A tip off that celebrity 43185 was leading 1A81 08.44 from Pnz had me rushing my porridge as I planned to get this power car at Coombe as I did with 43002 recently.
The sky was clear over the sea behind me, but a bit gloomy "over Truro way".
Nevertheless the light held and the train ran by in grand style, with some colour in the gorse coming through too.
All the best for now, Craig
Many thanks Craig, we had a surprise when the 'celebrity' crossed Redruth viaduct this morning as we went shopping.
Roger Winnen's evocative picture of the Western Postal in the 1970s raised a distant echo from my former life in academe.
I must issue an initial disclaimer as to perfect accuracy of this tale but it was certainly accepted at the time.
In the distant past, when primary schools were administered by Local Authorities, Somerset County Education Department dispatched their admin letters, every Friday afternoon, in a brown A4 known as the "Weekly Envelope" which would usually reach places like Chard on the following Monday or Tuesday - but not always. From time to time schools would wait several days for the delivery and when it came the envelope would have rubber stampings from Bristol or Derby of all places.
When we made enquiries about this roundabout route we were told that weekend second class bulk mailings were put on the Down mail at Taunton to be sorted on the way to Penzance. They were then dropped off from the up train to be picked up at Taunton and distributed in the normal way. This presumably took pressure off Taunton Sorting Office at weekends and provided more business for the mail train. Unfortunately if bags and packets missed the drop at Taunton they ended up at the train's final destination and then did the reverse journey a few days later, so causing some poor demented headteacher to fend off demands from County as to why he or she hadn't responded to some "important" letter which "must" have arrived in the Weekly Envelope.
It seemed a good explanation at the time but maybe it was just County Hall coming up with an ingenious excuse for missing the post. My only regret was being too busy to check out the railway aspects at the time, although the idea that the pile of bumf had enjoyed a weekend in Cornwall had a certain charm. Perhaps someone with insider knowledge could shed light on the realities?
With kind regards, Brian
A lovely story Brian, I'm sure it's true. Many thanks for writing in. e-mails are bit faster than 'snail mail' !