Wednesday 25 January 2023

Stuffed Tiger

Every Wednesday, retired loco fireman Noddy Smoulder drives over the hills from Watchet to pretend to drive the disused narrow gauge locomotive on the quay at Combwich. That’s his faded blue Morris Eight Series E parked up. He chose the colour to match his faded British Railways loco crew attire, to which he adds a dashing snippet of colour with a bright red cotton neckerchief bought from bric-à-brac shop Minehead last year.

Sadly Noddy never achieved driver status during his long railway career due to his inability to see the colour green, so makes up for it every Wednesday. He even makes a realistic chuffing and tooting sounds just like a working living locomotive. 

Noddy doesn’t yet know it, but the locomotive will soon be heading to a new Holiday camp near Minehead, there it will be painted bright pink and mounted on a plinth like a stuffed tiger in a musty old museum. This means that Noddy won’t have to drive over the hills anymore to get his weekly fix, for his old car does struggle with the steep windy roads though the Quantock Hills. 

And finally, let’s hope that Noddy won’t scare the holiday makers, especially the children with those locomotive sounds he’s so good at. Toot toot, here comes the train!


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