Monday, 12 November 2012

A Day in Looe

Now the rally season is done, I've been busily preparing a blog post on Winter hibernation.

It tells you all about the work I plan to carry out while 270 KTA enjoys a well deserved rest from motoring over the Winter months. Hub studs, the gear linkage, that horrible crack in the windscreen...


I can't post that yet, because our friend refuses to hibernate.

This weekend saw a special visit of the Great Western (Railway) Society's newly restored steam rail motor to the Liskeard-Looe branch line in Cornwall, and on the request of First GreatWestern, TVaGWOT ran a free heritage bus service for the punters to enjoy once they'd ridden on the train. Pish to hibernation...

Main traction for the day was to be Colin Billington's Bristol H, which would have conceivably met Churchwood rail motors like this at stations in the 1930s/40s, and extra capacity was to be provided by our friend - the comparitive youngster of the day - as and when required.

As it turned out, interest in the buses was such that 270 KTA ran (and with good loadings) on all but one of the runs. A bonus for some, and "the highlight of the day" for others, including a woman from Lowestoft who practically welded her finger to the name of the town when she saw it on 270 KTA's builder's plate. "I was built here too...."

The route from Liskeard to Looe, via St Keyne and Duloe (Western National's Service 69), was quite a sod to drive. With hairpin bends preceeding unannounced hills and narrow bridges, not to mention stretches of road lined with photographers waiting to photograph the buses and steam motor side by side, it's a wonder we managed to beat the train each time. Western National allowed 45 minutes in the 1930s, we just about did it in 35.

Chasing a steam train through the Looe valley in a Bristol SU was a magical experience, and one I won't forget. It was like we were in The Titfield Thunderbolt.

 (Wonderful photos of the Steam Motor and tiny 270 KTA from across the water come courtesy of Peter Murnaghan, who underestimated how much I'd enjoy them!)

Shame you missed it, really. But don't worry...

We'll be doing it all again next Sunday!

So, if you regularly read this blog but haven't yet met 270 KTA, we insist that you join us for a ride. This really will be your last chance before hibernation in 2012...

(Right, Sheppard.)

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