Sunday, 30 October 2011

Progress Report Sunday the 30th October 2011

Dear all,

A surprisingly pleasant afternoon developed for the final Sunday
services of the year which were modestly well patronised including
passengers boarding for Bournemouth. A Day with a Driver guest also
thoroughly enjoyed himself before returning to Manchester.

The DMU team, now back to full strength after Village Green had returned
from his holiday somewhere near Wales, carried on with the refurb of the
interior of unit 51505, where the ceilings are being replaced and where
the foul orange formica is being stripped from the doors and is being
replaced with a wood-effect type, though some doubt was expressed about
the nature of the adhesive being used by Bramson Enterprises to attach
this to the backboards.

Around the yard the wood theme was apparent, with the LMS brake van
continuing to receive its panelling and strapping, and in the Picnic
Area essential fencing work was being carried out by Nathan with Ross
assisting with a number of lengths.

A reminder, as ever occurs in these annals, about the necessity of
keeping the yard tidy and the walking routes clear, particularly for our
shunters who operate in all areas of the yard by daylight and also in
darkness at this time of year. Will the person who left a trolley on the
safe walking route during this week kindly report to me. In the meantime
the trolley has been stored in a safe place with the key under my hand.

Finally, a word of thanks to all our volunteers who have worked so hard
at Duffield Station this year, Duffield Booking Hall is now closed until
the 2012 season for conversion work.

All the best,
Anton

Friday, 28 October 2011

Progress Friday 28th October 2011

Dear all
 
I was a number ahead on myself! October 29th is tomorrow but it may be opportune to remind you that there is an extra hour in bed Saturday night/Sunday morning.
 
Martin

Progress Friday 29th October 2011

Dear all
 
We welcomed eight guests today, four for the Group Drive a Diesel Day and four for 2 hour steam experiences. The steam folk were ably entertained and educated by Mick Thomas and Bob Grange marking the last steaming of No3 for 2011 allowing the locomotive to be winterised until the Spring of 2012. The diesel folk were fulsome in their praise of Richard Buckby and John Allsop who hosted their day with us.
 
Much effort has been put into solving the frustrating problems with LJB and another valve has been discovered, cleaned and reassembled with satisfactory results during the rest of today. The 3 Car set enjoyed some attention to a door window frame and the dmu sets for the weekend were prepared, fuelled and positioned ready for the last weekend of the year when we offer a full service.
 
The Booking Hall welcomed today's guests and generally prepared for the up coming weekend. A further five seats were sold on the Thames-Ecclesbourne Express and it is encouraging that Santa bookings continue to be received through the web site.
 
Martin

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Progress Thursday 27th October 2011

Dear all
 
A grey, damp day where the spirit needs to lift the soul. My spirit is with me whilst I pen this missive!
 
The S&T van made sterling progress and is now ready for felting as the deadline for its eviction into the outside world approaches. The PWT had a mixed day after a little local difficulty energising LJB but eventually recovered the Sturgeon from the Gorsey Bank line and then devoted their attentions to Faraday which at least would provide mobility if LJB is going to continue to misbehave.
 
Again they were frustrated as the container of antifreeze previously placed in the machine had been raided by person or persons unknown resulting in a great deal of extra effort to replace the missing liquid. Mick Thomas has designed and installed a unique device for topping up Faraday's air supply from LJB after another person or persons unknown had discharged the previously stored air.
 
All these actions by the unknowns causes so much extra and time consuming work and it must be emphasized that the Responsible Officer of the day must be consulted before stores or raided or locomotives are started, or attempted to be started.
 
Mick the Flail set sail to the south with the task of dealing with sight lines at footpaths F2 and F3 where growth was beginning to obscure vision for both the footpath users and the train crew.
 
The Booking Hall continued to process Santa and Thames-Ecclesbourne Express bookings yielding a further satisfactory banking.
 
An email today reminded me that one of our many unsung heroes had achieved another breakthrough for the enterprise. Ernie Marchant who diligently looks after our share register with its some 1600 participants has to provide an annual return to Companies House. Today marked the first eFiling of this information by Ernie with some technical help from Neil. This beats having to hand deliver to Cardiff some 40 sheets of A4 but reminds us that the same rules seem to apply to our small plc as to the major corporations. Yet another example of the behind the scenes work that keeps us on the straight and narrow.
 
