Rogesy called today around 11:50 with solid gen from “Matron” (don’t ask!) “Freightliner 66 due to depart with heavy freight, Gloucester yard 13:05.” He’d leave in about 10 and meet me at a new location (for me at least) on the Stroud Valley, a couple of hundred yards east of Stonehouse station. Well time for me to have a butty before setting off. Hmmm.
In the car, noted time as 12:30ish, where did that time go? Still, 13:05 depart Gloucester Yard. No problem.
Have you ever noticed that if you need to be somewhere at a set time all traffic control and other road-users seem to conspire against you? You have, then why do I never learn this? I even mentioned in-passing to Rogesy while on the phone that they could let the freight go in advance of the time on TRUST if a path up the valley could be found that didn’t hinder the timetabled service, such as it is on a Sunday. Again, I’ve fotted or more accurately attempted to fot enough freight workings to recognise the warning signs. Or not.
The Gloucester-Stonehouse road is 50mph and there was nothing in front of me … until I rounded a corner and came up very short behind a pony and trap. I didn’t need to stand on the brakes but I gave the guys behind me out on an afternoon constituational in their Caterham a moment of consternation I can tell you. There was a very polite sign on the back of the trap but this isn’t much use around corners you Cotswold farm-types you!
Over the line at Haresfield (noting the absence of the diversion signs today, cheers then!). Time now 12:40, 13:05 departure I reminded myself.
Why is it when you’re driving the phone is in your pocket when it goes. I know, I know the health and safety consious amongst you are screaming “but you shouldn’t answer it anyway!” You just know when you’re en-route to a fotting location and the phone goes it isn’t to let you know anything good.
“Hello there.” Came Pauls voice. “I’ve got some good news and some bad news”
“It’s just gone past now and I did just manage to get a fot of it. Oh and I need a massive favour from you as I’ve locked my self out of my car!” Failing to see which of these pieces of information was the good news and which was the bad, I used rude words.
More rude words as I headed through Stonehouse and up a tiny lane to where Paul was parked, or more accurately stranded. Apparently he’d turned up, heard the loco horn, dashed from the car desperate to get his shot, his keys had fallen out into the car, he’d shut the car door, raced off and then the car alarm went off, securing the car and locking his keys inside!! We spent the next hour on a very jolly jaunt backwards and forwards between Stonehouse and Churchdown. Re-united with his car I am now the proud owner of a banked pint for my trouble, to be claimed this coming Tuesday at chez-Wetherspoons no doubt. That’s if they have any beer 🙁
Motto: Never trust TRUST, especially with a Sundays-only freight!