Sunday, 30 January 2011

Over'aul...

Hello everyone. Today was just a simple day at Shackerstone in the loco works. Poor old "Sir Gomer" is still undergoing an over'aul. However, progress is being made. Vacuum equipment is now fitted, the smokebox has been painted, the cab fittings are slowly reappearing and the loco is slowly beginning to look much more like an engine again! Plans are afoot to have the ex-Mountain Ash Peckett back in steam for the pre-Easter Thomas event, where she will hopefully be dressed as "Percy". Meanwhile, an Ash Dump is under construction outside the shed whilst 5542 remains dormant, awaiting her private steaming at the end of February. I spent my day just generally helping around the works before heading home at a 'nice and early' 4pm! Thanks for reading folks. Good Evening...

Saturday, 29 January 2011

"The Banbury Cross"...

Hi all. The 2011 Winter Steam Gala at the Great Central Railway was a fabulous day out indeed. Named the "Banbury Cross", the gala featured a fantastic line-up of 8 steam locomotives, all of which would have had connections to the Banbury area. Throughout the three-day event, all sorts of trains operated, from humble light freight's to the fabulous 'Windcutter Minerals', the fast TPO pick-up's and of course, one of the stars of the show, the GWR Autotrain. All of these trains were of course complemented by many normal passenger turns, light engine moves and even a Dining Train. In total, there were 31 departures from Loughborough on the Saturday; amazing! This post has been a while coming (published 7/2/11) due to the processing of various images and videos taken on the day; there were many! My day started with the 30 or so mile drive from home, in the faithful Saxo of course. Arriving at Quorn at 8:45am, I immediately got my equipment ready and put on my 3 or so extra layers, as well as gloves, a hat and a scarf. What a freezing day it was; the coldest Winter Gala I've ever known! I then locked the car and proceeded to the platforms where the first train, the Autotrain; 'shoved' by 5526; was just about to leave. After filming the little Prairie, I proceeded to buy my ticket and timetable, before waiting for my train, which would be hauled by two loco's; 4953 and 45305. So, what was running? In no particular order; John Cameron's Gresley K4 2-6-0 No61994 "The Great Marquess". This wonderful 3-cylinder Mogul, in striking BR Black, was a very popular machine and her easily distinguishable beat could be heard throughout the day, roaring around the Leicestershire countryside...
The second visitor; Small Prairie No5526. Though she did many Autotrain runs, she also hauled Freights, full passenger rakes and of course the 2-coach 'Local' (seen below at Quorn). This lovely little 55xx, from the South Devon at Buckfastleigh, looked right at home on the GCR and it was very nice to see her, and hear her, running at pretty good speed...
Loco No3 was the fabulous Black 5 4-6-0 No45305 "Alderman A E Draper". This gorgeous machine, owned by Draper's Scrapyard of Hull, is based at the GCR under the banner of the '5305 Locomotive Association'. Thoughout my day, 45305 gave some great performances, some of which I was lucky enough to capture on film! What a lovely Stanier machine...
The 4th loco, arguably the star of the show, was visiting GWR 38xx 2-8-0 No3850. The loco came to the GCR after some work at Tyseley. The GCR have repainted her into BR Black, which looks very well indeed. I have ridden behind this engine before, at her home; the West Somerset Railway (see seperate posts). However, she looks much better in Black I feel. This beastly machine also gave some great performances during the day, particularly on the 'Windcutter Minerals'. Below, 3850 steams into Rothley on the 'Windcutter's...
The fifth engine was another '5305 LA' loco; the NRM's Southern Railway N15 'King Arthur' No30777 "Sir Lamiel". This machine, also based at the GCR, is mainline-certified (like 45305 and 61994) and can often be seen out and about on railtours. "Lamiel" is a very popular machine and is currently the oldest loco allowed to work on Network Rail. Thoroughout the day, 30777 did some very good turns, particularly when driven by Chief Engineer Tom Tigh!...
