Some very strange noises emanating from the House on Toot Corner. Richard, clearly concerned that the 8:22 from Cold Higham might be about to demolish his garage, went to investigate just what his neighbour was up to. There he found Steve, dressed in white slacks and jumper, nicely topped off with his stationmaster's cap, dashing around the track that runs through his garden clutching a device and pressing buttons wildly.
"What do'you think of the new sound system?" exclaimed Steve as he hurdled the platform and grabbed Biscuit (a large hobnob-coloured labrador).
"What did you say?" mouthed Richard, attempting to make himself heard above the din.
Steve lipread pretty successfully and went on to explain something about decibels and automatic effect transitions.
Richard looked impressed and stroked his beard or, at least, the place where he used to have a beard last year. Wobbling around the garden track was a huge train pulling several carriages. One button caused a loud whooshing noise, another a hoot that would attract even an owl with a headache. Then, came his pièce de resistance - the chuff . . chuff . .chufF chuFF . . chUFF . . CHUFF!! - which must have been audible across the whole village and may have even had the good ladies of Pattishall wondering whether they should bring down their leather trunks from the loft. One could almost see a flurry of handkerchieves dabbing tears and hear the theme from Brief Encounter.
The morning run was not the only outing for Stationmaster Steve's new gadget. There was a 21:40 departure too and that one definitely caused a stir amongst the wildlife as I could have sworn a bat was muttering something rude as it flew past me as I watched from a distance.
I can't wait to do the follow-up video to Big Train- Little People! Watch this space for more news on that as it has to be a must for the next Committee meeting!