Martin
 
I am sure you will enjoy some pleasant news from Peter Taylor who has been given the all clear after his kidney removal and is feeling mightily relieved. I feel he will be back amongst us before too long.

Thames-Ecclesbourne Express Excursion

Dear all,

Tickets are selling very well for this fantastic day out - the first one to operate!

If you would like to travel with us to London St. Pancras International on Saturday 26th November 2011 then please book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. At the time of writing there are only 3 first class seats remaining!

For more information and how to book go to www.e-v-r.com/thames

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Progress Wednesday 26th October 2011

Dear all
 
A most productive day with the PWT and Komatsu setting sail for the south with two main tasks in their sights. The first was to provide a Road/Rail access point at Shottle using ballast recovered from the Gorsey Bank line. This will enable the Komatsu to off track at Shottle and be parked under the gaze of the housing there making it much easier for Mike the Flail to reach all parts of the Railway. The other task was to continue to recover wasted rails that had been replaced from various underbridges. In the great recycling plan this rail was discharged on the remaining Gorsey Bank line to release reusable rail for future projects. Unfortunately LJB disgraced itself again at the end of the day but the Walker AA was on hand to resolve matters.
 
Progress was made with the reroofing of the S&T van with the end being in sight for this once in a lifetime task. Bob Gibbens commenced a training programme to convert two of our diesel drivers to steam drivers - maybe unique in preservation annuls - with satisfactory results. Thanks go to Matt who acted as fireman.
 
The lone carriage cleaner dealt with the three car set and the Buffet Car and associated vehicles reporting that the windows are now clean again after the attentions of some of our visitors that became over excited by the launch of 33035.
 
The Booking Hall brought up to date the Santa and Thames-Ecclesbourne bookings which continue to encourage us.
 
Martin

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Progress Tuesday 25th October 2011

Dear all,
 
Our Filing Fairy continued a full day of record keeping and file updating so necessary in the world today. Her husband joined the team of Network Rail visitors that reviewed the product produced by today's customer. The customer and his clients were hosted by Mick Thomas and everyone seemed quite happy with the end product.
 
The VCT returned to the area around Postern Lodge cutting branches that were invading the line and burning previously cut brash on three big fires. It would seem that the area south of Postern Lodge is now complete for the immediate future.
 
The PWT sorted through some 300 sleepers from the former Gorsey Bank line identifying some 30 that were beyond reuse. The fittings from these sleepers were removed for use on future purchases of these commodities - I feel another large cheque coming on!
 
The DST hid their light today as did the LMSCA and I not sure what each team achieved but I am sure it was very productive.
 
The quest to re-roof the S&T van moved on apace and the dmu car 51505 had attention to its leaking roof. It was a delight to see Fred and Iris who cleansed the Mess Hall to their usual very high standard.They also reported on a visit to Shirley Baines who, happily, is in very good health. Stewart and Shirley were with us in the early days and did a tremendous amount of work clearing vegetation and were an inspiration to be amongst working at a pace that would defy someone of half their age. (On their first visit Shirley sat in the car having suffered a major stroke but by sheer determination she gradually became more mobile until she put us all to shame with her energy - I really do believe that railways are good for your health!)
 
There was much shunting to prepare tomorrow's works train and it is ready to go at the crack of dawn and a man came to restore our three phase welder to health which has been done.
 
The Booking Hall is still under pressure as the final accounting for the previous weekend was dealt with and further bookings for Santa and the Thames-Ecclesbourne Express received.
 
Lots achieved again.
 
Martin

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Progress Report Sunday the 23rd October 2011

Dear all,

Well, a storming performance in terms of passenger numbers brought to a
fitting end this season's major event programme. I would like to thank
everyone who has had any hand at all in this. It has been an excellent
season.

Today and yesterday the Pioneer Diesel Locomotive Group provided a class
33 so sparkling that the locals thought a second sun had risen over
Wirksworth. This newly restored work of art attracted enthusiasts from
as far afield as London, Southampton, Exeter and many of its old haunts,
who came to be equally astonished by our magnificent line. Passenger
feedback has been wonderful. I commend the PDLG, and doubtless the
landlord of the Red Lion will commend them too, even those not sleeping
in his bedrooms. It only remains for us now to clean the train windows.

