Monday, 28 February 2011
Sunday, 27 February 2011
I speak to you now from the parlour of the Whore and Trumpet (A
Marston's House), where embrocation is being applied to our parts after
another tumultuous day. Following the (no doubt) considerable joy of
motorists on many roads between Toddington and here, the tamper arrived
on a gargantuan but slow low-loader and then had to be turned so that
the sharp end faces south. Inevitably the heavens opened at this point,
but the low-loader crew met this with their usual resignation in the
face of torrential rain, much the same having happened at Toddington
this morning where they also had to turn the tamper. Surely, you may
say, was it not the right way round in the first place? Er, yes, it was.
Meanwhile in preparation for the tamper, the Sunday P-way gang had been
toiling on Hazelwood straight, where 5 panels of sleepers were squared,
drainage channels improved, and scrap collected.
Around Wirksworth Yard, the steam team lit up Ferrybridge No3 and tested
its brick arch by taking it to Idridgehay Gates before declaring
themselves happy. Meanwhile the Taylor Process, whose top secret method
appears to consist of a bucket of water with bleach, was continuing to
be applied to said gates and nearby items. Much the same approach but
this time with washing up liquid was being applied to the gradient posts
and the Museum Carriage at Wirksworth, and this vehicle now has a yellow
end again, rather than a green one.
The DMU team finished all but two of the Met Cam seats and the Rolling
Stock Superintendent displayed his vast talents by fitting axle box pads
to the tanker wagon, oiled the axle boxes of the Saloon and went on, in
a packed programme, to adjust the speedo on Iris. The LMSCA continued
their considerable efforts in the LMS Third Open with the heater plating
being attended to, amongst other things. Also in the general field of
the LMS, the brake van appeared to have turned the corner in so far as
it received its first new bolted-on bit, as opposed to having its bits
ground off, which is what has been taking place so far. The newly
arrived wagon body from another nearby railway received the inevitable
undercoat, under Rule 1001: "Rusting vehicles are not permitted at the EVR".
Finally, the Duty Conscript discovered that it was difficult to hold his
pants up and work at the same time, but nevertheless did a fine job of
removing some of the excess ballast from the platform 3 interlaced track
and applied it to what will be the start of the new picnic area path.
Members of the public standing on the platform felt that green underwear
was fairly tasteful, but possibly not the year's most fashionable colour.
The Booking Hall happily shook some wallets even between showers.
All the best,
Saturday, 26 February 2011
Friday, 25 February 2011
Thursday, 24 February 2011
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Sunday, 20 February 2011
Another tiring day today, much to do and now precious little time in
which to do it. Again the bulk of effort went towards the Met Cam centre
car and the seats were assembled for the middle compartment so are ready
for fixing. Some preparatory work was done on the three remaining doors
which require attention. One of the two communication cords was rendered
operational. The LMS third open was shunted to platform 1 for its new
floor, which I will refer to as mushroom brown lino, thus being
guaranteed another Japanese spelling lesson. The shunting process, while
sounding simple, took very vital time off the DMU team, and if shunting
can be accomplished during the week or during other operations, this
would help that team for the present time.
Around the site, work proceeded on the LMS brake van and much rust
removal and angle grinding continued. The single duty conscript made
repairs to the north end ramp of platform 3, and the Rod and Mary Show
made serious inroads into the declining condition of the platform
shelter prior to its repainting. The BSK project crept forward with Rob
Green showing particular initiative in the identification of a suitable
steward's seat frame. The Booking Hall dealt with an increasing number
of visitors bearing strange, unusual and sometimes quite barking
enquiries, but its what we do. Training also took place in guard's
knowledge and this is only one part of a little seen and rather
intensive training programme taking place in several departments, behind
the scenes at the moment.
If anyone is interested in taking a greater role in the induction of new
volunteers I would be interested to hear from you (respond to my email
not the group). There is a view, which has considerable merit, that new
volunteers should be inducted in batches once or twice a month. At
present we are inducting people more or less as they walk in the door
and at current levels of effort prior to the Opening one might
reasonably take the view that we should be inducting people at our
convenience rather than interrupt major work when someone walks in and
expects our open arms on the spot: I say this candidly and this in no
way reflects any wish on our part to discourage new volunteers in any way.
All the best,
Saturday, 19 February 2011
Friday, 18 February 2011
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Sunday, 13 February 2011
Although the day was damp a great variety of tasks have been undertaken.
Starting at the south end of the line, the philosophy division of the
P-Way gang completed sleeper straightening on four panels of track near
Hazelwood, and a delivery of lamps posts was made for Duffield (to
Wirksworth in the end).
The yard at Wirksworth resounded to the sound of the angle grinder as
work proceeded on the LMS brake van and the brake van team recovered
some useful steelwork, which had formerly been engaged as the doors of
the late dust dock (waste not, want not). This appeared to involve the
use of the longest lever in the universe and thus the application of
science as well as philosophy by our volunteers today. Meanwhile, work
began on the J94 with a small team attending to its smokebox door. Also
on the steam front, a detachment of the Steam Team assisted by Higham
Enterprises replaced the motion (a working part) on number 2217, better
known in these annals as Henry Ellison.
Meanwhile, another magistrate of conscripts had arrived and were issued
with the new wheelbarrow, which bears the proud insignia of the
Passenger Department and when not in operation for conscript duties will
be used to transport inebriated members of the public to their homes,
and will receive the shed code YA for Yokecliffe Avenue. As a
consequence of today's conscript activities, the Wash Green crossover
has had the accumulated leaf fall removed from it; the station approach
has had some of its kerbstones reset, and work has continued to make up
the carriage sidings path.
In the BSK, another carriage project quietly progressing at the moment,
Chris Allenby and Captain Jack have had a lot of wood around for most of
the day, and this has resulted in a rather tasteful partition to
separate the trolley area of the BSK from the bike storage area.
The DMU team, not to be outdone in the field of carriage interiors and
assisted by Moore Enterprises, have rendered one of the two heaters for
the Met Cam centre car operational, and are within a small chuff (a
steam term) of having the other one going. At the other end of the
vehicle, the Ashbourne Mango Show, supervised by Gration Enterprises,
has fitted the backs onto five of the seat frames which will shortly
adorn this fine vehicle.
The Booking Hall happily entertained a number of slightly damp visitors
and some constructive wallet shaking took place, through a fog of nail
All the best,