The trolley service is run by the line's development company (website here) and on a hot Tuesday in May carried a cool-bag stuffed with ice cream tubs. Eric was helping to push the trolley. Eric also helps look after the gardens at Settle Station. And it was Eric who came round with the bag to collect the rubbish.
And Eric is a volunteer!
The same enthusiasm that kept the line open continues to promote and support the service today. Our train had yet another volunteer who what distributing information leaflets and looking after a pre-booked party.
There was one disappointing note, however. At Carlisle Station there was plenty of information from Scotrail ...
but nothing, absolutely nothing about the Settle and Carlisle line. But as one of Eric's chums said "Carlisle Station is pretty useless." Perhaps because it is run by V*rg*n Tr**ns?
If you have never ridden the S & C, dear blog reader, you MUST do so. The fbb's were blessed with spectacularly fine weather but snow and even light rain do not detract from the magnificence. But try to avoid low cloud or fog!
Eric and his chums deserve our support; as does the memory of Ruswarp (pronounced Russup) the dog.
He became the first Secretary of the Friends of the Settle & Carlisle Line.
Graham and his faithful Border Collie dog Ruswarp were inseparable. Ruswarp's paw print had the distinction of being the only canine signature of objection to the line's closure. He was deemed to be a 'fare paying passenger' about to suffer 'hardship' should the line close.
On 20th January 1990 Graham went missing on a walking holiday. Then on 7th April 1990, a lone walker found Graham's body by a mountain stream in Wales. Nearby was Ruswarp, so weak that the 14 year old dog had to be carried off the mountain. He had stayed with his master's body throughout that winter.
Ruswarp was cared for by a local vet with fees paid by the RSPCA, who quickly decided to award Ruswarp their Animal Medallion and collar for 'vigilance' and their Animal Plaque for 'intelligence and courage'. Ruswarp lived just long enough to attend Graham's funeral.
And finally, a U-tube video of a steam special back in February 2012. (view here) Almost as delicious as the ice cream!
Tomorrow, a dire confession from the fat bus bloke.