Its another dull and damp day at the Works and the forecasters tell us this is in for the rest of the week. However there is a noticeable air of optimism on the site as the evenings draw out and Christmas seems a respectable distance behind us.
I've never understood why we put the clock back in Winter. Apart from the real sense of depression that it creates in me, it costs money when at the drop of a hat we need an extra hour of lighting at the Works. If you ever saw the number of light fittings at the Works you would know that this is no small thing. I challenge anybody not to say that they don't shrink a little inside on that night when the drive home in the evening is in the pitch black for the first time. Spring seems a very long way off then and I still don't understand why we do it every year. It can't be the farmers, as they have more lights than enough on their modern plant and even deliberately harvest some crops at night. Scottish school children are also cited as a reason but how many walk to school in 2011 anyway? I'm sure the Scottish Assembly would be happy to do their own thing if it suited them. Where's that blue painted Mel Gibson when you need him?
So please Mr Cameron, can we stick to BST this year? It'll save money, reduce our carbon footprint and make me and all us southern softies much happier. What more reason do you need?
Meanwhile, back in the present, there is a palpable spring (groan) in our steps down here. After years of being derelict there are moves afoot to reopen the former wheelshop area as a general repair workshop. There are some big holes in the floor to fill in but Arlington are biting on the bullet and that can only be good news.
The yard is as full as I've ever seen it and we are having to turn away storage work. The obvious answer to that is to lay more track and we are planning to do just that in the summer. Small piles of sleepers are appearing on site at strategic locations. That will make the Google Earth satellite views even more out of date.
The prospects for 2011 seem brighter than ever before as the word gets around that the Works is a good place to do business. We have almost come to the end of the 444 programme and everybody seems happy with how its gone and are looking forward to the next batch of units to come in. More shunting turns for the ED and 07
The 71A Crompton is due to be unveiled shortly and it looks simply fantastic. I can't believe just how good it looks even though I know how much hard work has gone into it.
We will be even recreating the famous "school photo" taken of what was thought then would be the last Crompton to be overhauled here by BR. I bet the people in that photo never thought we'd be doing another one in 2011.
Yet another reason to feel cheerful
So to quote Spike Milligan
Spring is sprung, the grass is ris
(I wonder where the birdies is ?)
Now back to checking traction motor cases for serial numbers................