This years story about a week of guarding starts, unusually, with a firing turn. It was the saturday of our first 1940s weekend, (Hence the title) and I had 4566, fresh back from valve and piston repairs. Rolling into Bewdley, it was a pleasent surprise to see some friends from the South Devon crossing the bridge. After exchanging pleasentries with Ernest, Andy and Alex, we set off once more on what was really a run of the mill turn, seven LMS coaches, and just 211 tons being no great issue for an ex-works loco. As we arrived at Hampton Loade on our first up trip, we crossed Paul Karau and 7812 on a down train. Noting that paul had my friends mum, and a gentleman who i vaugley recognised on the loco with him. Presently, I heard my friends mum's voice. "Ian," she called, "Is your driver there?" It turned out, she wanted to get one of her friends, who also happened to be one of the cast of Allo Allo, on the footplate, for a ride back to Highley. The gentleman introduced himself as John. "So which of the British airman were you?" I asked, "Fairfax? Or Carstairs?" He was indeed Fairfax, although very quickly, the conversation turned to locomotives. So, following that, I had a day off on Sunday, on which I chose to go cycleing (Or more accurately, to go and crash my bike into a ditch, twice) So to Monday morning, and I drive to Bewdley, an unusuall starting point for passenger guards turns nowadays, but the reason was that we had to take a goods brake to kidder, to bed the brakes in on it, as there was an issue with one end working and not the other. So, just after 9 o'clock, myself, Driver John Price, and Fireman Tom Clark, armed with a shunting pole and loco 7812, set about a spot of shunting in Bewdley Down yard. We eventually head to Kidderminster at 9.40, a few minutes behind our booked time. We leave the van in Platform 2 at Kidderminster, and await the arrival of my set. The trains have been reduced to 6 coach sets for the week, and I had the Maroon Mk1 set, and we have 6 coaches for 207 tons (showing how much heavier a BR standard is compared to an LM coach), and we have loco 46443, with driver John Giles. The only real drama of the day, was the school party delaying us by 8 minutes in the morning, but before we left, one of the lads of Kidder platform wondered up. "When you get to Northwood," he said, "Can you pick up a parcel from my grandad please Ian? And can you drop his paper off too?" "Certainly George, not a problem" I replied Georges's Grandad had been a signalman on the SVR in BR days, so the exchange of parcels was carried out, on the move, in the style of a token exchange, bringing a question from another member of staff, that Ray looked to have done that before! We took the toad back to Bewdley at the end of the day, and stabled the whole lot on the shed, as 46443 was the first loco in the morning, and so it made sence to leave the van attatched to the loco. Tuesday, and this time we propelled the toad to Kidderminster, stopping at Bewdley South, to inform the signalman of what we would like to do. "We are the loco for the first train," Pricey told the signalman "We want to shove this in number two dock, then we will have breakfast, then go on the train." "Do you need water?" asked the Bobby "No" replied John, "We have 3000 gallons already." Recieving a thumbs up from myself, all seemed well, and we all seemed happy with the plan. As we arrived at Kidderminster, we were put not in number two dock, but in the exchange. This was no drama John shouting to me "Come on Olly, cut your monkey hutch off so we can get some Breakfast." I made a propper cock up of hooking off this time, letting go of my shunting pole, as it span over my head, much to the amusement of the footplate crew. They left me in the exchange, only to find themselves put in number 1 engine line for the water they had said they did not want. The loco passed me being diven in energetic style coming out of the engine line. "Thats odd," I thought, seeing the loco heading out to the gantry, "Whats he had him all the way out there for? he only needs to go to the dummy to get on his train." As I was walking to the signal box, I didn't notice that the loco had also been crossed over to the other side of the station. You can immagine my surprise, as I got to the box, and saw the loco being put on my train, rather than the other one as booked. "Whjats going on mate?" I said to the bobby, "He's on the wrong set." "No," said the signalman, "Thats his train" "Do you have your traffic notice?" I asked Pointing to the coach roster, I pointed out that th signalman had put the loco on the set for the seciond train. "Thats right," he said, "Thats the second engine, they have swapped." "No they haven't," I said, "Thats the loco for the first train, the second one is at Bewdley." "No, apparently they have swapped locos." "I'm sure they haven't," I replied, and left the box to find out what was happening. I was met by an earfull off John, who had already been informed that he