The final volume of my
personal Skarloey / Talyllyn trilogy, along with PS&TTR which I helped write with Ryan, and D&TTE.
A simple incident that
has been witnessed at pretty much any railway station the world over, that of a small child frightened by the noise and steam
of an engine. Duncan is informed he will be heading home from Wales at the end of the season, and wonders what will have changed
at home following the appointment of the Tall Controller. It is unfortunate then that the young girl Duncan accidentally upsets
is the daughter of his new boss…
Partially written because I wanted some air time for the Skarloey Railway carriage stock,
and I’m glad I managed to get a variety in here. Sir Handel makes rude remarks about the Talyllyn people sending back
Skarloey Railway engines when they need overhauling, only to fail himself with a faulty air-pump. In truth, his bad temper
stems from his jealousy at having been over looked for a return visit for so many years.
FIFTY YEARS ON
Rusty takes pity on the shed bound Sir Handel
and hauls him into the yard to be admired. Shamus is impressed by Rusty’s kind nature, and during a conversation about
Duncan the new diesel realises Rusty has been on the railway fifty years, but nobody has remembered to mark the occasion.
Rusty implores that he wants no fuss, but later that evening the same thought occurs to Skarloey and Rheneas. At ‘Duncan
Days’, the Talyllyn disguise their No 5 ‘Midlander’ as ‘Rusty’, and I thought long and hard
about how to include that idea in the ERS. The story continues in…
… in which the Talyllyn Railway holds a special thank-you party
for Duncan before he returns to Sodor. Rusty arrives as special guest of honour to celebrate his fifty years of service on
the Skarloey. The two engines reminisce on the last few years apart, and we see how his adventure has helped Duncan mature
since the incidents of his previous volume.