Sudrian Winter Engines
Written by: ThomasZoey3000
As recalled back in 2010, I wrote up a book featuring the Fat Controller's engines in the winter. While they were pleased to have a book about their adventures, apart for James, there were others that were angry at me, namely Duncan. He was at the Talyllyn Railway workshops getting ready for his overhaul and when his Driver showed him that book, he flew into a rant and asked why weren't the other engines featured. The Thin Controller called me on the matter and I went to see Duncan, "I didn't mean to exclude all of you," I said to him, "I guess I was focusing alot on the North Western engine's own adventures that I didn't think of asking you if you had any adventures during that time." To help calm him down, I've written up this book featuring the other railways and the roadways of Sodor and included a story of Duncan before he went in for his overhaul. I hope this will make him happy.
-Duncan and the Snowstorm
-Mike the Snow Engine
-Bill Slips Up
-Trevor's Christmas Surprise
Duncan and the Snowstorm
December came, but it still felt like September to many as the weather was quite nice and warm. Duncan the Little engine didn't even notice, he wasn't feeling well as he puffed along the line with whatever train he had behind him.
"I feel like my boiler's going to burst," he groaned threw his teeth, "but Sir Handel says I'm making a mountain out of a molehole."
"I don't think you're making this up old boy," said his Driver, "everytime we do go out, you do lose alot of steam and we often have to stop you halfway threw the journey. I think your boiler is reaching the end of it's working life."
"Sounds like it's time for an overhaul for you Duncan," added the fireman.
It wasn't just them who were thinking that Duncan needed an overhaul. The Thin Controller and Mr. Hugh had noticed that Duncan wasn't performing as well as he used to and came to the same conclusion that he needed to go to the works as soon as possible.
However, it wasn't going to be happening at the Crovan's Gate works mostly because they were full of either engines under repair or were in for overhauls of their own. The Talyllyn Railway, where Duncan's own twin lives and works, had offered to take Duncan in and overhaul him and as a thank you, the Thin Controller said they could borrow Duncan for a month after the overhaul was complete.
Duncan was pleased with this, but not Sir Handel, "I should've been chosen to go to the Talyllyn Railway, I need an overhaul too."
"You had one three years ago Sir Handel," reminded Ivo Hugh, "they mended you quite well as I seem to recall you saying to us once."
"Besides, it's part of the deal the Thin Controller made with the Talyllyn Railway's own controller," said Skarloey, "they overhaul Duncan, then he helps out with their work for a whole month."
"Just for the record Duncan," Sir Handel piped up, "you might have to pull trucks too."
"That's fine," Duncan said with a smirk, which came as a surprise to Sir Handel and Ivo Hugh. Normally, Duncan doesn't like pulling trucks, but being given the chance to go to Wales like Peter Sam and Sir Handel before him, he didn't mind if he had to pull goods trains. "I can't wait to see Douglas again," he added.
"Douglas?" Ivo Hugh asked, "you mean the Scottish engine?"
"No not that Douglas, I was talking about my twin, he's the Talyllyn's own No 6, just like me. I haven't seen him since we were first built, so it'll be nice to meet up with him and catch up on old times."
"Who are you?" Ivo Hugh asked again, "and what have you done with our Duncan?"
Duncan pretended that he didn't hear that question and looked out a window, thinking of his trip to the Talyllyn Railway.
Several days later, the weather changed. Snow fell over night and by morning, the countryside was covered in white snow with more coming down, "bothersome snow," grumbled Sir Handel, "it's too cold to work in, I want to rest in the shed like Duncan."
"Duncan has to rest in the shed for safety reasons," said his Driver, "but you are in fine shape and don't need to stay in the shed."
"Do you want me to get the Thin Controller over here?" asked the fireman, "cause I can get him if you want me to."
"There's no need to do that," Sir Handel pleaded, "I'll behave."
And without another word, Sir Handel puffed out of the sheds and over to the yards. The fireman chuckled to the Driver, "that gets to him everytime, doesn't it?"
After collecting Millicent and Gertrude, Sir Handel puffed off to the station where Gordon was waiting with the passengers, "it's unfair when you think about it Gordon," Sir Handel said to him, "sensible express engines like our good selves shouldn't have to puff in this cold stuff."
