|Season X, Episode 35|
|Air date||12 May 2020|
Percy and the Mud
It was a beautiful evening at Tidmouth Sheds. Some engines were resting whilst Edward and Gordon were getting ready for their evening trains.
"Got a good polish there, Gordon," said Edward.
"Yes. Yes I did, Edward," replied Gordon.
"Your Fireman polished everything including your buffers."
"You needn't bring up buffers."
"Why not?" asked Emily.
"No particular reason," stammered Gordon.
"It's actually a nice story," said Edward.
"I do love a good story," said Paxton.
"So do I," agreed James.
"Count me in," added Emily.
"Oh great," moaned Gordon.
"Oh come on. They haven't heard it and it is worth re-telling," chuckled Edward. "Just don't get too puffed up."
"All right - fine. You can tell them."
Just then, Henry puffed in.
"Hullo everyone. What's going on?"
"Edward is about to tell us a story," said Paxton.
"I'm very interested," said Henry.
"It's one of our favourites," said Edward.
"It's about buffers," cut in Gordon.
"Ah, I see," said Henry, then he chuckled, remembering.
"Now go ahead," said Gordon. "But don't exaggerate."
"I won't!" laughed Edward and then he began.
"Shortly after Henry was let out of the tunnel, both he and Gordon were painted blue. Needless to say, this caused a lot of confusion."
"'They look so alike', people would say."
"Shortly afterwards, Gordon got new valve-gear. He was very proud of it, and began to show off."
"Then one day, Gordon had puffed into the Big Station, and was ready to go back to the shed. Then, I don't know what happened, he was probably showing off or something, but Gordon crashed into the end of the Big Station. When I got there, I saw his buffers were damaged. So, I had to take him to the Works. A few days later, Gordon returned with some new buffers. They were square instead of round."
"'They look nice,' I said."
"'No, they're rubbish', snorted Gordon."
"Gordon continued to complain for quite a while. It seemed like it was all he talked about."
"'It's not so bad,' I told him."
"'It is bad. They ruin my appearance,' replied Gordon."
"Of course, we soon got tired of hearing him complain."
"'I wish there was something we could do to get him to stop,' said Henry."
"But we didn't know what."
"Then, one day, I arrived at the Big Station, just as Gordon was about to leave with the Express. Some people came up to him."
"'I see you have new buffers. They look wonderful, Gordon.'"
"Well, that did the trick. People at least had some way to differentiate Gordon and Henry. Now Gordon was proud of his buffers."
"'Mine's are the best,' he would say."
"'Now I think he's getting too puffed up,' Henry told me."
"'He'll get over it soon,' I said."
"Well - not exactly."
"One day, I came to the sheds to find Henry with his buffers damaged. Now he needed new buffers too."
"'He may be getting new buffers but they won't be better than mine,' said Gordon."
"When Henry returned from the Works, he had similar buffers to Gordon. Well, that didn't please him at all."
"'Those are my buffers!', he would say."
"Worse still, the Henry-Gordon confusion resumed."
"However, it wasn't long till Henry needed to go the Works again. There, he was re-painted green and given another set of round buffers."
"But it didn't end all the problems!" put in James.
"Quite right. Now people thought Gordon has been painted green."
"How did the Fat Controller fix that?" asked Emily.
"He ended up releasing a short article in the newspaper explaining that Gordon has been blue since arrival, and that he now has square buffers whilst Henry had been painted back to green." Edward paused for a moment. "I think it worked."
"However, I will thank Gordon for letting us have this little blast to the past," said Edward. "He actually doesn't like the subject of buffers very much."
"That is true," said Gordon.
"But it is a good story," chuckled Henry.
"Plus I didn't exaggerate," added Edward.
"Good for you. Now, we have our trains to fetch," said Gordon, and he steamed towards the station.
Edward chuckled and followed.
"You know," said Henry, to no-one in particular. "I quite like remembering old times. It's interesting how we remember these sort of things for years to come."
The others agreed.
- This story was published in honour of the seventy-fifth anniversary of The Railway Series.