My new bike opened up a whole new world of independence for me as I slowly built up my bike ride mileage.
I was eventually able to complete a 30 mile ride which was only 3 miles short of getting to Kettering where I used to go with Pat trainspotting. It was not too long before the round trip was feasible.
Soon I had a number of engine sheds within my biking range and so many Sundays would see me getting the bike packed and ready to go. Mum used to make me a bread pudding which was quite dense and therefore kept my stomach happy. I always had a couple of water bottles so I was all set for a happy and exciting day.
The railway scene at home was also developing in that I was accumulating additional locomotives and rolling stock for my model railway. The railway* consisted of 3 loops around the room, two of which were considered main lines and the one a branch line. Sadly I have no photographs of that model railway.
My branch line services were handled by a #82004. It received the special “Colin paint job” to reflect the neglect by British Railways as they focused on replacing all steam locomotives with diesel. That model is still with me and capable of running!
(This photograph was taken a few years ago when I had a Canadian model railway scene. In order to “explain” the British locomotives in a Canadian setting, I created a Steam Preservation Society line which then gave me a lot of latitude!)
I biked to Kings School and so would race home from school, get changed, and then race off to Walton Crossing where I would stay for an hour or so until tea time**. After tea I would bike back to Walton crossing until my bed time! Such was my life at that time.
*See “Dear Diary – Page 27” – July 26, 2015
** Our weekday meals were breakfast, dinner and tea.