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Well, here were are on Boxing Day of the strangest Christmas I’ve ever had – although it’s not been all bad by any means. As a Freelancer of 20 years standing I’ve got used to the fact that the office parties are shit! The compensation for that has been certain events with friends which are far more convivial and enjoyable as you’re actually spending time with people you want to. Only this year that’s not been possible so the festive season’s been anything but festive as even the bloody pubs are shut!

Despite all these travails we had a lovely Christmas Day with our ‘bubble’ – Dawn’s parents. We drove over to their home in Huddersfield where Dee and her mum prepared a fabulous Christmas meal. As there was only the four of us the day was really relaxed with the courses stretched over several hours – and it was delicious! We enjoyed a mixture of Duck and Turkey breast with all the trimmings plus a wonderful home-made dessert. Even the cat enjoyed himself. We didn’t want to leave the old boy at home alone so we took him with us. He sat on a cushion on my lap in the car on the way over and really seemed to enjoy the journey. He’s always been an inquisitive cat and loved gazing out of the window.

Today (Boxing Day) the pair of us have taken it easy at home. There’s been no pressure to go anywhere as there’s nowhere to go! Storm Bella has been fashionably late, which meant we managed to get out for a long walk through the local woods and along the canal before the rain and gales hit. I’m writing this just before midnight whilst listening to the wind and rain clobbering the bedroom window.

Which brings me on to the picture of the day. It may be Christmas, but I have managed to scan one or two old slides in the quieter moments. The batch I’m plowing my way through at the moment are from the very end of regular steam locomotive workings in India, way back in 2000. Sadly, I missed the final act by a couple of weeks. But I was in time to record the demise of the final main-line steam locomotive depot in India, which was at the wonderfully named Wankaner Junction, which is in the Gujarat, Western India. I’ll blog about this at length another time when I have all the pictures scanned. In the meantime, here’s the locomotive that hauled the last scheduled steam train in India.

Here’s YG Class 2-8-2 No 3360 (with headboard) dumped inside the shed at Wankaner Junction on the 12th February 2000 after having had its fire dropped for the very last time just a couple of weeks before. The depot still contained 17 steam locos of classes YG and YP – although some were merely shells that hadn’t run for several years.

If you want to see other pictures from this Indian trip, follow this link. I’ve still a few more to add which I hope to do over the next couple of days.

I’ve a favour to ask…
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Thank you!