"Well I'll admit I'm not too fond of the cold, it's not really that bad," said Gordon, then he added with a chuckle, "As long as you don't puff in a blizzard like a certain red engine I know did once."
"Thank goodness this isn't a blizzard then," Sir Handel muttered, but he still didn't like the snow.
Soon all the passengers from Gordon's coaches had climbed into Sir Handel's coaches, the guard blew the whistle and Sir Handel puffed slowly out of the station.
Sir Handel made good timing as he puffed along the line. He never once had a wheel slip and he had a good head of steam, but the cold didn't help his temper at all.
"It's cold and I don't like it, it's cold and I don't like it," he grumbled to himself.
At the end of the line, Sir Handel was uncoupled from his coaches and taken over to the water tower. The water felt cold as it flowed into his tank, "I wonder if this is what James felt that day," he groaned.
The fireman was also feeling the cold, despite wearing warm clothes.
"Please tell me that you got something warm in that cab," he shivered to the Driver.
"Yes and it's called Sir Handel's fire," he said.
"Very funny," the fireman said sarcastically.
It wasn't long before Sir Handel's tank was filled with the cold water. The fireman was relieved and climbed down after removing the water tower hose, but he was so focused on getting warmed up that he forgot to close the cap for Sir Handel's tank.
Unaware of this, Sir Handel was taken over to the station where he got coupled up to his coaches, then he departed after hearing the guard's whistle blow.
Everytime the wind blew aganist him, Sir Handel shivered uncomfortably, "too cold, too cold," he grunted threw his teeth.
Then there was trouble, Sir Handel began to slow down and his steam preasure decreased, "what's going on here?" asked the Driver, then he looked out the cab window and saw the cap for the water tank was not sitting on top of the tank, "I think you forgot to do something back at the station."
"What would that...uh oh, I forgot to put the cap back on," groaned the fireman, slapping his forehead hard.
And because he had forgotten to do that, the water in Sir Handel's tank had frozen and that's why he was losing steam preasure. Sir Handel struggled on as best as he could, but soon came to a stop on the main line.
"Well that's torn it, Sir Handel's not going anywhere with his tank completly full of ice," groaned the Driver, "guess we'll have to get help."
"And we better make it quick," said the fireman as he looked up to the now dark grey sky, "I think we're going to be getting another snowstorm in the next few minutes."
The Driver got out his mobile phone and phoned the Thin Controller's office, "don't worry Driver, we'll send help right away," said the Thin Controller.
After getting off the phone, he went out to the yards to speak with Mr. Hugh, "Sir Handel's stranded out on the main line," he said, "are there any engines available that can help him?"
Mr. Hugh shook his head, "I'm afraid not sir," he said, "the other engines are all out with their own jobs, except one..."
He looked back to the sheds, "can Duncan help?"
"I don't know sir," said Mr. Hugh, "he could break down and then we would need help for two engines - on the other hand though, it might be hours before the next engine comes to the yards and from the looks of the storm that's coming in, Sir Handel and those passengers don't have hours."
"Agreed," the Thin Controller sighed as he looked up to the dark clouds, then he looked back to the sheds, "get Duncan fired up and send him to the rescue."
Duncan was snoozing when Mr. Hugh and the Thin Controller came into the shed, "hello sirs," he yawned, "has the lorry arrived yet?"
"Not yet Duncan," said the Thin Controller, "and that's not the reason we woke you up," he then told Duncan about the water in Sir Handel's tank freezing, "I know you need the rest, but we can't let the passengers down right?"
"Right sir," said Duncan.
"So will you help out Duncan?"
"Of course I will," he said with a determined smile.
It didn't take long for Mr. Hugh to light the fire, then once Duncan had a full head of steam, he and the Thin Controller took Duncan out of the sheds and out to the open main line.
By the time they reached Sir Handel, the snow was falling down harder than it was before.
"You'll do anything to get out of working in the snow won't you Sir Handel?" Duncan asked cheekily.
Sir Handel pulled a face, but didn't say a single word, he was too cold to say anthing anyways.
By the time Duncan had been coupled up, the snowstorm was at it's worst, "okay Duncan, it's not going to be easy to get back to the yards," the Thin Controller said to him, "and we know you're not feeling well, so don't strain yourself and do your best okay?"
"I'll do my best sir," said Duncan.
