How quickly these year has gone by, we seem to have gone from the 'Beast From the East' to a heatwave, and then back again to Winter in the blink of an eye, is it really time for the annual 'Santa Specials' already? For as long as I can remember I have always gone along and photographed the Santas, which you might think is a bit strange for a 'Bah Humbug' snotgobbler hater like me, but what is there not to like about a steam loco pulling 7 to 10 full coaches and in very cold air at that, when a good display of steam and smoke is almost guaranteed. Sadly it seems that I'm often in a minority of one, as I didn't see a single other photter around, and I can't work out if it is the headboards or the kids that put them off from attending.
I did say that I have always gone along to photograph the Santas, but that is not strictly true, as last year I almost missed them completely due to an annoying back problem which put me out of action for several weeks. Hopefully I won't have any similar problems this year, and I can catch a few more of them at different locations along the line, as I did again on Sunday 9th of December, though after several days of heavy rain, I was cursing my luck that this particuilar day was bright and sunny, and the very low Sun caused me no end of problems with the north facing steam locos. Good job I know the line and its various moods very well, and have 'contingency' locations for such conditions.