Sunday, 29 August 2010

Carl's big day and another Seymour date

A long time dream fulfilled
It was during my first day of trackwork back in February that I met Carl for the first time. I've seen him lots of times since, both when volunteering and as a visitor since he is a regular volunteer working as a guard on the three narrow gauge lines.
Recently Carl started his steam training in preparation for driving. This involves learning the principles of steam on the beam engine in the locomotive shed, and he could be found in there during this year's Thomas event.

Having successfully passed out on the beam engine, he can now start the final step - driver training. Today was his first day of training which meant he would be driving a train for the first time. When I saw him in the cab of Statfold his grin was a mile wide. Chatting to me later in the day he told me it was a long time dream fulfilled.

Lots of concentration required

The smile says it all

Carl will be driving under instruction over the next three weeks, before hopefully passing out and becoming an authorised driver. Of course there is more training ahead as he will need to learn how to drive the other locomotives, as well as ongoing safety training. Good luck with the training, and I hope you enjoy many days of driving.

A ride on Martello

Riding with the brakeman
With Martello in steam today number one son made a beeline there and eagerly awaited Brian's invitation to sit in the cab with him.

I attached a fisheye lens and flattened myself against the side to get a shot encompassing most of the driver's cab. It's quite bizarre just how much you can get into a frame - feet included if you are not careful!

Online collection

With fifteen minutes spare I wandered around the locomotive shed and signal box trying to seek some inspiration for the photographs needed for the online collection website that I'm working on. Unfortunately I do not have any coverage between 15mm and 28mm in my lens arsenal which is going to prove a drawback very shortly. It is only when you stand next to some of the trains like the GNR Large Atlantic that you realise just how huge they are. Given the limited space inside the locomotive shed I think I'm going to need a wider lens!

Signal levers in the signal box

Progress on the website has been good and most of the framework and structure is now in place. I've even embedded a test Virtual Reality tour of Queen Alexandria's Saloon using some of the proof of concept shots that I did back in June. The real work is about to start which involves photographing the many objects, compiling the VR tours and providing as much detail as possible. Maybe you have information about some of Bressingham's exhibits or could help out with research? If so then please have a look at the Volunteering section on Bressingham's website and get in touch.

Online Collection website in progress

The sceenshot above is a snapshot of the current progress, and may change a little once we finalise images and wording. Hopefully it serves as a taste of what to expect over the next few months.

Stanley nearly ready to ride

Stanley in the Beauty Parlour back in June

All finished and waiting for paint to fully harden

Back in June I took some photos of another Gallopers horse Stanley in the Horses' Beauty Parlour. The good news is that he's now fully painted and very nearly ready to go back on the Gallopers. The enamel paints that are used for the detail need a good few days to fully harden.


Nice to see Seymour again
Whilst on the Gallopers with number one son I spotted Seymour walking to the workshop and we both waved to him.

Later on I caught up with him by the standard gauge crossing with his trademark pipe in hand and we had a bit of a chat. Of one thing I'm certain, he's seen a few sights over the years and has plenty great stories to tell - such an interesting character to talk to. As I respect his privacy I also wanted to be certain that he is happy for me to continue posting dates that he visits and he also mentioned that he doesn't arrive until after 14:00 when he's had his lunch.

I have added an area on the top right hand side of the blog where I will endeavour to maintain some dates of when Seymour is visiting.

Seymour's next scheduled visit is Sunday 19th September, some time after 14:00.

As a bonus, it is also Bressingham's Vintage Farm Day featuring steam sawing - so there are at least two good reasons to visit!

Now I must add that this date is given in good faith etc.


Two days later I found out that BBC Radio Norfolk's Treasure Quest had Bressingham Steam Museum as one of its locations that morning (they must have arrived shortly after opening time), and the clue for the next location was to be found on Seymour, one of the Gallopers horses. Seymour himself got a mention too from a couple of the callers as they well remembered him from his time operating the Gallopers at Bressingham.


  1. I think Carl is such a lovely man. He has such a lovely smile I am glad he achieved driving his engine. Well done Carl. I lve ya. You know who.

  2. we are season ticket holders and how good it will be for carl to be a driver as he is a very friendly person and just right for bressingham many happy hours driving carl

  3. What a brilliant day my family had at the thomas weekend we came twice as season ticket holders. My son has still not stopped telling everyone how he got to put a bucket of water in thomas you really made his day as he is train/thomas mad.

  4. Lovely pic of Sproglet - he looks absolutely enthralled!

    Understand now why you need a wider lens - decisions, decisions!

  5. Well done Carl and glad to see you were obviously enjoying it.

  6. Looking good there. Some of the drivers look like real characters. I like the graphic image for the collection as well - very flash!
    I hope to come to Bressingham very soon if all the stuff on the website can be seen.

  7. All on the web site is here, but not everything is in steam every day, especially out of the main holiday season, call us on 01379 686900 to find out whats happening the day you want to come.

  8. thank u james great photos.
    how has put that thay lve me ?. ifu find me on facebook we can hav a chat and meat up sometime from carl

  9. hi all i passed out yesterday on the 2 ft


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