|NAH adding the final touches ready for the big day|
Saturday was a big day for NAH as it was the official launch of his beloved steam engine, Sentinel 7109. You may remember I featured her back in March, when she steamed for the first time. Since then, she's had a smart new coat of paint, had the all-important numbers and letters added, plus her nameplate fixed to the side.
Official launches require a guest of honour, and NAH was delighted Paul Atterbury from Antiques Roadshow agreed to perform the ceremony. Paul has written several books on railways, so he was the ideal choice for the occasion, especially as NAH has one of his books (and got him to sign it!)
As you can see, no expense was spared for the naming part of the proceedings.
After a short speech and a quick flick of the pillowcase/peg combo, Joyce's name was revealed and Paul encouraged us to ReJoyce - trust NAH to coin the pun ;)
Then as befits her location, Joyce was doused in the finest Somerset cider to complete her launch and naming ceremony.
Paul spoke about her rarity, and how it's important to celebrate and preserve the workhorse engines for posterity alongside the 'glamour' engines like the Flying Scotsman. He started his speech with "I've not seen one of these before, and I'm sure most of you here haven't either...", just like he does on Antiques Roadshow.
NAH didn't get a valuation though!
|Joyce heads off in the sunshine with her special guest on board|
Update: Callum has produced a great video of the event, including the full speech from Paul Atterbury. He also told one of the other volunteers at the railway, 'You have a gem of an engine there'.
Here's the link if the embedded version doesn't work: