Disaster at Ingledale Space Museum

What starts out as a quiet, peaceful trip to Ingledale Science Museum for the Greendale kids and the Pontypandy Pioneers turns out to be a disaster when it catches fire! Will Postman Pat and Fireman Sam save the citizens in time? And will they find out who caused the fire? Could it be Naughty Norman Price?


1. Disaster at Ingledale Space Museum

Finishing his breakfast, Postman Pat saw his son Julian enter the kitchen with his backpack. “You seem cherry today, Julian.”
   “Yeah, we’re going on a field trip today, dad,” Julian replied. “At the Ingledale Space Museum.”
   “And I hear it’s the opening day today. That must make it more exciting.” Then Pat’s phone rang. He answered it. “Special delivery service. Pat speaking.”
   “Pat, I’ve got a very important mission for you,” Ben said at the Special Delivery Service office. “How soon can you get here?”
   “We’re on our way, Ben,” replied Pat. He put his SDS badge on and walked out. “Have fun, Julian.”
   “Thanks, Dad,” Julian said cheerfully. “Bye.”
   Pat went to his van where Jess was sleeping on the bonnet. “Come on, Jess. We’ve got a special delivery. What’s it going to be today?”
   Jess meowed as he got in the van. Then they drove off.

In Pontypandy, Fireman Sam was walking to work when he saw his niece and nephew, Sarah and James, Mandy Flood, Derek Price and his cousin Naughty Norman Price entering Trevor Evans’s bus.
   “Where are you taking your Pondypanty pioneers to today, Trevor?” he asked as the bus driver came out of Dilys’s shop.
   “I’m taking them to the Ingledale Space Museum,” Trevor said. “I bought enough tickets to watch it open up today.”
   “And let’s hope it’s not the last,” said Sam.
   Both Trevor and Dilys Price knew what he meant.
   “Don’t worry, Sam,” Dilys said. “I’ve warned Norman. If he does anything naughty – any at all – he will be grounded for a whole year and his teacher has agreed with me to hold him back in the school year he is in now until his behaviour improves.” She frowned at the nervous-looking Norman who was sitting on the bus.
   “Well, have fun, Trevor, kids,” Sam said, as he continued his way to the fire station.

Pat and Jess arrived at the SDS Office in Pencaster. They went past the barrier but they couldn’t drive much further because there was a giant metal circle where they usually packed.
   Pat and Jess got out and met up with Ben on the other of the thing.
   “What’s going on, Ben?” asked Pat.
   “This is a metal dish for the observatory at the Ingledale Musuem,” Ben told him.
   “Julian and his classmates are going there today,” Pat said.
   “And it must be there at no later than two o’clock,” Ben said.
   “Right,” said Pat. “I’ll help you load it up on the van. The roof’s the best option I think.”
   The two men got busy straight away.

“Is everyone ready?” Lauren Taylor asked the children outside Greendale Station.
   “Yay!” the kids replied.
   “All right, then, hop aboard.”
   As the kids boarded the Greendale Rocket, Pat’s wife Sarah joined them. “This must be exciting. Going to the opening of the museums.”
   “It is,” Lauren said. “I’m sorry you can’t come up.”
   “Oh, don’t worry,” Sarah said. “Neera needs help here and museums are not really my cup of tea.”
   “Well, I have to go now,” Lauren said, boarding the train.
   “Have fun,” Sarah said, waving as Ajay started the train.

Pat and Ben had finished tying the dome onto of the roof of the van.
   “Thanks, Ben,” Pat said. “Now we must be on our way. Come on, Jess.”
   Jess meowed as he got in the van with his master.
   “Good luck, Pat!” Ben cried, as they drove off.

