With Captain Reg firmly back in charge of East Lancs LDWA's 'Plodders', he headed straight for the warmth of the Manager's Office, whilst the rest of us pottered around Bury's Transport Museum.
"Where's Alan R?" went out the call, when someone spotted a rather sparse information board about a Fordson in a pretty blue livery.
We were sure that he would know all about this single cylinder Marshall, with just 49 moving parts!
An assistant manager was busy moving stuff around...
...whilst Hilary appeared to have been waiting for some time for the Cheadle train to arrive.
Norman went home early after his van broke down and got snaffled by the museum staff.
David H (good to see you, David) arrived on a bus that met a similar fate!
Eventually Reg declared “Time for a walk” and we adjourned to a cold car park for the header picture.
An arduous route from Bury to Holcombe Brook had been plotted by the maestro, including a scarily vertiginous bridge over the River Irwell.
Bernard became agitated for a while, as he worried about the risk of being run over by this cyclist...
This old railway line from Bury to Holcombe Brook was electrified in 1912 – here Reg points out to a junior member of the class one of the blocks to which the overhead cable stanchions were fitted.
Lesser mortals may have found the constant uphill grind a little tedious, but this group had lunch in its sights.
"That's it" announced Reg, after about an hour and a half, pointing to an NHS building that blocked the way forward along the old line beyond Greenmount.
But a few minutes later, David enthused "come and look at this" – and directed us to a wall behind a supermarket, revealing a couple of rusty buffers (perhaps imagined) that signified the true 'end of the line'.
“Yes, I’m sure I can see them!”
Lunch in the Hare & Hounds was a sumptuous affair, especially the chocolate pudding.
Our route - 6km, 100 metres ascent, in under 2 hours:
There’s a full slideshow here. I hope you enjoy it.
It was good to see Reg back at the helm and in good form. He will be leading off an attempt to complete the Thirlmere Way by the end of the year, starting at Heaton Park station at 10.30am on Wednesday 3 April. Hope to see you there…