Saturday, February 07, 2009

An unshakeable belief 

Eighteen years, three million pounds, and an unshakeable belief that those who said it couldn’t be done were wrong.

That’s all it took for the first steam locomotive to be built in the UK for nearly half a century to be running today.

And, by good fortune, running not half a mile from my house.

Passers by might have wondered why I had a step-stool and a plank of wood in my hands as I walked up the path beside the railway line. A few years ago there was only a simple low post-and-wire fence to keep trespassers off the line, but the world has changed since then. Now there’s a six-foot steel-spiked fence in the way.

No matter. I plant the steps up against the fence - only two feet are on terra firma owing to the build up of ground next to the fence, but I came prepared for that; with a short length of rope, I tie the steps to the fence and voila! My personal viewing platform.

After a 45 minute wait, it was all over in a matter of seconds. Bizarrely, I barely saw the locomotive – with the camera on burst mode, the viewfinder blacks out between shots so after the first shot I was effectively shooting blind. I didn’t get to see the loco until I got home.

Back to current posts