Book 27 - Really Useful Engines - 1983
Summaries by R Healy
This was one of two books written about the Skarloey Railway by Christopher, charting how they coped without Sir Handel, who was off in Wales visiting the Talyllyn Railway at the same time as the book was being written, as well as finding out about a few of his adventures in Wales, and what happened before it with the Guard!
Patience Is A Virtue
Sir Handel is chosen to go to Wales and assist on the Talyllyn Railway, and is very impatient to go. He is unfortunately held up by Duke’s repairs, but following Gordon’s backing him up by calling him indispensable, feels pride being restored once more, so much so that he becomes impatient and leaves the Guard behind at the top station on a busy day! The Guard warns him to be more careful in future and reminds him that Patience is a Virtue!
Peter Sam & The Prickly Problem
As Sir Handel leaves for Wales, the gangers have to cut branches from the bushes by the side of the line. Only being able to take a few loads at a time sees problems later on as wind the night before blows branches onto Peter Sam’s line. Thinking he can clear them himself in order to save time, he tries to push them aside, but they only wreak havoc and get caught in his valve gear. What was supposed to be a time saving measure causes the passengers to miss their train and Peter Sam to feel sore for several days!
Duncan is called upon to help some Scouts who are helping to fix the line in the midst of some hot weather. There’s nothing for them to drink, and they’re in need of something to quench their thirst. Duncan remembers that the shop near the lake may have bottles of pop when the Refreshment Lady is found to have none. The boys are thankful when Duncan returns with some fresh pop for them.
Sir Handel Comes Home
Sir Handel returns from Wales and lets all the other engines know about his adventures on the Talyllyn Railway. He tells them about the Prince and Princess that visited the Railway, and how he ended up with an eye patch when he ran into a fallen tree that was hung across his line as he rounded the bend into Nant Gwernol! But in spite of having a good time away, he felt it good to be back at home again.