January Road Run with Wendy and Lloyd

Newsletter No. 1

Welcome to our first newsletter, we have decided that every now and then we will put a newsletter on here with all our latest news, so this is our first one.

We will start at the beginning of the year when at the start of January we had a couple of road runs. We had a lovely ride out with Victoria and the trailer with a few brave friends who rode in the trailer with us, it was chilly but a great trip. We went to Petersfield for a ride through the town which was very busy as there was a farmers’ market on, then headed back towards home but not before we stopped at the one of the local pubs where we met friends including Michael and Ellie with their Marshall Q Class. There was an array of friends to have a catch up with and all in all a great afternoon. We then chuffed just the mile or so back home, a great day and it was dry!

The next weekend was also a lovely weekend and we decided that an impromptu steam on Victoria would be great as it was getting colder and she would soon be emptied of water and put to bed until spring returns. So this time Lloyd and Wendy took her for a few miles around our local village before she was put back on the drive.

The following weekend we took the chance to knock Victoria’s mud hole doors in and let the water out of her. The weather was getting cold, down to -4°C and it was going to get colder. She was put into winter mode, so no water in her, her heater on the footplate and all exposed areas well wrapped up. The next weekend we took her ashpan off, fire bars out and she was given a good clean out.

At the end of January we went over to Amberley to winterise the Foden, who now seems to be known as Francois – he has been named by the VTT youngest member, Poppy, and that is what she would like him to be called, so it looks like it is staying as his name. We cleaned him out, emptied him of water, pipe work off and Wendy treated him to a lovely 13 tog duvet to keep him warm through the winter months!

Francois with his duvet
Francois with his duvet

The last couple of weekends we have been over to Amberley helping with the West Sussex roller, “Joan”, and Nick with his Wallis Advance, both engines have had a good wash out with their ashpans and firebars removed, now they are awaiting the cold visual check before they have their steam test and be ready for the 2024 season at Amberley Museum. This Sunday just gone we spent time on Nick and Hannah’s lovely little living van, we are helping Nick reboard it and it is coming on well, just the back to do so hopefully that will be out at Amberley this year.

Looking ahead to the next month or so we have Victoria who needs her steam test, we are hoping to get that done in March and then we can put her back together and be back out on the road with her. The Foden is returning home soon and having a few little jobs done, the biggest will be cutting a seat in the bed of wood so Wendy doesn’t keep hitting her head on the roof when she drives him. We also want to cut out a hole in the water tank to make filling the tanks a little easier as the only way at the moment is with a hose pipe fitting which sometimes can be a bit tricky if there is no hosepipe available. He will soon be back out, we are hoping to maybe take him for a run to Petersfield which is about 6 miles with some good hills for him to climb!

We have entered a few events already but more news about the events in the next issue.

Now for the reason we are here, books, books and more books… After a great Christmas with many people purchasing the books it has gone a little quiet. January is always a little quiet which always make Wendy a little nervous but we will carry on and hope things pick up again as we head towards the rally season.

Please share our page and if you haven’t purchased a book yet, why not!? Every book sold helps Wendy with the next, she would love to write another but at the moment she just can’t fund it so please if you have any children with birthdays coming up please think about one of our fabulous books.

It’s nearly the end of February and we are looking forward to 2024, we will keep you up to date through our social media and of course here on our website. Don’t forget, make sure you tell everyone about Victoria’s Torton Tales.

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