Meanwhile around the yard, the work of maintenance and support
continued, with the LMS brake van having its planking extended and the
BSK having its interior attended to. The class 20 and the class 31 both
received routine attention, with the class 20 group experiencing a
life-changing trip to Doncaster, from whence all roads lead:
particularly for those wishing to escape. A magistrate of conscripts
were liberally spread around the yard, moving brash, painting the main
footgate and mowing the wideway. Our own cadets assisted the general
range of duties with the usual demands for gaffer tape and buckets and
also began the paling work on the picnic area fence.

All the best,
Anton

Progress Saturday 23rd October 2011

Dear all,

33035 departed Wirksworth spot on 10:20 this morning with her first passenger train since withdrawal from Network SouthEast. A triumph to the Pioneer Diesel Locomotive Group.

Many happy enthusiasts travelled the Duffield line as well as Ravenstor, with 33035 running 4 trains throughout the day.

An independent camera crew visited making a documentary on the great benefits of the railway on Wirksworth as a town. They had many positive comments.

More of the same tomorrow please!

Tom Tait

Friday, 21 October 2011

Progress Friday 21st October 2011

Dear all
 
A  most pleasant day with a customer in the shape of the RAIB on a training session. They expressed satisfaction with their endeavours and hopefully will return for more work with us.
 
A considerable amount of effort has resulted in LJB returning to health and a great deal of fuel was delivered to top up 33035, D8001 and our tank which was rapidly raided by the Komatsu and LJB. The results from this weekend had better warrant the investment!
 
A great deal of preparation has been entailed for the weekend and we are now poised for the Class 33 debut which has a large amount of precision built into the event.
 
The Booking Hall received more Santa bookings and weekend enquiries that would seem to bring another variety of enthusiast to our Railway. We await the spending propensity of these attendees.
 
Martin

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Progress Thursday 20th October 2011

Dear all
 
Another cold, sunny day with a modest but productive turn out. We welcomed a regular customer who tested three machines in Wirksworth Yard during the day ably looked after by Mick Thomas. Mick also had an opportunity to load the Rudd with ballast recovered from the Gorsey Bank line which will be used to form a Road/Rail Access Point at Shottle, north of the station.
 
Much material was delivered to re-roof the S&T van and the VCT continued their fence repair work at Postern Lodge. The Booking Hall processed more Santa bookings and prepared the web page for the Thames-Ecclesbourne Express.
 
Martin

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Progress Wednesday 19th October 2011

Dear all
 
Bitterly cold but sunny saw today's test customer marooned in The Malt Shovel car park with a flat battery! However, after the ministrations of the AA testing commenced ably hosted by Mick Thomas and all appeared to be well after quite a long day.
 
The lone carriage cleaner tended to the 3 car set, emptied the Buffet Car of black bags after the wheelie bin had been cleared and gave the Gatex a do. The Head of Gardening was in operation also filling up the newly emptied bin but assured me she had jumped up and down in the bin to maximise capacity.
 
The PWT stripped down a further length on the Gorsey Bank line and "flipped" 56 sleepers resulting in exhaustion and the need for hot baths tonight. Work continued with the extension to the steam engine shed and Mike the Flail tackled an area between Callow Park and Ken Rowlands crossing. Further soil riddling took place at Duffield with the resulting stone being delivered to Hazelwood for the entrance roadway.
 
Also a long day for the Rolling Stock Engineer who was trying to solve the problems encountered by LJB yesterday. Progress was made but there is more to be done before it returns to traffic.
 
The Booking Hall processed and brought up to date Santa bookings which now have reached around 10% of the target for this year. This is well ahead of where we were this time last year. Somewhat of a buzz surrounded the first sales on the Thames-Ecclesbourne Express with two First Class returns from Wirksworth to St Pancras International now in the bag.
 
Martin
 
If you get this message a little later than normal it is because I am having some email difficulties. BT's overseas operation has promised me a call at 0815 tomorrow, Thursday, in an attempt to resolve matters!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Progress Tuesday 18th October 2011

Dear all
 
A slightly subdued air today for obvious reasons and fate conspired against again today as L J Breeze gave up the ghost at bridge DJW6 frustrating the planned collection of wasted rails recently replaced under many of our bridges. After some time spent trying to rectify the fault D8001 was commandeered to rescue the locomotive and train. A most frustrating day for the PWT.
 
The DST started to strip and label parts from Cathryn and the LMSCA commenced to consider their options for going forward. The VCT, whose day was also affected by the failure of LJB, managed to complete their planned fence repairs on one side of the line near Postern Lodge and reported a large fire to burn brash and rotten timbers.
 
