8 months ago I undertook maybe my biggest challenge I was contacted by Impossible Engineering to appear on their Tv show talking about steam shovels.
Having never done TV presenting I wasn’t sure what to expect, I was told it was only a short segment but to expect being filmed for the whole day. We filmed at Statforld Barn Railway ( https://statfoldbarnrailway.co.uk ) which is a great place and well worth a visit.
I was presented with a script and a steam shovel, overwhelmed and amazingly excited I went to work!
The steam shovel is an extraordinary piece of engineering there is only one person who can operate it at Statfold and after sitting in it I can fully understand why!
The 1915 steam shovel runs off only three levers and a break but the pressure needed to push the break alone is huge! Let alone play the balance off between the leavers, push her too much and the beam can fly back through the cab. No backstop or alarms here! The rope can also just fly off if you don’t get the balance right, you need to feel at one with the machine.
Like a huge smoking dragon it’s super hot in there and it takes too people to make the machine work, at the boiler end it can reach 45 degrees!
I finished my day covered in grease dirt and coal but it was fabulous.
Presenting was something that was far harder than I imagined too we spent all day recording what will only probably be a 5-10 min segment, really great to get an insight into these things and I totally loved it.
It’s an episode that looks at China and how they move vast amounts of water from the wet south to the dry north. Season 5 Episode 14
I pop up at around 31mins into the episode if anyone wants a look. CLICK HERE
Thank you to Impossible Engineering for giving me a once in a lifetime opportunity to take part.