Full Steam Ahead - Severn Valley Railway

An award-winning property professional from a local estate agency is right on track for future success after being given the chance to drive an historic steam engine.

Train enthusiast Tom Skelley, Office Manager of Nock Deighton’s Telford branch, was treated to a footplate experience with the renowned Severn Valley Railway as a reward for winning the Chairman’s Award at the firm’s annual prize-giving ceremony earlier this summer.

As part of his reward for taking top honours, not only did Tom get to take a guided tour of, and ride on, one of the famous railway’s locomotives, but he also got the chance to take the controls and actually drive the train for part of its 16 mile route between Kidderminster and Shropshire.

“Steam trains are one of my biggest passions, so this prize for winning the Nock Deighton Chairman’s Award couldn’t have been better,” Tom commented. “After getting to meet the driver, fireman, and, of course, set aboard the steam engine itself – a 2-8-0 ex-Great Western Railway 2800 class that used to transport freight – we set off from Bewdley towards Bridgnorth.

“When we got to Hampton Loade, it was my turn to fire the engine, which was great fun but surprisingly cold, as we were open to the elements. Richard, the train’s fireman, revealed on a previous trip last winter the temperatures actually dropped to -16oC, cold enough to freeze his cup of tea, so you could say we had a lucky escape!”

After the train reached Bridgnorth, Tom was taken on a guided tour of both the engine shed and the railway’s signal box, before embarking on the return journey, where he was given his chance to take control.

“The steam train was remarkably sensitive to drive, you literally only had to tap the regulator or brake and the engine would suddenly jolt. It was a fantastic experience, but one that also flew by in no time at all, as you have to concentrate so fiercely.

“I had a thoroughly enjoyable day, even getting a special certificate to take away that proves I’d successfully completed the experience. All the staff at Severn Valley Railway were extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and the day will certainly live in the memory for a long time. I’d also like to thank my colleagues at Nock Deighton for rewarding me with this opportunity, and it’s definitely full steam ahead and back to the day job now,” Tom concluded.

Founded in 1831, Nock Deighton is one of the Midlands’ most well-established and respected firms of estate agents, lettings agents, chartered surveyors, block management agents, and auctioneers. The company stands at the forefront of the modern property sector by embracing up-to-the-minute technology and industry best practice, and has a firm focus on achieving the very best results through a full range of specialist property-related services and dedicated staff.

For further information on Nock Deighton’s residential property sales and residential property auction services, please visit www.nockdeighton.co.uk or contact: the Telford office on 01952 292300: the Ironbridge office on 01952 432533; the Bridgnorth office on 01746 767767; or the Ludlow office on 01584 875555.

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