With a toot of his whistle, Duncan was on his way. It wasn't easy for Duncan, his steam preasure often dropped and the snow made it difficult to see a single thing, but Duncan was determined.
"If Peter Sam can manage in a huge thuderstorm and Edward can make it home with no siderods, I can surely do this," Duncan thought to himself and put a little more effort into his puff. He struggled on, feeling as though his boiler would burst, but he kept on turning his wheels until at long last, they reached the junction where Edward was waiting for the passengers.
"Well done Duncan, well done!" cheered Edward and his crew in unison.
Despite the fierce storm, the passengers came to the front of the train and thanked the men and Duncan, "it was nothing," Duncan said modestly, "we couldn't just leave you out in the snowstorm, as Duke would say, it would never suit his Grace."
After a few minutes rest, Duncan puffed away with the coaches and Sir Handel.
Once in the yards, he shunted the coaches into the coach shed, then he and Sir Handel went back into their shed. When they arrived, they found some of the other engines all waiting for them, they cheered loudly for Duncan and told him how proud they were of him.
"I'm also proud of you Duncan," said the Thin Controller, "despite not feeling your best, you went to the rescue and helped Sir Handel and the passengers home. I'd say you've come a long way since you first came here."
"Thank you sir," Duncan smiled.
"Now get some rest, you're going to need it, cause as soon as that lorry gets here, you're going to the Talyllyn," the Thin Controller said cheerfully. Duncan just smiled and once his fire had been dropped, he went to sleep while the men worked on melting the ice in Sir Handel's tank.
Mike the Snow Engine
Many people think that the Small Railway engines don't work in the winter, but that's not true at all. Although there aren't many passengers on their trains, there are still ballast and goods runs to keep them busy so there's never a moment's rest for the engines. Mike doesn't mind the work considering he loves to pull ballast trucks all the time and not even snow can stop him from doing his work.
A couple of nights after the big snowstorm, Mike was backing into the sheds slowly. His Driver went to apply the brakes, but found that they weren't working properly.
"Stop!" Mike cried, "Stop!"
"I'm trying," groaned the Driver.
Try as he might, he couldn't get Mike to stop and the little red engine's tender went bashing into the back wall with a bang. Mike hadn't been going too fast to cause any serious damage, but his tender had come off the rails after hitting the wall.
"Ow!" groaned Mike.
"Are you trying to be a figure skater Mike?" Rex asked cheekily, "this is the perfect time of the year for you to become one."
"Shut up Rex!" snapped Mike, "that was not funny."
"Faulty brakes never are funny," said Blister II, one of the maintenance diesels, "you should probably tell the Small Controller before you end up running away like Thomas did."
"Or smash threw the buffers like Douglas did," added Bert.
"He won't need to go to the workshops," said Mike's Driver, "I'll fix Mike's brakes here and now."
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?" Lucas asked with a concerned look on his face.
"Of course I know what I'm doing," answered the Driver, "I was working in the Crovan's Gate workshops long before I became Mike's Driver, I worked on dozens of steam engines, so these brakes shouldn't be a problem for me to deal with."
Lucas wasn't enterily sure about that, "I have a feeling that Mike might get into trouble because of this," he thought to himself.
He had every right to worry, it had been at least eleven years since Mike's Driver had officially worked on a steam engine's brakes and overtime, he had forgotten on how to do the work, but that wasn't going to stop him.
The next day, Mike was puffing back to the yards with loaded ballast trucks. His brake handle had been very stiff, but the brakes had worked perfectly throughout the day.
"See Lucas," the Driver called as they passed him, "I told you that I knew what I was doing."
"Only time will tell for sure," muttered the small engine to himself.
Mike had no trouble throughout the day, but during each run, the Driver found that the brake handle got stiffer with each use. Finally at the end of the day, the Driver brought a tired Mike back to the sheds and braked him to a stop with some space in between his tender and the wall.
"That brake handle sure has been stiff today," the Driver thought to himself, "I should probably fix that up."
But then he noticed that Mike was fast asleep. The Driver didn't feel like disturbing Mike's sleep, so he decided to leave that bit of work for tomorrow. He put out the fire, then he headed off for home, but what he didn't know was that he hadn't put the fire out completely, nor did he know that the brakes hadn't been applied probably. They were due to find out soon though.
