A lovely sunny day at Beamish open air museum, yesterday, and I was there early enough to catch this young footplateman oiling up Puffing Billy; in readiness for her day hauling museum visitors along the ‘Pockerley Waggon Way’. The original Puffing Billy, this one is a ‘replica’, was, in 1813, the white heat of the technological revolution – the invention of the age. It took 125 years to get from this beam engine, mounted on wooden frames, and driving through a cog mechanism to the 126mph of No.4468 Mallard, in 1938. When compared with the speed of change since 1938, it seems as though progress moved at a snails pace for much of those 125 years.
In the 80 years since Mallard’s epic run, the steam locomotive is no longer powering the railway network, we’ve landed men on the moon, cure folks ailments with gene therapy, enjoy the benefits of a mobile phone network, 60″ plasma screen colour TV, and of course computing, the internet, and on line shopping for every conceivable item from anywhere on the planet. That’s quite some change in the span of one lifetime. And, of course, it ain’t over yet folks!!
Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics. They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.
The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway will still be available on Amazon – Below, is the link to it.