Chesters, from another thread
Unfortunately myself by far his junior nearly croaked today carrying a concrete block a 100 yards to the dam (time was 2 were no problem) not only did my underpants fall down to my knees my trousers almost followed so i used that to get my breath back half way then cleverly let it fall into the water 2 feet behind the head bailiff (himself 85) overwhelming his wellies ,between us we can just make one decent worker lol
Can happen to anyone - it happened to me whilst Spey casting - fortunately whilst I was practicing on our lawn rather than standing in mid-river . Lesson learnt - belt and braces whilst wading, Incidentally, the best advice I ever had on wading was from my Icelandic host on the Nordura back in '95. "Dave, you are a brave wader - but not a good one !"
Anyway, Chester's adventure reminds me of a recent plea from one of my syndicates for two strong lads to collect some old railway sleepers and deliver to said syndicate. Now my sleeper-slinging days are well and truly over, but it was not always so.....
Back in my days as a volunteer footplateman I was rostered one January day to fire a "permanent way train" In detail, to chug up the line, stopping at intervals to pick up old sleepers that the permanent way gang had replaced as part of routine winter maintenance. It had been snowing since the sleepers had been flung into the cess - and freezing so the sleepers were encased in ice.
Every time we stopped, I got down to help lever the sleepers out of the ice and chuck them onto the sleeper wagon. (Firemen are expected to do EVERYTHING on this railway) My hands got quite blue
Eventually we had a full load and time to go home. Eagerly I climbed on the loco to the welcome warmth of the fire, seized the shovel to replenish the fire, swung a load to the front of the firebox, and..........
hands were not just blue, they were numb as well, so I lost my grip on the shovel and into the firebox it went./
Jock the driver and I just looked at each other in disbelief. Fortunately, we carried a spare in the toolbox (shovels occasionally break) so more cautious firing got us back home OK
Reported loss of shovel, expected a ribbing, but nothing was said.
I should have known better
That evening, the usual evening feast of curry (strong curry - we had would-be master-chefs in our ranks) was prepared in the locomen's lobby . Someone passed me a large plateful. i grabbed a spoon and set to.
As the first spoonful became gob-bound, the entire lobby shouted as one man
"DON'T LET GO OF THE SPOON DAVE"
They don't let anyone get away with anything on the Bluebell