130 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
Alfred Paget nearly got to Bescot – August 1990
(Or the Not-so-Flying Scotsman) – P. Aldridge
BR’s ‘Bescot Open Day’ took place on Sunday, 6th May. BR had requested that they borrow our venerable Neilson ‘Alfred Paget’ for the event. We replied ‘yes’ but only if they cosmetically restored the engine, insured it and provided the transport.
Ian Edwards then spent many hours repainting the loco and even applied ‘No.11’ to the tank sides and buffer beams, so that the old engine looked very fine. Arrangements were made to move the loco on Good Friday – but were then cancelled (pity no-one thought to tell me!) and re-scheduled for 3rd May. Various Society members told the BR representative that a lifting frame would be needed and that trying to lift the loco with slings under the frames would not be permitted for fear of damaging our loco.
‘Don’t worry’ they said ‘we are professionals.’
The day arrived, and the said ‘professionals’ brought a low loader and a crane, but no lifting frame! Predictably they were unable to lift the loco, and, after six hours of struggling, gave up!
Thanks are due to Ian Edwards for restoring the loco, even though it did not get to Bescot. Thanks are also due to Messrs. Emery, Newbold and Organ, plus a hologram of myself (I wasn’t there as I was off work sick) for organising the shunting and supervising the ‘lift’ – or lack of it!
Further thanks are also due to BR who provided the low loader and the crane. Perhaps next time the ‘professionals’ will listen to us ‘AMATEURS’ who do, after all , have some idea what we are talking about!
Despite this disappointment it wasn’t a total waste of time, for even though our Neilson did not get to the Open Day, our sales stand did, and Mr. Bull added £200 to our coffers in a very successful day’s sales.