No doubt many of you saw the re-introduction of the A4 class locomotive Flying Scotsman back to main line running in February.
The loco is fitted with a double chimney to assist with superheating, but for some reason the original double had been replaced with a single chimney.
What to do?
As luck had it a former railwayman living at Worting Junction, a few miles west of Basingstoke station, was a collector of all things railway.
Ron Scrace, now of West Sussex, used to spend all his spare cash at Euston station where there was an outlet for railway memorabilia.
In the garden at the front of his Hampshire home were dozens of old station signs, a big attraction for passengers on passing trains.
In the early 1960s Ron bought a double chimney from an A3 class loco called Salmon Trout and put it in his garden. ‘It was somewhere for the children to play,’ says Ron.
Some 28 years later Dr Tony Marchington, the chief engineer for the Flying Scotsman, was looking for a double chimney to put back on to the Flying Scotsman and heard that Ron had one in his garden.
He paid Ron a visit and asked if he could have the chimney. Ron agreed to let him have it on permanent loan knowing he would never get it back again.
And so it was that the loco, complete with Ron’s double chimney, was back belching steam once again.
Since then the Flying Scotsman has been rebuilt by the National Railway Museum in York, but it is still Ron’s chimney that rules the roost above the boiler.