The next generation
is now arriving!
Among the joys of
attending the International Steamup in Diamondhead, MS, is the opportunity
to visit with old friends. It is a time of reunion as we celebrate the
joys of boiling water and running small scale live steam locomotives.
formed are a source of instruction and inspiration. In our hobby, we soon
realize that owning a locomotive is only the first step. Like with a
musical instrument, knowledge and practice is required.
My coach this year in
the art of coal firing was Jack Shawe, age 12. This new friend,
accompanied by his father, John Shaw, was delivering a locomotive (named
“Coal Town”) destined to be a gift for my grandson, Colton. Since 1988,
Shawe Steam Services in the UK has been the preferred source for coal
fired conversions of Aster and Roundhouse engines.
Jack Shawe’s trip to
the US was a “vocational shadowing” real world extension for this 7th
graders. He explains that this is a natural part of his life. He has hands
on modeling experience and machining skills in crafting cylinders and
cranks, axles and frames, blowers and other components in modeling
Jack enjoys both
making and running live steam locomotives. While orienting me to “Coal
Town”, I asked if others young people should be encouraged to do it? He
thoughtfully replied, “Yes, only if they enjoy it!” Definitely, he
Jack’s exposure to the
steam scene began early. His dad, in addition to Shawe Steam Services,
serves as a fireman on the UK mainline, as well as driver or engineer on
the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways. Jack’s grandfather was also a
UK railway man. So this hand’s on love of steam trains continue from
generation to generation.
Young Jack Shawe
refreshed my enthusiasm for live steam and the joy of boiling water in a
hobby that embraces generations and spans the pond (ie, the Atlantic