Duffield reported the clearance of leaves and movement of top soil and the Filing Fairy met with Stuart and John E to further pin down the accuracy of our "paper trail".
 
The Booking Hall and Bookkeeper combined to account for our most successful seven days of trading. Santa is now coming to the fore with both postal and online payments helping the cause.
 
Martin
 
I have had chance to view Paul's double DVD set entitled "Steam in the Valley" that celebrates all the hard work involved in reconstructing the Idridgehay to Duffield section in the first volume. The second is a most splendid record of the Royal Opening, Members and Shareholders days together with the public celebrations. The filming is absolutely delightful showing the Railway off at its best. Well worth the money!
 
Peter Taylor has offered his resignation as our Independent Safety Advisor to the Board following a major operation to remove a cancerous kidney. After spending some two weeks in hospital he has been plagued by post operative infections and is temporarily housebound. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Peter and I am sure you will all join me in wishing him a speedy recovery to his old self. Without Peter's help and faith in us we would not have reached Idridgehay by now yet alone Duffield.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Monday 17th October 2011

Dear all
 
Unfortunately the only news for today is that the Stanier Third Open sustained severe fire damage overnight which is thought to have been from welding undertaken in the late evening yesterday. The fire was reported at around 0540 this morning by a passer by and contained by the Wirksworth Fire Brigade. The adjacent Brakevan containing the lamp display also suffered some fire damage. No other rolling stock was affected.
 
Our thoughts go out to the LMSCA team who have devoted so much time and effort into the restoration of this vehicle and can only be but mortified at the speed of events.
 
Martin

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Progress Report Sunday the 16th of October 2011

Dear all,

I speak to you now from the parlour of the Whore and Trumpet (a
Marston's House), where we are soaking our feet and having our parts
embrocated after a supremely busy weekend. Droves, I say droves, of
visitors attended the annual Wirksworth Model Railway Exhibition, and I
extend our complete and utter thanks to all involved for their hard work
in making this event such a success. We are quite, quite exhausted.

In addition to coping with these large numbers, a Day with a Driver
guest was also entertained; Duffield Booking Hall discovered Scottish
pound notes; the Duty Conscript removed a dangerous bush from Wash Green
Bridge; the LMS TO received welding attention; and the LMS brake van
made such progress that its fine interior planking would do credit to a
Swedish educational video.

Overall a very excellent weekend indeed, with barely a scone left in the
buffet, nor a bread roll left in the town.

All the best,
Anton

Progress Saturday 15th October 2011

Dear all,

A cool but beautifully sunny day for the annual Model Railway Exhibition. There were drouths of happy passengers. In fact, so many East Midlands Trains stopped a few London expresses at Belper and Duffield because, combined with some football match, there wasn't enough capacity on the Matlock branch.

The day ended in a fantastic Fish and Chip train. This, our first on the Duffield line, went brilliantly with some 40 eating chips.

Cheers,

Mike Evans

Friday, 14 October 2011

Progress Friday 14th October 2011

Dear all,
 
Another quite pleasant autumnal day during which three participants arrived for their Group Drive a Diesel Day one travelling from Brechin in the north and another from Torquay in the south. All three had given the Red Lion their business together with partners. Unfortunately, I still await the commission cheque. They were most ably hosted by Lewis and Richard B and accomplished a great deal of useful shunting at Wirksworth during their morning session. Thanks go to Dorothy who provided a much appreciated lunch.
 
The LMSCA continued with their work on the Third Open and dmu maintenance concentrated on readying 55006 for use with No3 over the weekend and servicing "Iris", again for the weekend.
 
JHT serviced No3 after its starring role yesterday so that it is in good condition for the weekend.
 
A great deal of energy has been put into setting up the Model Railway weekend at the three venues for this ever popular event.
 
The Booking Hall welcomed our Drive a Diesel clients and prepared for the up coming weekend with the additional lift of yet more Santa bookings.
 
Not quite as busy as yesterday but a most satisfactory day with a burst of MyTestTrack bookings resulting in next week hosting three revenue earning opportunities.
 