“This isn’t the observatory, Mr. Evans,” James called to Trevor.
   “I know, James,” Trevor said. “We’re picking up some students from the station to give them a ride.”
   “Will we give them a ride back here?” Mandy asked.
   “I think so,” Trevor said. Then he saw Lauren Taylor and her students approaching his bus and opened the door.
   “Okay, kids, step on slowly and in single file,” Lauren said. Then she turned to the bus driver. “Thank you, Trevor.”
   “My pleasure, Lauren,” Trevor said.
   After the Greendale kids boarded, there was only Lauren’s disabled daughter Lizzie to get onboard now. “I need some strong kids to help me get Lizzie up,” she said to her students.
   “We’ll help,” Sarah and James cried together.
   “Me too,” Mandy said, joining them.
   “Me three,” Norman said, joining them.
   “I think we’ve got enough help, thank you, Norman,” Sarah told him.
   “I just want to prove to my mum that I’ve been very helpful,” Norman begged. His mum was being stricter with him than usual because she was having enough of his mischief that for many years had nearly cost not only the town but the lives that lived there too.
   “Okay, but be very careful,” James warned.
   Then the Pontypandy pioneers helped Lizzie onto the bus. Norman slowly and carefully wheeled her to the back of the bus. He was doing just fine. But when he was halfway to the end of the bus, he tripped over and Lizzie fell out.
   “NORMAN!” the Pontypandy pioneers snapped.
   “It wasn’t me,” Norman said. He looked around and saw a young lad, who had blonde hair and was wearing glasses. “It was him.”
   “You’re accusing our new student?” Bill Thompson snapped.
   “Bill, that’s enough.” Lauren made her way to the new student. “Mark Mapper, is this true?” she demanded.
   “No, miss,” Mark said.
   “Norman, what have I told you about lying?” Trevor said, as Lauren, Sarah, James and Mandy helped Lizzy back in her chair.
   “I’m not lying,” Norman protested.
   “One more hiccup today and I’ll have to tell your mother,” Trevor warned.
   “But I haven’t had any hiccups.”
   “Just try your very best not to cause any more trouble.” Trevor went back into the driver’s seat and drove off.
   Norman sat back next to his cousin, but even he turned away from him. Norman knew he loved pranks, but he would never ever do something as cruel like push a disabled girl over like that. What was worse was that he couldn’t prove he was set up.

Tom Thomas parked his land rover at his Mountain Rescue Centre. “Boy, that was a tough job.”
   Someone had spotted a whole litter of lambs stuck on a high cliff and Tom had spent the whole morning rescuing them. He had no breakfast yet. He was decide what to have, when he realized he had not had time to even check his helicopter from the forest fire that a small campfire started last night that he sorted out with Sam, Elvis and Penny. So he was tired as much as he was hungry.
   “I’d better report this to the fire station,” Tom said. “Then I’ll have a bite, forty winks and then I’ll sort out the helicopter.” 

   All the kids couldn’t believe their eyes when Trevor’s bus approached the Ingledale Space Museum. It was a very beautiful, bricked-laid skyscraper with a massive telescope sticking out through the roofless ceiling. They got off in single file and Sarah, James and Mandy without Norman helped Lizzie off.
   Lauren and Trevor led the kids to the entrance of the museum where they joined a group of guests. In front of them was a man in a tuxedo with a green bow tie holding a pair of scissors behind the red tape.
   “Welcome, ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “to the very first day of the Ingledale Space Museum. The future of science, space and almost everything new gets discovered today. I’m Mr. Arnold Raddard, the Chief Executive Officer.
   “Now, without further ado, I now declare this museum open.”
   He cut the tape and was greeted by applause.
   “Well, what are you waiting for?” he said. “Come on in and explore.”
   He led them into the museum.
   The children were amazed. They saw in the massive reception the giant metal planets and moons hanging above them. They could see massive plastic models of astronauts and grey aliens.
   “Pontypandy pioneers, let’s go and explore,” Trevor said. “But stay together.”
   “Kids, we’re going to have a look around first,” Lauren said to the Greendale children. “Then we’ll have lunch, then you can go for a quick explore before we have to go home. Now, let’s go and explore.”

“Look, Jess,” Pat said, pointing to the signpost. “Only five miles away from the museum.”
   “Meow,” said Jess.
   Then – CLUGG! POP!
   The van came to a complete stop and the bonnet flew up. Pat and Jess got out and inspected it.
   “Oh, no,” cried Pat. “The engine’s too overheated. We can’t carry on with the mission now.” Then he had an idea. He got out his phone and dialled. “Hello, Ted. My van has broken down. Can you come and fix it now?”