As if that wasn't enough, the 4th visitor and SIXTH engine was the NRM's City Class 4-4-0 No3717 "City of Truro"! This beautiful Edwardian machine is reported to have been the first steam engine to achieve 100mph, back in 1904. Whether this 'rumour' is true or not is anyone's guess but I reckon she is probably capable; afterall, she has pretty big wheels! I did take a ride behind 3717 during the day and, what a powerful machine she seems for a 4-4-0; lovely design. It's a shame that there aren't more older engines in operation; they really are beautiful. 3717 seemed to have a really good day, particularly on her fast TPO trip!...
Now based at the GCR, the 7th engine was John Kennedy's Hall, No4953 "Pitchford Hall". A previous Tyseley resident, 4953 moved to the GCR quite recently and, as far as I know, will be staying here for now. A lovely Hall in a lovely livery. Below, she takes the Windcutter's out of Rothley up the bank...
Finally, last but very much not least(!), the FIFTH visitor and EIGTH engine was GWR 0-4-2 14xx 'Autotank' No1450! Now, I've never seen a 14xx in operation before so thats another to cross off the list! These loco's were small yet punchy and fast. For example, a 14xx in 'good nick' could apparently achieve a 70mph+ performance, when hauling one or two Autocoaches of course. This was down to their big wheels and good steaming ability. This 14xx, though her paint is looking a little tired by now, was a very attractive example and I really like this class as a whole. Below, the lovely 1450 approaches Rothley with the short freight...
Well, thats it folks, all 8 locomotives laid out in photo's! What a line up, ay?! Back to me, I caught the first 'main' train of the day; behind 4953 & 45305; to Leicester North. However, 4953 came off at Rothley, leaving 45305 to take the train onwards to Leicester. Once there, 45305 ran round (see opening image) and later took the train back to Loughborough. I alighted at Quorn once again before filming more trains; particularly good were the TPO runs with 3717 and the Black 5 herself. I later caught the Hall again, this time double-heading with the K4. Good lord, can the Hall not travel alone?! The Hall & K4 trio took us to Rothley where I alighted again. I then spent a few hours around Rothley, up on the embankment in particular. After a chat with a few Shack friends, I reboarded the train, this time with 3850 at the head. It was standing room only, well, squeezed-in room only! It was so busy it was unbelievable...passenger takings must have been on a huge high today; massive. 3850 took the hugely packed train down into Loughborough; easily of course. There, I had a quick look round, though the platforms were packed. Below, 1450 waits in the yard; a nice portrait I think...
In the Goods Loop, "Sir Lamiel" waits with another Windcutter...
With "Sir Lamiel" gone, 1450 draws the TPO stock into the Goods Loop, awaiting the K4 to take the head for the last demonstration run. I tell you, I would have paid more money to see the 14xx do the TPO drop instead!...
After some more filming, I boarded the train again, this time behind the punchy 3717, and headed back to Quorn to see the final few moves take place. The final TPO run with the K4 was very good indeed, though it could have been faster! After that, freezing but happy, I decided to call it a day. So, it was back into the Saxo and off back down the M1 & M69 to home. What a day! A fantastic gala. The video footage I achieved can be seen below. First, the shots around Rothley...
Next, one or two shots I took at Loughborough...
Finally, click HERE to view the 3rd video; taken at Quorn. All in all, a very good day out to the GCR's 2011 Winter Steam Gala, the "Banbury Cross". Thank you very much for reading this mega post folks. Good Evening...

Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Loco Works and P-Way at Shackerstone...

Hi all. Today I was off over to Shackerstone again. The main objective today was to aid some P-Way (track) work that was taking place in the Shenton Lane area of the line, just around the corner from the terminus at Bosworth Battlefield. However, knowing that there had been some changes in the loco shed, I couldn't resist popping over to Shack to have a look first! Arriving at around 10:15am, I parked up and took a quick walk down the track to the shed. The site was pretty much desolate apart from one or two strong-willed members. The P-Way train was already out down the line so silence was in abundance; just right! Inside the works, on the Pit, the returning Western intruder stood cold but proud; GWR 2-6-2 55xx Small Prairie No5542 (The 'Planets Favourite Prairie'). Seen above, 5542 was tucked up nicely inside the works. This is a beautiful little engine, perfect for us in every way. I must admit, I'm very glad to see her back for a while! 5542 will be working during March. Click HERE or HERE for more details. Behind the Prairie, looking very odd and somewhat misplaced, was the tender of the beautiful B1 No1306 "Mayflower". The loco has been taken to Washward Heath for an intermediate Bottom-End overhaul. Whether she will return to Shackerstone or leave for another railway is unknown at the time of writing. I must admit though, its been a pleasure to have her with us for the last 4 years! Below, the tender holds its own in the works...
Behind the B1's tender were the industrial loco's, our Peckett "Sir Gomer" and Mic Smith's Aveiling & Porter "The Blue Circle". Both loco's are currently out of service and undergoing work, though "Sir Gomer"s has taken much, much longer than anticipated. The Peckett does however now sport Injector Clacks, Vacuum Equipment, Steam Pipes and many more fittings; progress at least! Plans are afoot to have the ex-Mountain Ash beast ready for service just as 5542 leaves us; here's hoping. If not, no doubt something else will be brought in to fill the gap in the ranks, particularly as now we only possess a B1 tender which, without the front, is a little pricarious to drive/fire, let alone haul a train with! I believe "Blue Circle" to be undergoing gearing work, allowing her to return to service as "Fergus" for the Thomas events of April. With one more look at 5542, I left the shed, shut the door and proceeded back down to my car. I then drove through the quiet yet muddy Fen Lane's, through Market Bosworth, Far Coton and on to Shenton. There, in the distance, I could see the P-Way train (the Class 04 Shunter & 3 wagons) sitting on the bank in the Shenton Lane area, as predicted. Below, here is the stretch of track we worked today, between four of us, rails all freshly cut, moved and ready for drilling...
This section runs from Market Bosworth to Shenton; a distance of around 1.75 miles. Though the line here was laid only 20 years ago, its make-up is a bit odd. Most of the track panels here came from an Oil Refinery system. Therefore, they are mostly short lengths of track, meaning alot more joints for the same distance travelled. Afterall, they were once only sidings! Over the last few years, the joints have been slowly getting worse and, though none were dangerous, improvement is always welcome. Therefore, this winter, the rails are being sawn to eradicate the 'impact section' (the end of the rail where the train wheels always strike and flatten). Then, the rails are moved down by man power alone, still in the Chair's and rather heavy! Next, the rails are drilled, re-fishplated and greased, before being settled and given clearance to use. This should eradicate alot of drop joints, giving a smoother run over better track. "See", P-Way has its uses (even if it is back-breaking!). Today, four of us managed to undo, saw and move 6 or 7 rails; no mean fete I tell you! "Phew"! Even so, a very worthwhile little day and I left at 3:30pm before collapsing on the sofa at home and dropping off for a few hours...that was a tiring day! Thanks all. Good Evening...

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Dining The "Elizabethan" On The GCR...

