Phew what a busy weekend we’ve just had, with so many new friends to see and as always great to see lots of my old friends too.
We were at The Weald and Downland Living Museum in Singleton, West Sussex, for their Saddles and Steam event over the weekend of 17th & 18th August. We arrived on the Friday (16th) to set up our pitch and get ready for the fun ahead, and managed to put up the gazebo by the time the wind and rain appeared early afternoon. By tea time it was awful, heavy rain and the wind was relentless. We decided we would go out for tea and left the living van, gazebo and Jack’s caravan, hoping it would all still be there when we returned. When we arrived back on the field we’re happy to say all the vans and gazebo were still standing, so we sat in Jack’s caravan for the evening as there is a bit more room in there than the living van, which made Jess the dog happier.
We were joined for a while by a friend, Tim, and we chatted about all things steam. Before too long we decided we would brave the elements and head off to our living van. Well, I opened the door of the caravan and thought it was going to get blown off its hinges. We got into bed and the wind was so strong it was blowing the living van around so we were rocked to sleep on Friday night!
By Saturday morning the weather had greatly improved, no rain or wind, fingers crossed for the rest of the weekend.
First job as always on the rally field in the morning is Wendy cooks us all a lovely breakfast of egg, bacon, sausage, beans, mushroom and fried bread – yum yum! While she is doing that the rest of the crew get on and clean the engines and put a fire in them.
After breakfast and washing up, the public arrive. This event is always very busy and they are queuing to get in at 10am. A few more engines arrived and the field filled up with exhibits. Victoria was ready to meet all her friends, old and new. She loves having her picture taken with all her fans, if only she could talk to you all!
In the afternoon we went into the arena for the parade so everyone could see all the engines moving around, Victoria took her trailer for this trip.
We had a great day and the weather stayed dry. In the evening Wendy cooked tea, a yummy curry, and Victoria wanted to go out and have a chuff about, so Lloyd and Jack went into the big car park for a chuff for a while before it was getting dark and we thought we had better come back to the living van and put Victoria to bed; after all she’d had a busy day and will have another one tomorrow.
Sunday morning and the usual breakfast, clean engines and raking out ash pans – Victoria also had her tubes swept. But before too long the rain had returned and the ground was getting soft so sadly for Sunday there would be no parade around the arena for us.
As always by 10am the gates were busy with people wanting to come in and join the fun. By about 11am the rain had stopped but the wind had return, though not as bad as Friday.
Victoria again was pleased to see everyone and enjoyed all the attention she got, then before we knew it, it was 5pm and time to pack up.
What a cracking weekend we had despite the wind and rain, it won’t stop us and Victoria having fun. We would like to thank Phil who organised the event with the museum and say thanks and we will see you all next year. Also, thanks to all who came along to see Victoria – we hope you all had a good time too.
Now we know that hundreds of pictures were taken of Victoria over the weekend and we never get to see any of them, so if you took a picture and would like Victoria to see it please email them to us, firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will add it here to our website and Facebook page with your permission and of course credited them to you. So come on Victoria fans, please send us your pictures…