Martin
 
 

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Progress Thursday 13th October 2011

Dear all,
 
Today represented all that is good about our enterprise and was a delightful celebration of everything that has been achieved over the past 10 years. The Midland Phoenix 125 Special organised by UK Railtours left St Pancras International at 0940 and glided into Duffield at 1153 where some 211 people disembarked for the 5 Car DMU awaiting them bound for Wirksworth. Running slightly early the train disgorged its passengers at 1235. They were then faced with a plethora of possibilities that included a shuttle service to Ravenstor, the narrow gauge, the miniature railway, the model railway, the EVRA shop, the Buffet Car, No3 and brakevan rides, the Booking Hall and the Fred & Iris tea stall. Promptly at 1445 the 5 Car returned to Duffield, on a non stop run thanks to Vince W and Tony W, to arrive in good time for the 1536 Duffield to St Pancras International.
 
The sun broke through and all our visitors seemed very pleased with their time at Wirksworth and my heartfelt thanks go out to all our team who made it happen. All our outlets benefited and the day was a huge financial success. The organisers seemed quite pleased and have already booked a return visit next April!
 
Who could have envisaged only a few years ago that this would be possible and everyone involved in the Railway should bask in a warm glow. Again our splendid relationships with East Midland Trains helped immensely with Iain Fitzpatrick, who recently joined us as a volunteer, keeping me up to date with progress and acting as Guard/Conductor between Derby and Barrow Hill, the end destination. Staff from Derby assisted with the activities on Duffield Main Line and Rodney managed to squeeze even a little more money out of our visitors.
 
Marvellous.
 
Out of the limelight the LMSCA continued their work on the Third Open and further activity was seen with the S&T van. The VCT continued with their fence repairs south of Postern Lodge.
 
One of our Rail Tour visitors had travelled specially to see dmu car W51360, a driving motor brake second and you may ask why? I will tell you - we now know it featured in a Norman Wisdom film entitled "Pressed for Time" filmed at West Drayton - not many people knew this but more do now - I feel a plaque coming on.
 
Martin
 
 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Progress Wednesday 12th October 2011

Dear all
 
A much more pleasant day with a little sunshine which was a blessing for the PWT who achieved a whole line track patrol with the exception of Ravenstor which will be dealt with tomorrow morning. Another part of the PWT emptied the RUDD that contained the material dug out during the pointwork renovation at Wirksworth leaving it available for loading with ballast next week.
 
The whole team then joined together at Wirksworth to empty vehicles of track "smalls" into the secure area that will reduce the chance of them disappearing one night.
 
The lone carriage cleaner achieved remarkable productivity dealing with the 5 Car dmu set, two single cars and the Gatwick Express coaches. I am very grateful for this splendid and necessary work.
 
Water tanks were removed from Cathryn and placed to ground at the rear of the Maintenance Facility. What remains of the loco was shunted into the shed parallel to Henry Ellison so the DST can move between the two as funds permit.
 
Duffield has seen the path along the former Down Slow Platform cleansed and brash from tree pruning moved to Hazelwood for burning.
 
The Booking Hall has been processing Santa bookings which is an encouraging sign as activity didn't start until late October last year.
 
We have a most significant day tomorrow and planning and preparation has been in hand today to ensure we operate like a well oiled machine.
 
Martin

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Progress Tuesday 11th October 2011

Dear all,
 
A picture of the future showing Wirksworth in 2020 when the construction of HS3 has been completed.
 
Meanwhile, a rotten day with unrelenting rain that would have dampened anyone except our intrepid teams. Mike the Flail moved further south commencing his efforts in the Barnsley Lane area achieving the usual dramatic results and the LMSCA were out in force continuing their labours on the Third Open. The Head of Gardening braved the rain and made further progress with Wirksworth's station gardens. The VCT operated in the Postern Lodge area and refurbished some 70 ft of fencing and burning the surplus wood and vegetation.
 
The DST tended to No3 which had developed a number of some faults. After the repairs were completed the loco was steam tested and all declared well again. Henry Ellison had rivets removed from its firebox and steam pipes cleaned. Sundry parts received a coat of paint.
 
The PWT journeyed to Shottle to strip down pointwork recovered from Wash Green to release useful parts for retention and those elements that will be scrapped to raise much needed funds.
A little shunting was necessary to place the S&T Van into the Maintenance Facility for roofing repairs and general tidy up. The job has now been assessed and it became clear that more major repairs to the roof are needed requiring materials to be ordered.
 
