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· Registered
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I recollect there were instances of things been thrown at steam engines, including attempts to 'drop something down the funnel' which missed and bounced along the boiler and then hit a cab spectacle or side window. And the more open footplate could also make a more tempting target. In the latter case, however there was some defence - one book I've read recently recounts how the author saw in his schooldays a 'friend' throw something at a footplate and who was promptly soused by the fireman who happened to be washing the footplate down at the time with the 'slacker' pipe.

Gilbert and Sullivan's aim 'to make the punishment fit the crime' seems particularly appropriate for this sort of idiocy. I wonder if the railways could devise a rig in which the guilty party (if caught) could be sat and experience what it's like to have a heavy object hit a window in front of them at speed?
John Webb
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