“Bother! I should be pulling carriages, not useless scrap!”

Old and Useful is a magazine story.


One day, James is puffing to the scrapyard and he is not happy; he should be pulling coaches, not useless scrap. Soon, James passes an old closed-down station. The waiting room windows and station seats are broken. James sighs at the sorry sight.

Presently, James rolls into the scrapyard siding to have his trucks unloaded. The vicar is at the yard buying an old stone birdbath for the vicarage garden and a coloured glass window for the church hall. The vicar tells James that old things can look like new when they are cleaned up.

Later, James returns to the main station. The Fat Controller tells him that the branch line is getting far too busy and he is planning to build a brand new station to replace the old run-down one. James has a better idea and is soon steaming back to the scrap yard.

James hurries to and fro, fetching old bench seats, chimney pots, a clock and much more. Then, workmen clean them all up and use them to make the old station look smart again. The Fat Controller is very proud of James.