The Booking Hall tidied up their affairs after the previous weekend and received an encouraging party enquiry for next year. The results of the mail out to previous years Santa customers is beginning to yield results and online bookings are now off the ground. The Filing Fairy continued her very good work and making her presence felt with any errant volunteer whose paperwork was not up to date.
 
Martin

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Progress Report Sunday the 9th October 2011

Dear all,

A rather damp day here in the Gem of the Peak, with several small groups
carrying on the day to day business of maintenance and reconstruction.
The passenger service bobbled up and down in its immensely regular,
almost Swiss-like routine, and we greeted a Day with a Driver guest from
Birmingham who stayed so long he was still in the museum at 5pm when the
keys were being shaken.

Around the yard the LMS brake van rebuild was well in hand with about
1/4 of the side pannelling woodwork constructed. The steam team banged
away for most of the day dealing with the issue of rivets; and the DMU
team, overjoyed to have authentic lamp holders for unit 51505, continued
their illuminating work without having to resort to buying another dozen
biscuit tins (to the distress of the Mess Room incumbents, who were
hoping to eat the contents).

The path to the guerilla garden was cleared of an excess of weeds and
the Virtual Conscript, in the form of the Booking Hall Clerk, dealt with
a stump near the main gate.

Towards the end of the day, a great assembling of railcars took place
for a forthcoming charter train and sign making was engaged in for the
Model Railway Exhibition, a gift which we annually bestow upon
Wirksworth, next weekend.

All the best,
Anton

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Progress Saturday 8th October 2011

Dear all,

A cool day with winter on its way! The passenger service went up and down happily and we entertained a Day with a Driver guest too.

Down the yard, work continued on re panelling the LMS Brake Van and refurbishing E51505. The Class 33 lads were also in attendance to give their leader moral support.

Preparations continued for next years programme in the Passenger Department.

Mike Evans via Leigh

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Progress Wednesday 5th October 2011

Dear all,

I thought I would comment on what has been happening at Wirksworth today and I am sure Mick Thomas can spread some light on what the P-Way gang were up to as well.

June proceeded to clean the service trains again today which is a thankless and never ending task, whilst the catering department had a planning moment for the unusual and hopefully busy events that are coming up this month.

The Booking Hall took a reasonably large Santa booking this morning and dealt with a few charter enquiries for the 2012 season. A poster was made to advertise the Fish and Chip Special next weekend and a start was made on a hand out which will show a map of the site at Wirksworth so our visitors know what there is to see. This was amongst dealing with casual visitors who wanted to look around our enterprise.

Down the yard, work continued on the Mark 1 BSK.

Leigh

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Progress Saturday and Sunday the 1st and 2nd of October 2011

Dear all,

Due to a glitch in the blogosphere, Saturday's report did not appear, so it is copied here, followed by its mate for Sunday

Saturday:

A boiling hot day here in the noblest corner of the Peak District. The
passenger service gasped down the line and back with several passengers
being gently steamed in the heat, with the demand for chilled drinks
keeping the buffet occupied.

Around the yard the LMSCA carried on with their TO and BSK and the
senior DMU managerial staff painted a scraped bit of one of the support
coaches. The LMS brake van progressed in the delightful shade of the
Temporary Maintenance Facility and learning progressed on the narrow
gauge. The wideway received a fine mowing at the hands of an expert (the
Passenger Manager and regular mower handler being engaged elsewhere).
Staff at Duffield pottered around their vast empire trying to avoid the
Portaloos, which were suffering from the heat.

All this was accomplished with a slightly slimmer staff than usual, as
much of the DMU team and half the cadet force were believed to be "in
Yorkshire" a place which many have heard of, but few know where it lies.

Greetings from Mike Evans via Anton


Sunday:

Another wonderous day at the Ecclescake Valley Railway, we simmered rather than sweltered today, but it was very pleasant all the same. The passenger service pottered around happily and a Day with a Driver guest managed to do every service we operated.

Around the yard, the Saloon was cleaned; various repairs were attended to in the vicinity of the Training Room roof; the LMS brake van was on the receiving end of the grinder, followed by the welder, followed by some paint, courtesy of its regular staff and our cadets, and it now has two completely open sides by way of its repairs, the only toast-rack brake van in the country.

The guerilla gardeners descended on us in force and the vegetable patch grows apace. Meanwhile back on the train TTIs Hoskins and McKenzie shook a number of wallets including a party going to and from Idridgehay, to their considerable joy and ours.

All the best,
Anton