ERS 149 - Battle of Britain Engine

ERS 149 - Battle of Britain Engine - Simon

Story Summaries by Ian


Squaddie enjoys watching the Spitfire aeroplane flying above the Island from Dryaw Airfield, remembering the dark days when many of the type used to fly over the south coast. One morning he notices the vintage aircraft in distress, only to find it has crashed in a field, one of the wings coming to rest on his own lines! When he spies the stricken pilot too, he lets off steam to notify his Driver, an action that helps save the man’s life. The line is badly disrupted, by Squaddie and his crew are highly praised for their swift actions.


Squaddie is far from happy when his is assigned a Driver with a dislike for his complicated valve gear. Although it needs regular oiling and attention, the Driver pays little heed to Squaddie’s warnings, and even ignores the Inspector when he mentions it too. Before long Squaddie, relegated to empty stock work, finds his valve gear becoming increasingly uncomfortable… but that’s nothing to the disaster that swiftly follows.


Dick and his crew discover the train wreck, and a rescue is launched. Dick, Wendell and Gordon help the Workmen through until dawn clearing the line, enabling one track to be reopened for use, but poor Squaddie has to wait until night fall until he can finally be recovered. He is shocked to see the carriages have had to be cut up on sight, and after being moved to the Works by Procor Spartan, is left in a siding by the out of use line, where a resident takes great delight in telling Squaddie that his time has come…


The engines express concern for their friend, and come to realise repairs may be an expense too great; especially when the Fat Controller mentions the Diesel Depot incident. Meanwhile Squaddie settles into his new life in the out of use sidings, taking great delight in Sixty-Six’s discomfort when, instead of being repaired, workmen remove his throttle lever for Wakefield to use instead! Another engine of the sidings makes himself known, but before Squaddie can investigate further Gordon arrives with the Fat Controller and another special visitor, all of whom have conspired to make Sodor’s Memorial Engine the subject of a charity appeal.


Squaddie is returned to the shed at Knapford to make more room at Crovan’s Gate, but when talk turns to the forthcoming ‘Battle of Britain Day’ Air Show at Dryaw, he laments not being able to get closer to the action. Edward, Gordon and Sodor Castle discuss the matter and the ongoing charity appeal for their friend’s restoration. Sodor Castle suggests their friend attends… by road. Come the great day, Squaddie takes pride of place by the airfield, decked in banners and helping raise awareness of the charity campaign for both his repairs and the RAF Benevolent Fund.  He enjoys watching the aeroplanes, but likes the restored Spitfire most of all!