Departure from Victoria was four minutes late, waiting for the road, but time was pulled back by Clapham Junction. Running to the pathing stop at Addlestone Junction was good and ahead of time. Despite this, the train was delayed on the approach to Guildford – this being caused by a late running Reading to Gatwick service. This resulted in a one and a half minute late arrival at Shalford. Water was taken and coal pulled forward as per normal practice. Departure from Shalford was one and a half minutes late.

A spirited climb away from Shalford was followed by a good run onwards. Passing time through Redhill was a minute behind schedule. A signalling delay on the approach to South Croydon was made up with arrival on the approach to Victoria at 16:02. The train was held at the signal until 16:12 for service trains, resulting in a three minutes late arrival back at the platform.

On return to the shed, Rob Binstead was presented with a photograph to commemorate his time as a DBC steam driver on this, his last steam turn before leaving the company.

Our next trip won't be until the middle of February, but we won't be idle - far from it. Even though it isn't due, yet, we are taking advantage of this slack period to have our annual examination.

One of the early jobs, after the usual cleaning out of the firebox and smokebox, will be the boiler washout. We can then get the boiler inspector along to examine it, and see what, if any, remedial work is needed. It is not unusual to have one or two broken stays, after the amount of work that has been done on the boiler.

Think of us over Christmas.