The fire for this trip was lit on Thursday afternoon, to allow the boiler to warm up slowly.
We had had several mainteance tasks to carry out since our return from the West Country. These jobs had diverted our efforts at cleaning to more important things. The grate and smokebox had been emptied, and a start made on the general cleaning, but the support crew had a lot to do on Friday to present our locomotive to its usual high standard. They were helped by a few extra volunteers. Fortunately, the Fitness To Run examination found nothing that couldn't be quickly rectified.
Despite the poor weather on Saturday, we still had a considerable number of passengers visiting Clan Line, prior to leaving Victoria one minute late. By the time that we reached Twickenham, we were eleven and a half minutes early, but, as is to be expected, we were catching up the trains in front of us. Signals meant that we reached our pathing stop at Addlestone Junction on time, and also left on time. We had gained another two minutes by Woking Junction, but we were brought to a stop in Guildford Station because the preceding Reading to Gatwick service was two and a half minutes late. This meant that we arrived at Shalford for our water stop six minutes late.
We usually try to leave Shalford before our booked time, to lessen the chances of our delaying the following train, but the late arrival meant that we were four minutes late leaving. An initial slip on the wet rails was immediately caught, and a good climb of the bank meant that we were only one minute late at Redhill.
Some good running followed, and we were one minute early at Clapham Junction. All was looking good for a right-time arrival, but having to wait for a late running Victoria to Canterbury service meant that we eventually pulled into Platform Two nine and a half minutes late.
None of our happy customers seemed to mind, though...