Bertie Buys an Engine

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Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby StoneRoad » 09 May 2018, 17:36

[Shamelessly pinched the idea and title from an archived RPG, thanks to the posts by 266 and Kismet at the end of "Saving Ginger. And it is something I know a little bit about, so if there are technical questions I'll do my best to answer them within context !]

So, the story starts in 1962 ...
Last edited by StoneRoad on 09 May 2018, 17:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby StoneRoad » 09 May 2018, 17:56

One morning in Mount St, Bertie was perusing the morning papers as he attended to some bacon and eggs.

"Oh, I say, that's just not on !" he exclaimed "We can't have that, By Jove !"

"What's going on, now" asked Algy as he looked up from his breakfast ...

"Just BR say that they are going to scrap "Flying Scotsman" replied Bertie

The others looked at him in surprise, they had no idea that he would be interested in such things.

At that point, the phone rang and Biggles answered it.
"Yes, he's here" offering the phone to Bertie, "Someone from "Save Our Scotsman" for you" he replied to the raised eyebrow ...
Bertie took the phone and listened for a few minutes, occasionally saying "I see", "Yes" "No"
Finally, "OK. I'll come along to the meeting tonight"

Later that evening Bertie returned, somewhat downhearted.
He explained that the group had been unable to raise the money to buy 60103 and although he had offered to stump up the cash they had been beaten to the sale, apparently another gentleman by the name of Alan Pegler had stepped in to buy the engine.

They then decided to nip out to The Audley for pre-dinner drink and then on to the Aero Club for dinner, intending to cheer Bertie up a bit.
As they were getting hats and coats organised, the phone rang and Ginger answered ... "Bertie, call for you, a Mr Pegler ?"

Alan introduced himself, half- apologising for grabbing 103 off the market, but then said that there were quite a few other engines that needed saving from being cut-up, and inviting Bertie to meet him the following day at St Pancras House for discussion as to what was available, Bertie agreed.

With that, they set off for their evening, everybody in a much better mood than before the phone rang.

[Take it away ... ]
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby kylie_koyote » 09 May 2018, 18:17

They ran into Wilks at the Aero Club, who was only too willing to buy them each a pint and natter away about his latest business venture. Biggles nudged Bertie under the table and gestured for him to be quiet a couple of different times during the conversation.
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Kismet » 09 May 2018, 18:31

Finally Wilks stopped talking shop.

'Did you see that actress singing Happy Birthday to the President?' Wilks asked. 'Scandalous, it was. Scandalous. I've watched it on the news reels seven times and it doesn't get any less scandalous.'
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby kylie_koyote » 09 May 2018, 18:44

This led to a spirited discussion at some length, regarding the various charms of Miss Monroe.
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Kismet » 09 May 2018, 18:48

Bertie didn't contribute much. He preferred a different sort of steamy.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby StoneRoad » 09 May 2018, 21:58

Eventually, after more drinks and tall tales the party broke up, and the Mount St contingent set off back to their flat.

"Bertie, you've been quiet tonight, that's not like you - what are you thinking about ?" Algy asked as they approached the gardens.

Bertie was still largely lost in thought, and after a pause long enough that Algy was about to repeat his remark, replied "I'm wondering what sort of engine I can get off the railway board"
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Kismet » 09 May 2018, 22:21

'What are you planning on using it for?' Biggles asked suspiciously, remembering Bertie's involvement with a certain roundabout.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby StoneRoad » 10 May 2018, 09:00

"I'm not sure, really, what with me being more used to the little one at Cadeby that Teddy Boston runs, he's planning to build quite a network in the rectory garden. Lord knows what his bishop will think ! Mainline stuff is a quite different scale of problem". Bertie replied, thoughtfully.
I need to sleep on it and see what Alan suggests tomorrow - so I'll be out for a while, hope that will not be a problem ?
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby kylie_koyote » 10 May 2018, 11:28

Biggles shrugged. "You're over due for leave, so I don't see why not. I'll put in a request with the Air Commodore tomorrow morning."
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby StoneRoad » 10 May 2018, 12:41

Thanks, old boy. Now for some blanket drill ! The others said their goodnights and Bertie went off to his room ...
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Kismet » 10 May 2018, 12:48

Biggles, always a light sleeper, woke in the night. Someone was shouting.