After an enjoyable tour, everyone was having lunch in the canteen. They were all talking about their favourite parts of the museum and what they had learnt today.
   “I didn’t know that Olympus Mons on Mars was three times bigger than Mount Everest on Earth,” Julian said.
   “And I’m pleased to know that the future of rockets will be powered by solar panels,” Meera said.
   Then the fire alarm went off.
   “Kids, follow me outside!” Lauren instructed. That included the Pontypandy pioneers; Trevor did not protest and instead followed her without hesitation.
   Soon everyone along with the rest of the guests stood outside the museum. They could see the roof decorated in giant flames and coated with heavy smoke.
   “I’d better call Fireman Sam,” Trevor said. He got out his phone and started dialling, when he could only see Mandy and Derek. “Where’s Norman, Sarah and James?” he asked.
   “I don’t know,” Mandy said.
   “I’ve not seen them since before lunchtime,” Derek said.
   Trevor resumed his dialling.
   Lauren heard the discussion of Trevor and his pioneers, so she decided to check with her kids. She got them in a line and counted them. She found two missing. “Where are Julian and Lizzie?”
   None of the kids knew. Then Lauren realised. They were where she did not want them to be: the burning museum!

The alarm went off. Steele got off his deck chair and run to tear the scroll off.
   “Oh, my word!” he cried. He pressed the alarm button and grabbed the microphone. “The Ingledale Space Museum is on fire with some kids trapped in it! Action Stations, men! Oh, and, uh, Firefighter Morris.”
   “Let’s go, Norris,” said Boyce.
   “Yes, sir.” Steele followed Boyce to the vehicles.
   Sam, Elvis and Penny jumped into Jupiter and immediately set off.
   Boyce got into Venus as Steele got into the driver’s seat. They followed Jupiter.

At the search and mountain rescue centre, Tom was still catching up with his sleep.
   “Tom, do you read me?” Penny asked.
   He woke up, fell off his chair and grabbed his radio. “G’day,” he answered.
   “There is a fire at the Ingledale Space Museum,” Penny said. “We need Wallaby One. Over.”
   “No problem,” said Tom. “I’ll be there faster than the wind can push a kite.”
   He pushed his sandwich to one side, grabbed his helmet and headed to Wallaby One. As he took off, he realized that he forgotten to inspect the helicopter. He checked the fuel gauge and it had about half a tank. He thought he had enough to go all the way to Ingledale, collect enough water from the nearest lake and put the fire out, so he went for it. 

The flames of the museum were now as high as the Ingledale mountains. All the adults were worried, especially the Greendale residents. When the news of the fire spread through the radios and TVs, they immediately wasted no time to check for their children. They were being held off by P.C. Selby. He was the only policeman available to keep the outside guests in order. All the other policemen, fire brigade and even the ambulance drivers from Ingledale, Greendale and Pencaster were all unavailable to help them out, so it was up to him and the Pontypandy Fire Brigade to sort this fire out.
   “Oh, I can’t stand it!” Sarah Clifton cried, who couldn’t handle Julian being in the burning museum. “I’ve got to do something!” She ran ahead, but P.C. Selby stopped her.
   “You know there’s nothing we can do about it, Sarah,” the constable told her. “We can’t do anything at all. Except wait for the Fire Service.”
   Then Bonnie the dog was barking.
   “What is it, Bonnie?” Mrs. Goggins asked. She turned around to see what her dog was barking at. “Look!”
   Everyone turned around and applauded at the sight the Pontypandy Fire Service arriving.
   “The Lord be praised,” said Rev. Timms.
   Jupiter and Venus parked and the fire crew were shocked to see how bad the museum was.
   “Great fires of London!” Sam exclaimed.
   “Where is Tom when you need him?” asked Steele. As he drove all the way to Ingledale, Boyce had been trying to contact Tom since they left, but had no success.
   “Until he arrives, sir,” said Sam, “all we can do is fight our way through the fire with water as much as we can.”
   “Yes, you’re right, Sam,” said Steele. “So gear up.”
   “Yes, sir,” said Sam. “Elvis. Penny.”
   Elvis and Penny followed him.