Hi everyone. Firstly, apologies for the lateness of this post's appearance (21/1/11) but I've been very busy! Today was a very special one; our first Dining Experience on the famous Great Central Railway at Loughborough. We were to travel on the Sunday "Elizabethan", departing Loughborough at 1:15pm for a steam hauled return run to Leicester North and back; a journey of approximately 16 miles. The "Elizabethan" name derives back to BR days, remembering a train that used to run between Kings Cross and Edinburgh non-stop. Today, the GCR's "Elizabethan" offers a Silver Service 4-course meal, served in luxury on board a fully restored steam hauled train. Arriving at Loughborough at around 12:45pm, we walked down the station steps and onto the platform. There, in front of us, our train, headed by recently-overhauled LMS Black 5 No45305, stood waiting...
There were 7-coaches in the rake behind the '5'. Of those 7, three were Dining Cars and of those three, one was a beautiful newly-restored Pullman Coach from the railway's recently-released "Cromwell" set. Luckily enough, we were to travel on this beautiful coach. Below, the steam-heated train stands waiting with the Red Carpet laid out to the far door of the "Cromwell Pullman"...
Whilst the '5' stood waiting for departure time, my mother and brother headed into the Waiting Room to stand by the open fire. I myself took a quick walk around the yard. In the Freight Loop, John Cameron's Gresley K4 2-6-0 No61994 "The Great Marquess" stood cold and quiet...
The GCR shed is now that packed that they can't seem to get any more loco's in. Therefore, many engines, such as the K4, seem to be often left outside. She is a very attractive machine and will taking part in the 2011 Winter Gala at the GCR in three weeks time; which I will be attending! Though a little dirty and work-stained, 61994 does look the part. Meanwhile, over the way, another well-known locomotive stood cold and rusty. John Kennedy's Hall No4953 "Pitchford Hall", having now left Tyseley, stood over in the storage road. Last time I saw 4953 at the GCR a few years back, she was in pristine condition. But now, allas, she's been outside for a good while and is looking a little tired. However, even today, a gang of her supporters had begun an attack of cleaning in an attempt to clean the Hall up ready for her appearance at the WG in three weeks. Below, a rusty "Pitchford Hall" stands cold whilst a cleaner attacks the Drivers-side window...
Also spotted down in the yard was the old Robinson GCR 8K/LNER 04 2-8-0, or 'R.O.D'. Now she really is a beautiful Edwardian machine! Unfortunately, due to a spate of recent thefts, the GCR shed is now off limits to the roaming enthusiast; some people ruin all the fun! With departure time fast approaching, I returned to the platforms to rejoin my family and to board the "Elizabethan"...
Having walked up the Red Carpet, we took our seats in the luxurious, newly-restored "Cromwell Pullman" with the table set for the meal...
After a brief introduction from the smartly-dressed stewards, we ordered drinks. The Guest Ale wasn't bad at all ;) ...
At 1:15pm sharp, 45305 sounded her Stanier hooter before taking us carefully out of Loughborough and onto the double-track mainline to Rothley via Quorn. Passing Woodthorpe, soup was served with warm rolls; beautiful. The "Elizabethan" always makes a brief stop on the viaduct over Swithland Resovoir, allowing guests to take in the view and to stretch the journey a little more. Below, the warm sun reflects down onto the freezing waters of Swithland...
Soon after, the main course was served with all the beef and vegetables you could eat; good service or what?!...
Below, a zoomed shot of the GCR logo threaded into the headrest covers...
After the stop at Swithland, 45305 took us to Rothley before continuing on the single-track to Leicester North. At Rothley, we passed a rather dirty-looking Small Prairie; the South Devon's No5526, working in 'Auto' mode with her 'Autocoach' (filling in for the DMU). Cleaning seems a little slack here sometimes but I have absolutely no quarms about the condition of 45305; she is a beautifully kept engine indeed. Leicester North soon beckoned and we halted to allow the beautiful '5' to join the other end of the train. Once ran round, 45305 hauled us tender-first back towards Loughborough, passing the Prairie again at Swithland. On the return run, pudding was served; a lovely sponge with hot custard; yum! Following that, and another pint or two of the Guest(!), we had a nice cuppa' with mints to complete the meal...
Having drank our hot drinks, Loughborough soon beckoned, as did the end of our "Elizabethan" experience. The smartly-dressed stewards assembled at the doorway to see us off the train and we thanked them for their great service. Walking back across to the other platform, I was just in time to see 45305 run through. Below, a nice shot with little exhaust of Black 5 No45305 "Alderman A E Draper"...
For your interest, 45305 was built by Armstrong-Whitworth of Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1936. The beautiful Five lasted through the LMS and to the very end of BR steam in August 1968, when she withdrawn from Lostock Shed; the feature of last year's WG. 45305 was sold for scrap to Albert Draper's of Hull. Alderman A E Draper saved the loco, simply because it was the cleanest of three Black 5's in the yard. Even today, the loco is still owned by the scrapyard(!) but is looked after by the 5305 Locomotive Association. The loco has since been steamed many times and undergone a couple of good overhauls. Today, she is still a beautiful piece of LMS machinery and is seen here at Loughborough...
Finally, we see the GCR logo and contact details on the back of the drinks menu...
All in all, this was a fantastic day out and the "Elizabethan" is well worth a try; really fantastic meal and great service. Thank you very much to the GCR for a great day out to celebrate my belated 19th Birthday (27th Dec!). Thanks for reading folks. Good Evening...

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Steam Up at Ryton...

Hi everyone. Today I was up at Ryton from 11:30am until 3pm, checking out the first Steam Up of 2010. During the day, I drove all three of the operating locomotives: Pannier "Victoria", a Butch and an electric model of the London Transport engine, "Sarah Siddons". It was very cold and the wind was chill. Even so, the sun shone overhead through the clear blue sky. Later in the day, I left the RPMR for home, getting ready for our Dining Experience on the "Elizabethan" at the GCR tomorrow. Only a short one today, thanks for reading folks. Good Evening...

