And now for something completely different (cue a large foot descending from Heaven)
Two things happened in May 2001 that were personal milestones for me and that had a direct bearing on the long journey that eventually ended up with me taking on the deserted Works, with its rusty tracks and rows of Ford Transits back in 2006.
Firstly on 11th May I said my last farewells to my Dad at his bedside, after he had been through a long illness. It was Dad who first kindled my interest in railways as a kid. He had grown up a stones throw from Kings Cross in the 1930s and had seen all of the Gresley pacifics, P2s and even no. 10000. I was dragged along to just about every fledgling preservation centre in the 1960s and was just old enough to remember being shown steam at Waterloo in 1968. Little did any of us know then..........
In fact if you look closely at the crowd shot of 4472s non stop run departure from Kings Cross there is a short trousered lad who looks surprisingly like me.
As they say in the King James Bible, in the midst of life we are in death, and I'd like to think that my old Dad will be looking down approvingly at what we are doing at the place that maintained and built the engines I saw on the narrow platform ends at Waterloo all those years ago.
Well played old un
Another happier date was the 10 year anniversary of the founding of Knights Rail Services Ltd which passed on 31st May. Unless you have run your own business you can't really understand how proud you feel when dates like this come along. Lots has changed since we started, not only with Knights Rail but also with the whole rail industry. A colleague of mine suggested that putting my own name on the business was a dangerous move because if it went bust people would associate it with me personally. I disagreed and with hindsight I think I was right. Having my name up there on every letter, invoice, bill and contract made me focus on how important it was to make the thing successful. I still marvel at how often other companies change their name. Perhaps if the directors had their own names in the company they might be in it for the longer term.
So a different sort of post this time; a bit more reflective than usual.
Normal service will be resumed shortly as we come to terms with what looks like being a crazy time for us as business takes off. Too much to write about here (always leave em wanting more Darling) but you know its a good sign when we are laying new lines both inside and outside. Oh and for a clue, watch the number (not the length) of conductor rails on site