Ted Glen had arrived to fix Pat’s van, but the job was taking a lot longer than he thought it would. Pat was getting worried and anxious because he had only about half an hour left to get his delivery on time.
   Jess meowed and pointed to the sky.
   “What is it, Jess?” Pat looked at the sky. He saw an orange helicopter landing next to them. It was Tom Thomas’s Wallaby One.
   “Ah, good,” Pat said happily. “You can help us.”
   “Sorry, mate, but I can’t help anyone,” said Tom. “This bird has run out of fuel and the space museum is on fire.”
   “The space museum is on fire?” Pat gasped. “Julian’s there!”
   “And Sam says that the flames are as high as the mountains,” Tom went on. “Now we have nothing to put them out with.”
   Pat saw Jess meowing to the dome. That gave Pat an idea. “Yes, we do,” he smiled.
   “Really? How?” Tom saw Pat and Jess getting out on their motorbike out of the van.
   “I need you watch this dome in my van while I get my own helicopter,” Pat said. Then he set off.
   Tom went back to his helicopter and grabbed his radio. “Hello? Anyone there?”
   “Chief Officer Boyce here, Tom,” said Boyce. “Where are you?”
   “I’m afraid I can’t make it,” Tom reported. “My helicopter has crashed down and I won’t make it. However, I’ve met someone who can help us with the fire with his own helicopter.”

“Well, whatever you do,” said Boyce, “get over here as soon as possible.” He put the radio down and joined Steele at the back of Jupiter.
   “Where’s Tom?” Steele asked.
   “He’s crashed,” Boyce said. “He won’t be able to join us, but he has found someone who can.”
   “A postman.”
   “Oh, a postman.” Then Steele shook his head. “A postman?”
   “He’s the only who can reach those flames.”
   “Well, we need all the help we can get,” said Steele.
   Steele was right because Sam, Elvis and Penny, in their breathing apparatus, were firing all the water they could at the fire but it was like trying fight across a mighty and powerful tidal wave. They couldn’t even make it to the first step, let alone the entrance door.
   “How much water have we got left, sir?” Sam asked.
   “Jupiter has about half a tank left,” Steele reported on the radio.
   “Even Venus only has half a tank left,” Boyce added.
   “We’re not getting any closer to the building,” said Elvis.
   “We barely moved an inch,” said Penny.
   “What are we going to do?” asked Elvis.
   “We can only do what we can do, Elvis,” said Sam. “Carry on.” And that’s what they did.

Pat and Jess reached back to the Pencaster Sorting Office.
   Ben was outside. “The PAT 3 is all ready, Pat.”
   “Thanks, Ben,” said Pat. “Come on, Jess.” Then he and his black and white cat went into the lift and they went up into the PAT 3. Pat got the helicopter ready and they set off.

Tom was frustrated that he couldn’t get his helicopter back in the air. “I sure hope this Pat knows what he’s doing.”
   “Aye, he usually does,” Ted said. He had finished Pat’s van, now he had moved to fixing Wallaby One. 
   Then both of them heard blades. He got out of Wallaby One and saw the PAT 3 hovering above him. “Cool, Pat.” Then he saw four grapples being lowered down to the dish.
   “Tom, can you and Ted put these grapples on the dome so I can lift it?” Pat called.
   Tom went to hook the grapples on the dome. “What are you going to do?”
   “Put out the fire at the museum, of course,” said Pat.
   As they finished, Tom and Ted walked back and waved to Pat saying he was finished. Then the PAT 3 lifted the dome up and flew off.
   “Good luck, mate,” Tom called.
   “Best of luck, Pat,” Ted called.

“Oh, this is hopeless,” Elvis moaned. “We’re nearly out of water and we’ve barely stepped forward.”
   “What about the reinforcements, Sam?” Penny asked.
   “Officers Steele and Boyce say they’re still not available to come over,” Sam said. “Everyone’s being stuck on cliffs or fallen down the holes.” 
   “Hey, look up!” Tom Pottage cried. “It’s Pat!
   Everyone looked up to see the PAT 3 carrying the dome with drops of water falling down passing them and heading to the museum.
   “What’s he doing?” asked Steele.
   “I think it’s what I think he’s doing,” said Boyce, looking hopeful.
   Sam looked up to see. “Elvis, Penny, save the water!” he ordered.
Elvis and Penny turned the water off and looked up to see the PAT 3 tilting the dome. Soon the flames were no more and the burnt building was still on its feet.
   “Great!” Elvis cried. “Now we can save the kids.”
   “Then let’s go,” said Sam.

