If you ever wonder what clergy do when they retire, in addition to leading occasional services during vacancies, Rev Clifford Owen, who served in Corfu as well as Brugge and Oostende is proving he certainly hasn’t run out of steam.

Every Wednesday he dons his overalls and heads for the Nene Valley Railway loco shed at Wansford near Peterborough and gets busy on cleaning and restoration projects.

Clifford says; “When I left four years ago for 'retirement' I was given the present of a five year membership of the NVR and I have worked on it for the last three years. It was a way of getting back my steam engineering background from my Royal Navy Days.

“It is shown here being dismantled for its 10 year overhaul after its boiler ticket expired. The loco. was actually purchased from scrap many years ago by another vicar (the late Rev Richard Patten)

“I have worked on a number of locos in retirement including 'Thomas the Tank Engine'. It has been ironical getting back into overalls because both my grandfather and great-grandfather worked as loco maintenance fitters before me; but they did it for a living!”

For the technically minded the BR Standard Class 5 locomotive 73050, City of Peterborough was built at Derby in 1954 and bought from British Rail in 1968.

We wonder what other hobbies occupy our retired clergy and would be delighted to feature a few more on our website.