The Dorking Steam Engine Renovation Society had a pleasant surprise this week as they met at Millie's Barn for their monthly meeting when Ringo Starr turned up.
"I was blown away," said Humphrey Regard. "There we were discussing the merits of extra virgin olive oil over WD40 when Ringo came in. I've always been a big fan of his interpretation of Thomas the Tank Engine."
According to Ringo's agent, Jessica Thrull, Ringo has long been a fan of antique steam engines.
"Ringo had been restoring an old Burrell Showmas traction engine while he was with the Beatles," she said. "When he was offered the Thomas the Tank Engine gig, he was over the moon."
Members of the Dorking Steam Engine Renovation Society were impressed by Ringo's in depth knowledge of steam engines.
"We've been renovating an early example of a Stuart Turner beam engine," said Regard. "It's for the Dorking Museum of Steam and Trench Digging. He really knew his way around the condenser and boiler."
Members of the society spent a happy Sunday afternoon with Ringo Starr as the drummer helped them remove the rust from inside the boiler.
"It's spotless in there now," said Frank Exchange. "He really knew his way around wire wool and oiling solutions."
Ringo has been something of a recluse for the past few years, but condescended to giving a statement.
"It was a privilege to get my hands oily with such enthusiasts," he said. "I'd been passing through Dorking on my way to see some friends in Reigate when I saw the meeting was on. I couldn't resist."
Although the Society members asked the bearded Liverpudlian to become their patron, he declined.
"He said that Sunday was a one off," said Regard. "And if anybody tried to contact him afterwards, he would make a You Tube video asking us to stop bothering him."