For years 'Wilf' sat under my work bench gathering dust. But then my sons started to take an interest in him. I was talking to a model owner at Hellingly’s festival of transport show about getting a boiler test, and he advised me to join a model engineering club. As a result, I joined Polegate model engineering club, and started talking to Dave Newman about boiler testing and how I had a few leaks at present. He offered to bring along the clubs hydraulic pump and give the boiler a quick test before taking it to the club for the official test. Well – as my wife would say – poor old Wilf had more leaks than a colander, so after a lot of discussions with Debbie and advice from club members, we decided to buy a new boiler for Wilf. Dismantling Wilf was easy; putting him back together again was a nightmare. So I would like to thank the Thursday gang for all the ribbing they gave me about wilf not existing! This helped spur me on. And I’d like to give an even bigger thank you to Dave Newman for all the actual help and support he gave me, like truing up the horn plates and many other problems I had. My dear old dad suffered from asthma and I had always said he puffed along like the traction engine, hence me naming it 'Wilf' after him. He did get see it run and had some rides behind the engine, but he would be over the moon now to see 'Wilf' running with a new boiler test certificate.
"They say dreams don’t come true..."
When I brought the new boiler it was my ambition to steam him up on what would have been my dads 100th birthday, and on 20.10.15 me and my brother Colin achieved just that – steaming up 'Wilf' and chugging around my close for about an hour to celebrate this day. They say dreams don’t come true, but they do with a little help from padmec. Thank you again to all members who advised and helped me. From Les White & family and, of course, both 'Wilfs'.