed until midnight - twenty hour after some of the support crew started work.
The following day, work started on the preparation for Sunday's Torbay Express.
Our Working Party Co-ordinator keeps telling us "It's a hobby, you know". Sometimes, we are not entirely convinced...