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Last Chance on 5786 at Shackerstone...

Hi everyone. This morning, after a phonecall yesterday, I was rostered to be the training fireman on Pannier Tank No5786 at Shackerstone. This engine, from the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh, will be returning home in the next few weeks after her 3-month visit. During this time, I've done 2 days firing on the loco, the 3rd time being today. As well as this, I've carried out considerable maintainence on the loco with the rest of the team. Anyhow, today, 5786 was rostered for three simple trips in celebration of the recent New Year. The crew consisted of Driver Adrian Aylward and Fireman Bruce Murray, both avid volunteers on the huge mainline-certified 94xx Pannier No9466. With the first train sheduled for 11:30am, the sign-on time wasn't until 6:30am/7am; this gave me a little more time to get to Shack. Arriving in the Saxo, I opened the gates and drove along the dark, frosty driveway. Once parked, I made my way to the Signing On room and then onwards to the shed. Inside, I found the loco and the rest of the crew. She was already lit and slowly warming up, which gave us time for a quick cuppa'. By 8:30am, the loco was outside...
Throughout prep, Adrian was oiling round whilst Bruce kept on top of the fire and I cleaned. Though 5786 had been used the day before, she was still pretty much gleaming from our mammoth cleaning session on Friday (just as well as a whole loco, including cab brass, is alot to clean when short-staffed!). By 10am, the beautiful black Pannier was ready. By now, Adrian had had to put a hole in the fire and keep the boiler pretty much full to keep the loco quiet: alot of time spent on shed with a good fire means lots of heat and no steam usage! Therefore, once the loco was clean and ready, we planned to set off and get some of the steam used! After another cuppa', we washed our hands and got changed before rejoining the loco. Bruce then informed me that I would be firing for the day, leaving him to stand in the corner and share the driving with Adrian. Whilst I did protest to Bruce not 'having a go', I'm more than willing to fire all day; its just a shame we didn't have 5 trips instead of 3! Up on the loco, I took off the handbrake whilst Adrian held her on the Steam Brake. With Bruce down on the Ground Frame and the road set, everything was clear. Brake off and whistle sounded, 5786 rolled easily down through the creaky pointwork and around the tight blades into Platform 1. Road reset, we went over onto Platform 2 to the Water Tower. Below, I keep a look out from the shining Pannier as we approach the 'mark' for the column...
By now, I had filled in the hole in the fire to produce more steam. Even moving off shed had brought the pressure down from 190-160psi. But, don't fear, a Western doesn't take long to come back round! Once watered, we buffered up to the short 4-coach train (bit of a change from the 7 we had on over the Santa's!). 5786 was soon coupled up and steam heating the coaches. I then went off to grab us some bacon butties for sustainence! Upon my return, the time was quickly rolling around so we ate our bacon before preparing for departure. Soon I was making the fire up. The best way to fire a Western, so is the belief, is to keep a thick back end in the box with a thinner fire towards the front. As a Pannier has a flat grate, the best thing seems to be to create a level fire across the bars. This gives equal heat throughout. After checking for holes, we build up the back end, particularly around the back corners and under the firehole door. Probably around 6 shovelfull's is best put here. As the flames build up around the door, it is clear that the fuel has ignited and is burning well. Soon, we had the Right-of-Way and Adrian took us carefully out of Shackerstone on the first trip. With the front damper open to its 1st notch, 5786 steamed very well with doors open and the flap up. The trick here is to balance the primary and secondary air flow through the fire. If the dampers are open too far or a hole is present, you hear a distinct whirring sound. Luckily, my fire seemed right at this point! With little distress, with made it to Shenton with ease and on time...
Without delay, we ran 5786 round and prepared for the 12:05pm departure northwards. I was of course firing again. I built up the back end and threw 2 shovelfull's either side of the front end too: holes had formed here as the fire cooled on the coast into Shenton. I then partially shut the doors and opened the back damper 1-notch, leaving the front one shut of course. (We always work back to front with the dampers!). The return run was a little more brisk with the 10mph speed restriction having been lifted at Airport Bridge near Carlton. This was the first time I'd been through there at 25' during my Shackerstone volunteering, which began in Jan 07'! (Long time that slack has been there!). Running round and watering at Shack was kept brisk so that we could afford 10-minutes break before our next departure at 1pm. However, we were soon off again! This time, the loco steamed even easier, having fully warmed-up during the first trip. The fire was now set correctly and was burning well. It seems that if you keep a good back in a Western then you can't go wrong; mind you, I wouldn't say don't fire the front of the King's grate going up Whiteball on 11 coaches! 