Bert was sleeping when he heard steam wheesing from somewhere in the shed, "who's up?" he asked with a yawn, "it's far too late to be doing any work."
"It's Mike," Lucas whispered to Bert, "he's still in steam and he's moving."
Bert opened his sleepy eyes a little more and saw that Mike was indeed moving. His fire had built up since the Driver left and with his brakes off, the steam in his pistons were now turning his wheels.
"Mike! Wake up Mike!" Bert shouted.
But Mike was in a sound sleep and didn't hear them, nor did he feel the shed doors when he bashed into them and rolled out onto the open main line.
"I knew it was only a matter of time before something happened to Mike," said Lucas.
Bert and Blister II, who had been woken up by the crash at the door, both shouted out to Mike, but it was no use. Mike was rolling away and soon he had disappeared from their view.
When the crews arrived next morning, Mike's Driver was surprised to find that his engine was nowhere to be seen, "Where did he go?" he asked in surprise.
"He rolled away last night," said Lucas, "you didn't put out the fire properly and I don't think his brakes were on properly."
"Oh no," groaned the Driver, slapping his forehead hard.
Bert's Driver walked over to his engine, "come on boy, we better go find Mike and see if he's gotten into trouble."
Once his fire had been built up, Bert puffed out of the sheds and out onto the main line. They puffed along, shouting out Mike's name, "do you see him yet?" asked the Driver.
"Not yet," said Bert, "it's amazing how far an engine can go with faulty brakes and with a relit fire."
They continued their search until they reached the Green, the sight of Rex's accident.
They found Mike underneath the bridge, still fast asleep and covered in snow that had fallen down on top of him the night before, "well Rex always says that Mike is a hard sleeper," muttered Bert.
"At least the snow stopped him and put out his fire," said the Driver, "but we can't leave him here, we better get him up."
Bert's Driver sounded the whistle loud and long, which finally got Mike up.
"Huh? What? Is it morning already...hey, what am I doing outside and covered in snow?"
"Long story Mike, we'll explain on the way back," Bert said to him.
Using a strong chain, Bert pulled his hardest until Mike finally came out of the snowdrift, then they set off back to the yards.
Mike's Driver and the Small Controller were waiting back at the yards for them. They were shivering as they stood there, but finally, Bert arrived with Mike in tow.
Rex, who was waiting with an empty ballast train, saw them coming in and laughed, "what's so funny?" Mike grunted threw his teeth.
"You look like Jolly old Saint Nick with your red paint and all that snow on you," he chuckled. Mike growled crossly, "okay maybe not jolly."
The Small Controller walked up to Mike, "I'm glad to see you're not hurt Mike, but I am confused as to how you escaped in the middle of the night."
"It's my fault sir," owned up Mike's Driver and explained everything, "but I thought Mike would've been okay," he finished.
"While I appreciate your enthusiasm, it's better if you just leave this kind of work to the workmen in the shops. Your Do-it-yourself repair work will only land you in trouble as we see now with Mike being a snow engine."
"I understand sir and I'm sorry," apologized the Driver.
"Apology accepted," the Small Controller then turned his attention back to Mike, "once that snow has been cleared off you, you can go into the workshops to have those brakes of yours fixed."
"Wait sir," Rex piped up cheekily, "why not leave Mike like that? I think the children who visit would love to see a real life snow engine."
"Oh shut up Rex!" Mike snapped crossly threw his chattering teeth.
Bill Slips Up
Based on the Season 9 Episode "Keeping Up with James"
Work at the china clay works had decreased with the arrival of the winter season. Ben didn't seem to mind as he was always taking the china clay trains while Bill stayed in his shed, "it's not fair," he grumbled to Ben one night in their sheds, "I don't want to stay in the shed all the time, I want to get back to work."
"I thought you'd be used to staying in the shed all the time," chuckled Ben, "considering all the trouble you get yourself into."
Bill was about to protest, but went silent as the china clay pits manager came in to see the twins, "Bill, I know you've been stuck in the shed ever since the snow came, but I have found some suitable work for you to do," he said, "the Ffarquhar branch line's harbour is getting busy with the winter season and they need another engine to help out with the heavy workloads."
"Since Toby is still in the workshops," he continued, "I have suggested that you could go work there for a bit, would you like that?"
