Avid readers of the blog will have heard it all before (twice, in fact…), but this year we’re definitely off to the Penzance Running Day - even if it kills me.
And well it might. With under a fortnight to go we’re nowhere near ready. Alongside various lumps of the bus soaking in my kitchen sink, there are still a good many pre-Penzance jobs waiting to be started. The famous loo roll list still has much to be wiped off.
But be in no doubt: we are going to Penzance.
Like the Kingsbridge event, Penzance is a day when buses of the right kind and colour to recreate the golden age of transport in the town. It’s as much for the general public as it is for gricers, and it’s always great to see new generations learning about what was once a way of life in their part of the world.
That’s why we do it; well, that and the chance to dress up and play at being bus drivers for the day. The swashbuckling Pirates had nothing on a Western National uniform…
I honestly don’t know when 270 KTA last made it so far West, if ever. Cornwall is the only part of Western National’s territory where she never got to spend any length of time, although she did end up languishing in Willis’ Bodmin yard for many years after her passenger carrying days had ended. But Penzance was a stronghold for many other SULs (267-9 KTA started out there), so she’ll look ‘proper job’ to the locals.
First though, here’s to ten days/evenings of intense work. The new injector pipes are now in place (buggers to fit, every one), so my next job is to change the oil and fuel filters, probably for the first time in decades. Mr Sheppard Senior has supplied cross-reference part numbers for new filters which, with some modifications, should do the job nicely.
Then to the engine-stop mechanism. You’ll recall that during 270 KTA's visit to my work last year, a senior BBC manager… well, managed to come away with the engine-stop lever in his hand. It turns out the original stop-cable had long since been replaced with a cheap piece of old garden wire, itself repaired several times since and very fragile. It was waiting to happen, but don’t tell my boss.
Here are my plans for something more substantial:
Once that’s fitted we’re into the less pressing stuff, like a jolly good clean – oh, and finishing off the broken door motor I started repairing six months ago.
Ten days? Yes. We're going to Penzance.