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Waking Up A Sleeping Giant

Clan Line at Kensington Olympia 2021. Photo by Terry Bartlett.

The steam locomotive sits in the shed. At the moment the crew has all left due to the pandemic.

But a year later, we open up the firehold door and we light the fire, add the coal and the wood and rags, and the boiler pressure begins to rise. Steam builds up and before long the pressure reaches 250lb a square inch, and we blast the whistle and... off she goes!

She’s fully awake. We woke her up from a long sleep. Clan Line has a job to do. She pulls the carriages forward and begins her journey to the Surrey Hills. The engine puffs with all her might, pulling her heavy load. She needs to climb many hills to get to Chertsey to take on water.

She comes to a stand at Guildford. Many passengers wonder, "What is this thing? It's like being back out of the 1950s." And in fact it is. It’s a steam train back in business. After so long, everyone can enjoy the sight and sound of steam.

Clan Line gets the green and off she goes. Her driver keeps her going. It's been over a year since the famous Surrey Hills have heard the sound of a steam engine. Clan Line speaks for herself, pulling up the hills and then back to Victoria safe and sound.

And that’s what you call a sleeping giant that’s woken up fully. We were all surprised how she woke up, just like that!

And now it’s time for Britain to do the same. We wake up sleeping giants, we wake up our city after a long hard sleep.

By Terry

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