"Oh yes sir, I would like that greatly," Bill said proudly.
The following next morning, Bill was loaded onto a flatbed, then after Kristy had shunted him onto BoCo's train, he was sent out on his way to the junction for the branch line.
Upon arrival, he was given a grand welcome from Thomas, but he still gave Bill a firm warning, "watch out for those trucks down at the harbour. You play any tricks on them and they'll pay you out."
"Oh you don't need to worry about me Thomas," Bill said proudly, "I think I know how to handle trucks."
"We'll soon see," Thomas muttered.
After Bill had been unloaded from the flatbed and his fire had been lit, he set off towards the harbour. Percy was hard at work when Bill arrived, he quickly told him of what he had to do and soon the two engines were working proudly around the harbour yards and having a great afternoon.
There was alot of work that needed to be done and by the time the engines were done, it was already nighttime.
"Good thing we're done for the night," sighed Bill's Driver as he parked him into the Ffarquhar branch line sheds, "we're suppose to be getting freezing rain tonight and it wouldn't be safe for us to be working during that time."
"Indeed not," agreed the fireman, "we'd probably slide right into the water."
They put the fire out, then they set off for a good night's rest. Bill's driver was indeed correct about the freezing rain, it came later that evening making snowdrifts harder than they should be and forming ice on the roads and on the rails.
By morning, a special sanding train had to be called upon to place more sand on the rails, but it couldn't be everywhere at once, so everyone had been warned to take it easy out on the line.
"I don't know what they're so worried about," Bill said to his Driver as they made their way to the harbour station, "it's just a little ice, it can't hurt anyone."
"Have you forgotten about BoCo's accident a couple of years ago?" asked the Driver, "he crashed into a snowdrift after some foolish boys froze the points with water, which made ice."
Bill had indeed forgotten about that accident, but still he continued on at the same speed he was going at.
His driver was worried and began to apply the brakes, but with thick ice on the rails, it made stopping impossible and Bill went sliding along the rails, "Stop! Stop!" cried the Driver.
But Bill wasn't panicked, he found the slide to be alot of fun.
"Yipee!" he cheered as he slid along the line.
Finally he stopped as he pulled up to the station, "you silly little engine, that was dangerous!" cried his Driver, "you know the rails are covered in ice and it's not safe."
Bill just pouted, "it's not completely dangerous, it's fun! You're just being a fuddy duddy."
"I most certainly am not, I'm concerned for our safety! Now enough of this silliness and don't you try to do that again."
But Bill wasn't listening, he wanted to have more fun and had decided to try sliding again later that day.
He behaved quite well during the shunting and again when he was arranging trucks into a long train. When his shunting was complete, he took the trucks away for Mavis, who'd be waiting for them. As he puffed along with the trucks, he started to pick up speed, much to his crew's dismay, "slow down Bill!" they shouted and tried to apply his brakes, but Bill payed no attention to them.
"You're just being a bunch of fuddy duddies!" he chuckled as he slid along.
Further up the line, Mavis was waiting with her loaded stone trucks. She was waiting patiently when suddenly she heard screeching brakes and shouting, "that sounds like Bill," she thought to herself, "something must be wrong."
It was Bill, he came screeching into the station with brakes still screeching and finally coming to a stop.
"Is everything alright Bill?" Mavis asked, "did the trucks push you too fast?"
"Everything's perfect," he smiled and he told Mavis about his slide, "you should try it, it's alot of fun...as long as you don't have a fuddy duddy crew."
"I would never do that," Mavis said firmly, "I know it's too dangerous, I'd be frightened if I went on a slide."
"I think you've been spending too much time with Toby, he's made you into a cautious silly engine," Bill chuckled.
Mavis pulled an angry face as Bill shunted her trucks into place, then went to get the loaded trucks. On the way back to the harbour, the crew spoke firmly with him, "you've been lucky so far that we haven't gotten into a serious accident," his Driver said to him, "but your luck won't last forever, so please stop sliding!"
But Bill wasn't going to give up his sliding habit, he wanted to do it again and he thought it would be good to try it out at the harbour. He was soon to regret his decision.
He went even faster along the line, his crew tried to slow him down again, but he refused to obey them till it was too late. Finally his brakes came on and he skidded along the rails, but he was going too fast to stop properly, "oh dear," he groaned, "I didn't plan on this."