was on the second set, not his booked train. "What the ****'s going on?" he demanded "Apparently tyou are the loco for the second train," I replied. To which John's attentions turned to the poor signalman, demanding to be allowed off my train, onto his booked stock. John took off out of the station again, the loco being driven so hard, I am reliaby informed, it could be heard from the Tescos store half way down station hill. "Typical," John called into the van, as I stowed my gear, "There is nothing worse than signalmen trying to think!" My two TTI's, Jim Seaton and Bob vincent were in stitches hearing this outburst. Eventually, Andy Sweet turned up with 7812, the correct loco for the train. He had been at Bewdley when the message had come through that he was required to work the first train, the message being that John had refused to work it! All he could do was shake his head and laugh as I told him. The day that followed was nice and routine, and although our time keeping slipped on our first trip, with a little steady running, we arrived home dead on time at 6.27 that evening, before towing the Toad back to Bewdley again. Wednesday, and John again propelled me to Kidderminster with 7812, John Giles with 46443 doing the honours for the passenger train again. Perhaps now would be an opotune time to name check the two fireman that had been sharing the days on that diagram (as I have name chacked most others) Jordan Taylor and his cosin, Ryan Green providing the steam to tow me round the countryside all week. My TTIs for the day this time being John Corbett and Peter Bradley, and the immaculate time keeping for the day, meaning that there was no need for rapid station work, or rapid acceleration. There were two highlites of note though, the first being a lady passenger, somewhat confused by the idea of certain stations haveing short platforms and so not being able to alight from certain coaches, which she took as meaning that the coaches didn't actually go to those stations at all, and therefore, she asked "Does all of this train go to Bridgnorth?" The second happened on our final trip of the day. We had just left Country Park Halt, when my phone rang. It was a colleague of ours from Bewdley depot. James knew exactly what I was doing that week, so I reasoned, if he was ringing me, it must be an emergency. Immagine my surprise when he began quizing me on how to cook Pork Loins! Clearly I have become Bewdley Loco's answer to Delia Smith. Thursday, and I was glad to have slightly cooler weather. Again, John Price propelled us to Kidderminster with 46443, while Andy Sweet worked the passenger train with 7812. Our first Down trip was un-eventfull, but it was to turn into one of those days. As we coasted down hill through Erdington, I noticed a gentleman sat on the bank, oddly, neither a high vis, nor a camera, more oddly there was a transit pick up parked in the lane behind him. I decided to Phone the Duty officer as we arrived at Hampton Loade, and told the crew of the next down to keep a sharp lookout too, especially in light of recent metal thefts from our line. They did better than me, getting the company name off the van too. Our second trip, and we had just left Bewdley, and the brake went in hard. I looked out the side of the van, to see Andy shouting at someone who I could not see. "Don't worry," said my TTI, "I got em on camera," pointing his mobile phone in the general direction. The same tti, later walked into my van, and confessed to not actually knowing how to use the camera on his phone, and he had only just got the hang of texting. Running back to Bewdley, with the brake van in the evening, and we stopped near the junction with the Stourport line in order to pick up a member of staff, and some equipment that was too heavy for him to carry. As we pulled up, we spotted two gentlemen in their 30s, walking down with two children, who when we challenged them, claimed they had come to look at the trains. It raised our suspicions enough to summon the police on arrival back at Bewdley, Andy getting a ride in a police car back to the Stourport sidings. Friday, and the end of a long, and eventfull week, We were propelled to Kidderminster with the Manor one last time, and had 4566 for the first trip to Bridgnorth, John Giles again being on the regulator. At Bridgnorth, we changed engines, picking up 43106, meaning I had to pull some strings on the coaches to equalise the brake pressure. Having done that, I turned my attentions to a fault that had been annoying me, repairing one of the parcels doors on the van, on which the handle had been sticking in the open position. Amazing what a bit of cardboard in the right place will do! The rest of the day went smoothly, although the ammount of shunting at Kidderminster meant we didn't get back to Bewdley with the Toad untill 7.10, the end of a long day for us all. I had a well erned break on saturday, but the following Sunday, I was on the footplate again, but that is a story for another time.