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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 28 - Summer 1976

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R A Panting - The Subject

(Continued from page 21 of Quainton News, No. 27)

One of the cameramen appeared suddenly beside the Pannier and called up to Frank, "Hold it for about ten minutes would you?" Simon and I groaned and started scraping around in the bunker for more coal dust.

Finally we were given the all clear, by a variety of very unusual hand signals, and did several dummy runs, so that they could put down a marker for Frank. We didn't want to squash the "victim" ! We did three "chuffs" forward, brake on; three "chuffs" back, brake on. When we moved towards the camera the cylinder cocks were kept open until Frank applied the brakes and when we reversed the cocks were closed after the first "chuff". Unfortunately we never saw the effect but we were assured it looked very good!

The second helping of coal dust was applied to the fire and some nice smoke effects were produced. How long we were chuffing up and down I don't know. Every now and then we were asked to stop while they changed cameras. They used three, to be on the safe side, and heaven knows how many feet of film! At one stage when I looked in the firebox I was a bit dismayed to see the fire bars showing through, up under the tube plate, the fire was lifting more than I had expected. Four shovelsful of small coal up at front put everything right and produced some very nice smoke.

I was having difficulty keeping the pressure down, obviously my firing technique was all wrong for the job we were doing. At one stage I had the water ¾ of the way up the glass, which was really too much because as we went to and fro the water was slopping back and forth in the boiler. On one occasion it must have surged up under the valves as they were about to lift and as it dropped back there was an incredible spluttering noise followed by a terrific roar which made me jump a mile! "Oh God!" I thought, "We've ruined the Pannier!"

Finally, they announced they had finished photographing and we were free to return to the platform. I just had time to get some water boiling for coffee before they arrived back in the yard with the trolley. The "victim" was very pleased to see the coffee, he had been lying on the ground for the best part of two hours with his head on a very cold rail!

After they had gone, we were about to board the engine to shunt the stock back again when a BR up diesel, heading one wagon and a brake van went slowly through the station. They noticed the Pannier standing in the platform, fortunately not blowing off, and gave us two shorts and a long on the horn. We just reached the footplate in time to reply to them.

Altogether, it was a very pleasant way of earning some money for the QRS.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1976 and so does not reflect events in the 39+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Look for Quainton on an LP - Quainton News No. 28 - Summer 1976

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 05 November 2017