There was much excitement this week, as many photographers looked for the best, but safest, vantage point to witness one of the most iconic locomotives of all time pass through the south.
It’s very rare these days to see a steam train on the main line, but the 1923-built beauty The Flying Scotsman sped past on another special journey.
I really do admire those men and women who work so hard across the width and breadth of this land to keep these wonderful old engines operational.
If you visit the likes of the Watercress Line, you get a snapshot of the sights and sounds of living and travelling in this country before the 1960s.
But these trains are limited to around 25mph, so it’s a real treat to see one power past on full steam.
That’s what The Flying Scotsman did yesterday, taking enthusiasts on a special trip from Salisbury, down to Southampton and back again, whilst fine dining or getting their faces covered in soot from looking out of the window!
Yes, these trains are expensive to run and maintain and are about as efficient as a patio heater. But they are alive, breathing with a character of their own once the blue touchpaper is lit.
Children look in awe as they see, hear and feel the power of these magnificent steam engines.
I love the fact we still feel so much love and nostalgia for these old machines.
Not only do we spend a fortune renovating them, but another fortune travelling on them.
But why not? They are special.
The Flying Scotsman was the first passenger train in the world to operate at 100mph, so why shouldn’t this machine be preserved?
It’s just a shame we don’t feel the same love for our ships and hovercraft.
One big SRN4 craft at the Hovercraft Museum in Lee-on-the-Solent should still be able to fly and the paddle steamer Ryde, a veteran of Dunkirk and Normandy, is about to be broken up on the banks of the River Medina.
But long may steam continue. My son loves Thomas The Tank Engine, so the next generation is getting ready to keep the tradition going!
SON LOVED THE ROLLERCOASTER, BUT I CAME OFF FEELING SICK
Oh, the embarrassment. It was my son’s third birthday and I took him on his very first rollercoaster ride.
He loved it, but I came off feeling sick and had to have a sit down.
Sadly, I suffer from awful motion sickness and the Cat-o- pillar at Paultons Park was just too much for my disposition.
I’ve been told it’s an ear balance thing and that it’s something I have to live with.
But I’m afraid it makes me an awful passenger.
As the ride went higher, we got more excited.
Then as we dropped and felt the odd bit of G-force, my stomach fell and my head spun.
After two circuits on this tiny ride, I was done.
Definitely a job for mum in the future!
THE PARTY LEADERS ALL LOOK LIKE UNPREPARED, WISHFUL THINKERS
Is it just me, or have all the main parties been a bit rubbish whilst campaigning for our votes in the forthcoming general election?
Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn have shown me they will be about as good looking after our money as Nick Leeson and Theresa May seems to have all the compassion of Harry Enfield’s character Loadsamoney.
Poor old Tim Farron looks like a rabbit in the headlights on the telly and Ukip leader Paul Nuttall seems to look and act like Ade Edmondson’s character Eddie from the comedy Bottom.
I just couldn’t see Thatcher, Blair or Steele ever looking like such unprepared, wishful thinkers as the current batch of top politicians.
I’d like to know the monthly costs of a house before I buy it.