Thursday, 7 March 2013

London Welsh

No, not the rugby club of that name playing in Oxford - although I'm sure I'll write something when the RFU get their act together and publish their findings from the recent disciplinary hearing....

This morning I had to go up to London for a meeting.  Just occasionally, despite my better judgment, it's unavoidable.  The train back to Oxford was delayed, and while I was hanging aroungd on the Lawn at Paddington station I was slightly surprised to see the distinctive form of a Festiniog Railway locomotive on platform 9.  Princess, identical twin to Prince - Britain's oldest working steam engine in regular traffic - and built at George England's Hatcham Ironworks in 1863.  The Festiniog had 5, all to the same basic design:

Prince and Palmerston are still in service, Little Giant was cut up in the early 20th century, and Welsh Pony used to stand in the middle of a flowerbed in Porthmadog - I fell off it multiple times between the ages of 8 and 13....  I believe Welsh Pony has now been rescued and is being cosmetically restored for a slightly more dignified fate.

The last time I saw Princess was on display in the Station restaurant in Porthmadog in about 1990 - she's been rescued from there and tarted up a bit for the 150th anniversary of the Festiniog Railway (and her own 150th birthday this year).  If you happen to find yourself at a loose end in Paddington, she's there until 6 weeks after St David's Day.

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