The final dinner in the hotel in Birmingham, (where the return special train from Perthshire to Cornwall, stopping at Templecombe to set-down their Somerset friends), stopped for the night, was a subdued occasion.
As Lord Trevelver said, the hospitality of the PRPS is, indeed legendary -- and the legends of what happened in Strathearn and its environs are already being told!
Everyone was most satisfied with the performance of the 'Green Dragon' (the footplate crew stating that the Somerset Best Steam Coal was well worth the expense) and the train's roster of crew members and the buffet car crews went home from Wadebridge more than satisfied with their tips (relief train crews were waiting at Wadebridge). Despite restocking, (courtesy of their departing Somerset friends), during the Templecombe stop for coal and water, both the train's buffet cars arrived at Wadebridge with all cupboards and shelves completely bare. The CCTs and guard's compartments were full only of empty barrels and crates of bottles in a similar condition.
Whilst the train's portions for North and South Cornwall were being prepared for departure at Wadebridge, crates of "Castle Estate" bottled spring water were loaded abroad and their contents distributed by the "Chelsea Girls" among the 'tired and emotional' passengers who accepted them most gratefully. The guests for France and Spain were taken on to Cant Cove to join the special Wagons Lit train stabled at Wadebridge the next evening to connect with the Night Ferry sailing. After the South Cornwall portion had left Wadebridge station to much waving and shouts of goodbye, before that for Penmayne calling at Cant Cove, departed, too, still with the dependable 'Green Dragon' at its head.
No-one had expected to see so many A4s gathered. Although Lady Penelope was heard to comment most unfavourably about their overall state of cleanliness, everyone else was highly impressed.
An Express Goods Van from the "Castle Estates" was ordered for addition to the overnight fast goods to Nine Elms thence for departure north to collect more malt whisky to toast the memories of the Great Gathering once everyone's heads had sufficiently cleared.
As soon as the official photographer has recovered photos. of the train will be released.