Adams was nearby and saw, to his horror, Bill sliding past and heading towards the buffers at the end of the line, "Stop Bill! Stop!" he cried.
"I'm trying! I'm trying!" he shouted.
The guard in his brake van also applied his brakes, but despite their best efforts, Bill couldn't stop and went crashing threw the buffers. The Driver and fireman jumped out of the cab and watched in horror as their engine went off the edge of the docks and into the water.
"Yeow!" Bill cried, "the water is freezing cold!"
Several of the trucks went off the edge with him while others remained on the rails or on the dockside. Adams' Driver called for help and soon Thomas arrived with the breakdown train. He and Adams moved the trucks out of the way, then with the two cranes, they lifted Bill out of the water. He was cold, wet and felt very uncomfortable.
"Well Bill, was that fun?" his Driver asked him firmly.
"No...it wasn't, it was...c...cold," he shivered threw his teeth.
"This is what we were telling you earlier, sliding can fun at times, but it can be more dangerous than you think. I can only hope you learn a lesson from all this."
Bill did indeed learn his lesson and told this to the Fat Controller when he came to speak with Bill, "I won't go sliding again sir, I promise."
"I sure hope you don't," said the Fat Controller firmly, "I'll let you off with a warning Bill, but if you do something like this again, I'll send you back to the china clay pits and you can stay in the shed throughout the rest of the winter season."
Bill was true to his word, he worked hard and promised never to slide again, cause he certainly doesn't want another cold bath.
Trevor's Christmas Surprise
Every year, the Vicar of Wellsworth holds an annual Christmas party with a special surprise for all the people who come. The surprise is always different every year, so no one can guess just what it will be.
"I wonder what the Vicar's got planned for the party this year," Trevor was saying to his Driver one winter's morning.
"Well whatever it is, it's going to quite an interesting surprise, just like it is every year," smiled his Driver as he built up Trevor's fire, "but there's one thing I can never figure out."
"And what would that be?"
"I don't know where he keeps coming up with these ideas."
Trevor chuckled quietly and steamed out to do his work. His job that day was to cut up wood from some fallen trees that had blown over during the snowstorm. Trevor enjoyed the work, especially since he was working close to the railway and he could speak with the engines that stopped near the vicarage orchard.
BoCo soon came into view and stopped near to where Trevor was working, "hello BoCo, how are you doing?" Trevor asked kindly.
"Terrible," groaned BoCo, "that lorry they brought in to help with the china clay loads is making a misery out of our work and he says we're old fashioned and need to be replaced."
Whilst Bill was away helping at the harbour on Thomas' branch line, the china clay manager had hired a lorry to help with china clay loads when there was too much for Ben to take alone. Although it was a hard worker, it was quite rude and so was it's Driver. They would insult the older engines and workers, and would disobey some of the rules if they thought they were no fun.
"That lorry and that Driver of his have gotten themselves into a few mishaps already since they started work at the pits," BoCo said to Trevor, "but they don't seem to learn from their mistakes, they just get worse."
"Sounds like a pair of horrid characters to me," said Trevor.
"They are indeed and if I were you Trevor, I'd be careful on the roads cause you don't know when that lorry and his Driver will pop out of nowhere and try to run you off the road."
While BoCo was telling this to Trevor, Bertie the Bus was travelling down the road with many happy passengers riding on board. The joyful ride though wasn't going to last for too long as they heard loud honking coming from behind them.
"Who's that honking at us?" Bertie asked.
His Driver looked and saw that a fully loaded lorry full of china clay was overtaking them and honking it's horn at them. The Driver seemed to be angry at them. He shook his fist at them and shouted, "get off the roads you old timers!"
While he was doing this, he wasn't paying attention to what he was doing and nearly drove into Bertie's side. Bertie's Driver turned the wheel to avoid any scrapes, but ended up sending Bertie off the road.
The driver checked to see if any of the passengers were hurt, some were shaken from the ordeal, but there were no serious injuries.
The lorry didn't stop, he just continued on his way, "Road hog!" Bertie called angerily.
Over the next few days, the lorry and his Driver had other close calls with other cars, buses and lorries and soon the lorry was nicknamed 'Hog' considering that he acted just like one.