5786 does steam very well and this seemed testament to how easily I worked; I didn't even break a sweat! A poor steaming engine would keep you on your toes all day, but on 5786 it was relaxation. Fellow CMES member Eddie, who was up during the day working in the loco shed, commented especially on the fact that I was sitting ("Yes, sitting!") in the Fireman's Seat as we arrived into Shack on the 2nd run; it was just too easy! After Watering again, we buffered up for our 3rd and final run, the 2:30pm. Below, Dave has captured me on the Fireman's side whilst preparing for departure...
The third run came around just as quick as the last and we were soon off again. Here, I check the road ahead as we chug out of Shackerstone on this chilly winter's day...
5786 performed faultlessly once again and we were soon at Shenton preparing to come back for the final time! For the final return run, the main trick is to keep the fire as low as possible whilst also retaining steam pressure. However, at Shenton, there is still time to get the mass down so we fire as normal. Chugging out of Shenton up the bank, 5786 ran easily with the dampers shut and the doors cracked. She was a dream. Dropping into Bosworth I had the injector running and the doors wide, checking the fire when I could. A few more shovelfull's around the back end got us up through Carlton without hitch and before long Hedley's (just over a mile from Shack) dawned on the horizon. As we slowed for the 10mph slack, I checked the fire once more and had the ultra-reliable Swindon injector on again. With just one more shovelfull on the fire to cover a hole on the left-centre side, I shut the doors, opened both dampers (to clear the fire) and let her go. 5786 chugged happily away from the slack and back up to line speed. Adrian didn't thrash her, she just ran along effortlessly. When I heard the "shutting off!" call, I opened the doors and shut both dampers asap. We then descended, injector on, into Shack with 180psi on the clock and decreasing; just right! I was very pleased with myself for not over-firing! Once hitched off, we steamed into the North End. Below, (trainee) Fireman Sam Brandist looks out from the Fireman's side on Pannier Tank No5786 as she crosses into the North End at Shackerstone (tongue in cheek or what?!)...
It wasn't long before we were back on shed and myself and Bruce then took turns raking what was left of the fire. There was still a bit but not a massive amount. We discovered a little clinker in the back-right corner but this didn't seem to hinder her at all; though we removed it anyway! We then cleared out the cab and filled up the loco on both Swindon injectors. As the pressure decreased, we were sure that 5786 was ready to leave for the night. I am very thankful to both Bruce and Adrian for such a fantastic day. It may have been a simple service but I would even go so far as to say that this was my best Shackerstone turn ever as I fired all day with no cause for concern. It really felt like I was passed out; maybe one day, ay?! Thank you so much to you both and thank you Carl for the turn mate! Not forgetting Mr D.Hanks for again providing photographs for this post! Finally, thanks to 5786: a beautiful machine, I'll be very sad to see her go. With that, I think thats enough for this post folks...Thank you for reading, Goodnight...

Saturday, 1 January 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR, on The RPMR...

Hello everyone, and a very Happy New Year to you all! Today, to bring in 2011, I was out and about on the 5" gauge Ryton Pool Miniature Railway. Even though the wind was howling and the air was chill, the railway was still planning to run its 'New Year Special'; from Midday until 3pm. Privately-owned 57xx Pannier Tank "Victoria" was rostered for the steam service, with the club's Class 37 electric standing in on a 2nd train. The day's passengers came in waves; sometimes there were many, sometimes there were none. However, the two loco's still gave stalwart performances. I carried out loading, unloading and Guard duties at differing points throughout the afternoon. Though we were working, the wind was still very cold indeed and therefore the many cups of tea provided were very, very welcome! Later in the day, with the 57xx having retired, we started the Petrol-Hydraulic which I drove on its two trips of the afternoon. This engine, though a little on the ugly side, is a very powerful machine and the warmth of her cab is always welcome on days like this! By 3:30pm, we began packing away with a total of 130-odd passengers having travelled throughout the afternoon. This was, indeed, a very worthwhile New Years Day. Thanks all, Good Evening...