The Flying Kipper

  • Ringo Starr: One winter evening, Henry's driver said.
  • The Driver: We'll be out early tomorrow. We have got to take "The Flying Kipper". Don't tell Gordon, but I think if we pull the Kipper nicely. The Fat Controller will let us pull the Express. The special coal they gave you is working well.
  • Henry: Herrah.
  • Ringo Starr: Cried Henry.
  • Henry: That will be lovely.
  • (seagulls cry and ship horn blows)
  • Ringo Starr: All kinds of ships use the harbour at the big station by the sea. There are passenger ships, cargo ships, and fishing boats also come here. They unload their fish on the quay. Some of it goes to shops in the town, and the rest in a special train to other places far away. This is the train and the railway men called "The Flying Kipper". Henry was ready at 5 o'clock. There was snow and frost. Men hustled and shouted, loading the vans with crates of fish. The last door banged, the Guard showed his green lamp, "The Flying Kipper" was ready to go.
  • Henry: Come on, come on. Don't be silly, don't be silly.
  • Ringo Starr: The vans shuddered and groaned.
  • Fish Vans: Trock trick, trock trick. All right, all right.
  • Henry: That is better, that is better.
  • Ringo Starr: Puffed Henry. (Henry's whistle blows) Clouds of smoke and steam poured from his funnel into the cold air, and the fire's light showing brightly.
  • Henry: Hurry, hurry, hurry.
  • Ringo Starr: Panted Henry. (Henry's whistle blows) They were going well. The light grew better, the signal light showing green as they passed. Then, a yellow signal appeared ahead. His driver prepared to stop. But the home signal was down.
  • The Driver: All clear, Henry. Away we go.
  • Ringo Starr: They couldn't know the points from the main line to a siding were frozen, and the home signal should had been set at danger! But snow had forced it down. A goods train was waiting in the siding to let "The Flying Kipper" pass, and the driver and fireman were drinking cocoa in the brake van.
  • The Guard: The Kipper is due.
  • Ringo Starr: Said the guard.
  • The Fireman: Who cares?
  • Ringo Starr: Said the fireman.
  • The Fireman: This is good cocoa.
  • Ringo Starr: The driver got up.
  • The Driver: C'mon, fireman. Back to our engine.
  • Ringo Starr: They got out just in time. (Henry's whistle blows and crashes into the brake van) Henry's driver and fireman had jumped clear before the crash, but Henry laid dazed and surprised. The Fat Controller came to see him.
  • Henry: The signal was down, sir.
  • Ringo Starr: Said Henry.
  • The Fat Controller: Cheer up, Henry. It wasn't your fault. Ice and snow caused the accident. I'm sending you to Crewe, a fine place for sick engines. They'll give you a new shape and a larger firebox. You'll feel a different engine, and won't need special coal anymore. Won't that be nice?
  • Henry: Yes, sir.
  • Ringo Starr: Said Henry, doubtfully. (Henry's whistle blows) Henry liked being at Crewe, but was glad to come home. A crowd of people waited to see him arrive in his new shape. He looked so splendid and strong that they gave him three cheers.
  • Henry: Peep, peep.
  • Ringo Starr: He whistled.
  • Henry: Thank you very much.
  • Ringo Starr: I am sorry to say that a lot of little children are often late for school, because they wait to see Henry go by. (Gordon's whistle blows) They often see him pulling the Express. He does it so well that Gordon is jealous. But that's another story.

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