Then on the day of the Christmas party, the Vicar of Wellsworth asked Hog and his Driver to pick his special surprise from the docks of Brendam.
They were told to take great care with the surprise, but they were in a hurry and wanted to get the job done quickly. They barked orders at the 'Old timers' as they called everyone else and tried to hurry them up.
"You go any slower and I'll be missing this Christmas and the next one," grumbled the Driver.
"Just be patient!" snapped one of the dock workers, "we'll have you loaded up in no time."
It took a little more time than they had thought, but soon the Vicar's surprise was tied down on the back of the lorry. But instead of saying 'thank you' for their efforts, Hog and his Driver shouted in unison, "it's about time!" and drove away quickly.
They drove on quickly down the roads, passing other vehicles as though they were standing still. They were having a grand time, but the fun was soon to come to an end when they came up behind a slow moving lorry with fragile cargo. Hog's Driver sounded the horn loudly, "move out of the way old timer!" he shouted, but the lorry ahead of them would not speed up. "Fine, we'll just go around you!"
He turned the stirring wheel and tried to race past the slow moving lorry, then there came trouble...
The slow moving lorry was turning to the left. Hog's Driver turned away from the other lorry and ended up driving Hog into a snowbank on the side of the road.
"Oof!" they cried in unison and stopped with a sudden jerk.
The other lorry stopped as quickly as it could, then the Driver climbed down and ran to see if Hog's Driver was okay, "why did you try to overtake me back there?" he asked the Driver.
"It's because you were going slowly, we had a delivery to make and we didn't want to be late, right Hog?" he asked his lorry.
The lorry's answer was muffled underneath the snow, so no one could hear him. The other lorry Driver shook his head and sighed unhappily, "what you did is dangerous youngster. You and your lorry are lucky that you didn't get seriously hurt or worse," he said firmly.
Hog's Driver didn't seem to care and turned his head away from the other Driver. The Other Driver sighed again and pulled out his mobile phone to call for help and phoned the vicarage to inform them of what was going on.
Emergency services soon came and lifted Hog out of the snowbank. Trevor also came with his trailer and offered to help, "it's kind of you to offer, but we got everything under control here," said one of the workers, "but if you want to help out, you can take their load to it's destination."
"Good thing we brought the trailer then," smiled Trevor's Driver.
With the help of the workers, the surprise load was placed onto Trevor's trailer and once it had been tied down, Trevor puffed slowly down the road, leaving the workers to deal with Hog and his Driver.
The Vicar was waiting by the Church for Hog and his Driver to arrive, "I hope everything's okay," he thought to himself and would often look down at his watch. Finally, he heard something coming down the road - but it wasn't a lorry's motor, it was a chugging sound, "Trevor?" And indeed it was Trevor, he was chugging up to the church with the surprise load still covered up on the back of his trailer.
"What happened to Hog?" he asked.
"Long story sir," sighed Trevor.
So while the men unloaded the surprise, Trevor told the Vicar about what happened to Hog, "well thank you for bringing it Trevor, I had a feeling that they would get into trouble with the way they were driving."
The men took off the tarpaulins, revealing the object underneath them. It looked like a church organ with lots of pipes sticking upwards from the back, "this is a calliope," said the Vicar, "with the aid of steam, it can play beautiful music."
"I remember seeing one of those things in my early days," said Trevor as he looked at it, "although I have to say, this one looks to be in better shape than the other ones I used to see."
"Well that's because I had it restored most recently," said the Vicar, "it was in rough shape when I found it in a scrap yard."
He then spoke to Trevor, "for this Christmas party this year, I would like you to play the calliope for everyone to hear."
Before anyone arrived, Trevor's driver connected a hose from Trevor to the calliope, then he build up the fire and made good steam preasure. Then when the people arrived for the party, Trevor blew off steam and made the calliope play. The music was beautiful and every one gathered round to hear it. Trevor was also enjoying the music, "this has got to be one of the best surprises we've ever had at this party," he said happily and everyone agreed happily with him.
As for Hog's Driver, his licence was taken away for reckless driving and he now works at the dockyards in an unhappily way. As for Hog himself, he sits in an impound lot at the police station, freezing as the cold winter winds blow aganist him. I bet now he wishes he hadn't been so silly.