'Choo, Choo,' Biggles heard. 'Choo, choo.' He reached for his dressing gown and went to wake the culprit up.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby StoneRoad » 10 May 2018, 22:35

It turned out to be Ginger, who apologised but had no idea what he had been dreaming about and promptly went back to sleep.
Biggles went back to his room, started to read for a few minutes and fell asleep himself.
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Kismet » 11 May 2018, 00:26

Biggles dreamed he was tied to some railway tracks and awaiting rescue by Algy before the train was due. Three times Biggles awoke, sweating, as Algy had not arrived in time. He was not happy at the breakfast table, although he accepted that this really wasn't Algy's fault.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby StoneRoad » 11 May 2018, 09:52

Bertie arrived at the table with a pre-occupied air, he was torn between dressing upmarket or in just a smart lounge suit for his meeting with the BR people.
He ate his breakfast and after he started on the toast he asked Biggles and Algy about it;
If he dressed up too much then the price would be added to, dressed down to much and it would be assumed that he would not be able to afford the capital outlay and overhaul costs.
[clue : BR chairman was Beeching]
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby kylie_koyote » 11 May 2018, 11:09

The relative merits of all types of clothing discussed at length, Bertie retired to his room to find an appropriate outfit.
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby StoneRoad » 11 May 2018, 11:30

Bertie eventually decided on a very dark coloured and well-tailored business suit, the others approved,
"Hope you've got your chequebook" Algy called as Bertie went off to the garage for his Jag and the trip to St Pancras House.
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Kismet » 11 May 2018, 12:24

'What is he going to do with it?' Biggles muttered again. 'He can't drive it around central London.'
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby StoneRoad » 11 May 2018, 13:37

Not only that, he doesn't have anywhere that I know off to keep it, unless he converts some of his stables at Chedworth Manor ... replied Algy.
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Kismet » 11 May 2018, 13:43

'Well, at least it's too big to keep in the flat.' Biggles paused. 'Do you think they might be selling off bits and bobs as well as engines? It might be a cheap source of stuff. I'll ask Bertie to get us a list of the gubbins on offer when he returns for Smyth to look over.'
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Fairblue » 11 May 2018, 13:52

Bertie returned a few hours later, a dejected look on his face. "There's a bally hitch."
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Kismet » 11 May 2018, 14:01

'Oh dear,' Biggles said cheerfully. 'What's the problem?'
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Fairblue » 11 May 2018, 14:02

"Someone from America is saying the engine is theirs and the railway board has no right to sell it."
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Kismet » 11 May 2018, 14:15

'How does a Yank end up owning an engine running on a British railway?' Biggles asked. He liked these interesting anomalies.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Fairblue » 11 May 2018, 14:19

Bertie shrugged. "There's lots of ways. He could be a collector, he could be part of a syndicate or consortium, his uncle could have left it to him, he could have come over here, saw one he fancied and just bought it, or he could have won it in a card game....Some Americans are eccentric and if they've enough money..." Berite shrugged again.
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Kismet » 11 May 2018, 14:41

'Are a lot of the engines privately owned?' Biggles was completely unaware of this. He vaguely remembered that some people had owned their own carriages but he hadn't known that some people owned their own engines.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Fairblue » 11 May 2018, 14:51

"I don't know, old boy," Bertie confessed, "but I suppose so. Not when they were running, but some have been in mothballs for years. No sayin' what anyone with a bit of spare cash wouldn't buy."
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Kismet » 11 May 2018, 15:20

'Anyway, what else is for sale?' Biggles returned to his own priorities. 'Smyth is wanting some new inspection lamps, and the welding equipment is getting elderly and my garage needs some new lamps in it. Is anything like that being sold off?'
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby Fairblue » 11 May 2018, 15:48

But Bertie had to confess he hadn't noticed any of those things. He had been too immersed in his own affairs.
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Re: Bertie Buys an Engine

Postby StoneRoad » 11 May 2018, 16:36

Bertie got another phone call from Alan Pegler, inviting him to met a group of engine owners.
Several were syndicates, others more family (father and son, but in one case a daughter) and several were individuals like himself.

At the meeting, Alan introduced Bertie to Tom Rolt, who was involved with regard to the Talyllyn Railway. This was to point out that narrow gauge could be just as much fun as standard, main line railways. Indeed, another man present, Alan Bloom, made use of several lines in his nursery in Norfolk. This was interesting information, the smaller gauge engines could have a job of work and earn their keep.

Finally, with a smile, Alan mentioned the Festiniog Railway in Merioneth, North Wales, that he was also involved with and Bertie's ears pricked up at the mention of the Festiniog's location. Bertie opened his mouth to ask a question (or three)

At that point, the gavel was banged to call everyone to order and the more formal part of the afternoon took place.
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