THIS weekend is a big one for steam railway enthusiasts and an even bigger one for Pinchbeck train buff Terry Pell.
The visit of Class A1 No 60163 Tornado to Nene Valley Railway from tomorrow through to Monday also marks Terry’s 30th anniversary as a volunteer there – and his final day as a fireman on the footplate.
“It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it, but you are breathing in the steam, you are shovelling in the coal and keeping your fire pretty well at temperature and the heat keeps you fit,” says 72-year-old Terry, whose grandfather Bob Sharman was a porter at Donington Road railway station. “It’s the job all boys want to do. You start as a cleaner and work your way up. I am finishing on Friday after 30 years because of my age.”
Various experiences have been arranged during the visit of Tornado, such as a driving experience course (booking required) tomorrow, a ride behind Tornado on the NVR between Saturday and Monday, and a meal in the club car on Monday (booking required).
Although Terry will no longer be a fireman on the engines, he will continue to be involved with NVR in a less taxing role along with his wife Judy. The husband and wife team also work voluntarily on the North Norfolk Railway, Terry as bar attendant on the North Norfolkman dining train.
This weekend also sees the opening of a 60ft long, 1920s coach Terry has spent four years renovating so it can be used to accommodate NVR volunteers.
Visit www.nvr.org.uk for further details.