Old Oak Common's 70017 Arrow coming off Laira shed by what was commonly known as the Speedway on its way up to North Road to work the 7: 50 p.m. fitted freight and Perishables through to Bristol, from where it would later work home to Paddington. The date is the 5th May 1956 and 70017's fireman is waiting in that little wooden box between the signals after having telephoned up to the signalman at Lipson Junction for permission for his driver to come off shed and up on to what is the Southern line to Friary before crossing over and running tender first up to North Road. Laira's Running Shed, with its oil refuelling tanks are on the left and there is plenty of motive power on shed. The signal has cleared to come off shed and the fireman will climb aboard once his driver has cleared the points and ground signal ready to cross over to the other track by way of the pointwork visible on the left. This was the route taken by locomotives leaving shed for North Road. The history and purpose of the Mullet Pond is a mystery to me but it would have been a rather sinister spectacle for any unsuspecting Railwayman late on a dark winter's night !