Sam, Elvis and Penny went into the museum and checked every part of the building. The walls were standing up, but all the paint and the carpets were burnt.
   “Over here, Uncle Sam!”
   “That was Sarah!” Sam cried. He and his fellow firefighters followed the voice which led them right to behind the girls’ lavatory. This was Sarah and James, quaking with fear as they embraced each other. “Are you all right?” he asked.
   “Yes, Uncle Sam,” they said together.
   “It’s okay, just follow me.” Elvis led Julian pushing Lizzie out of the boys’ lavatory.
   Penny approached them. “Steele says there were five kids in here when the museum caught fire. We have four, so far.”
   “I bet it’s Norman Price,” James said.
   “Where would he be?” Elvis asked.
   “I bet he’s hiding somewhere,” Penny said.
   “Elvis, take the kids out,” Sam said. “Penny and I will look for that little rascal.”
Sam and Penny have been searching for Norman from top to bottom, but have no luck. They even tried to the control rooms and the big kitchen and every ‘authorized personal only’ rooms, but they still couldn’t find him.
   “Sam, Sam.”
   Sam answered his radio. “Yes, Elvis?”
   “PC Selby has found the bad guy behind this fire. And it’s not Norman. So call out to Norman and tell him that you know it wasn’t him.”
   “Thanks, Elvis,” Sam said. “We will.”
   He and Penny called out for Norman again. Then Penny saw a big plastic green bin wobbling near the reception. As they ran to it, it fell over and Norman Price, wrapped in crisp packets, picking himself up.
   “There you are, Norman,” Sam said.
   Norman faced the firefighters. “No!” he cried. “I didn’t do this!”
   “We know you didn’t do this,” Sam told him
   “Is that why you were hiding in a bin when there was a fire going on, Norman?” Penny asked. “To avoid getting blamed for something you didn’t do?”
   “Yes,” Norman said. “If I wasn’t set up, I would have ran out with the others.”
   “Well, everyone outside also knows you didn’t cause all this,” Sam said. “So, come on, let’s get out of here.”

Sam, Penny and Norman joined the others outside. Everyone gave them applause.
   After he was checked by Dr. Gilbertson, Norman’s friends approached him. “We’re very sorry we didn’t believe you, Norman,” James said.
   “We’re sorry we jumped to you at many conclusions today,” Derek said.
   “So who was it who did it?” Norman asked.
   “It was Mark Mapper.” PC Selby approached them, holding the young lad in cuffs.
   “Why, Mark?” Charlie Pringle asked.
   “I don’t know,” Mark said. “I guess I just love excitement.”
   “You call burning buildings, putting lives at risk and framing someone else in the progress to take the blame excitement?” Mandy roared.
   “Even when that framed person couldn’t even get out of a burning building because he was more terrified of getting falsely accused than the large flames,” Penny added.
   “Well, he’s expelled from my school,” Lauren said.
   “And he’s off to the Greendale Mental Hospital where he is to be remained until further notice,” PC Selby said, taking him to his police car.
   Then everyone saw the Pat 3 and the dome landing next to them on the roofless observatory. Pat and Jess were greeted with applause as he landed.
   The postman approached Mr. Raddard. “Your dome is here safe and sound.” Pat checked his watch. “And with two minutes to spare, even with today’s mayhem.”
   “Why, thank you, Pat,” Mr. Raddard said. “And I want you and everyone to come back in two weeks time.”

Everyone, with even more customers from Ingledale, Greendale, Pencaster and Pontypandy, did come back in two weeks time to the brand new, rebuilt Ingledale Space Museum. It was as if it had never burnt down. The height was the same and the coloured walls were the same, but it added more space objects and more information boards than the opening day. And the dome Pat and Jess delivered was where it should be: under the vast, golden Observatory Telescope.
   Everyone gathered around in the reception, where Mr. Raddard stood in front of a large green curtain.
   “Thank you for coming back again,” he said. “Two weeks ago, this place nearly burnt to the ground, but two special organizations have prevented that from happening as well as saving every single life during that day. And to express my gratitude, take a look of this.”
   He pulled the curtain rope and everyone were impressed to see a stone plague with Jupiter and Pat 3 on it. It said:

‘This Plague is dedicated to the heroes of the Burning Day of the Observatory: The Pontypandy Fire Service and the Special Delivery Service.’

   Everyone gave Firemen Sam, Elvis, Penny, Steele, Norris and Tom Thomas and Postman Pat, Jess the Cat and Ben Taylor a massive around of applause.
   “This will be a day to remember, won’t it, Pat?” Sam said.
   “It certainly will be, Sam,” Pat said. “Special Delivery Service: Mission Accomplished.” He put his thumbs up.

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