Saturday, 31 December 2011
Friday, 30 December 2011
A day which gradually got colder and wetter here in the Centre of the
World, known to the locals as Wirksworth. Down the yard, the railcar
team began fixing new pieces of Formica to the vestibule area of class
119 railcar number 51073 (see http://www.e-v-r.com/stock/51073 ), which
is now beginning to receive major attention as a serious and important
restoration project. The class 119 is in many ways quite a unique
vehicle, there are very few of them left and the one we've got is the
first class end. On the same siding, but in the shed, single unit
railcar 55006 continued to receive welder's attention to its wasted
parts and we look forward to its return to pristine condition in due
course. Also in the shed the GLV "Pullman" buffet has received its
Lancaster Cream paintwork on the up side and is now looking altogether
Some tidying up took place around the station and car park. The two
gazebos which had recently been blown up by terrorists / eaten by
immigrants (depending on whether you read the Mail or the Express), but
which had of course been despatched by high winds, were recovered and
filed. Or more exactly, those parts which could be found were recovered
and filed, under the bookshop. The town gardeners were present on the
equally windswept hillside which is the Community Garden, and this was
today being extended to encompass the planned "wild garden", which will
be where bees and other such wild and ferocious creatures will be kept.
At Duffield, an extensive litter pick took place, the New Year's banners
were put out to attract the passing hordes, and the paint was delivered
so that Rodney can finish painting the Mess Room when the weather improves.
On Sunday, New Years Day trains will depart from Wirksworth at 11.20,
13.20 and 15.20 (returns), and from Duffield at 12.10 and 14.10
(returns) and 16.10 (to Wirksworth only). An additional 15 minutes will
be added in the down direction for a stop at Windley Meadows for the
service of seasonal refreshments to passengers.
All the best,
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Saturday, 24 December 2011
Thursday, 22 December 2011
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Sunday, 18 December 2011
Today's principal activity was Santa, and a very jolly time was had by
everyone involved. The trains were busy, North Pole was thronged and
Santa and the elves were kept on their toes all day. I am sure we spread
a great deal of happiness, especially among the smaller persons
attending, and this is right and proper.
Around the yard, the LMS brake van received a stove capable of roasting
a turkey inside, and we look forward to its ceremonial lighting. In the
shed (sort of) the welder ran out of gas but spent the day on the
grinder to make up for it. The DMU team slapped paint around the first
class seat frames destined for unit 51505, and then retired to the Mess
Room to try the hot spiced apple juice: no happier bunch of slappers
could be found for miles around.
Traditionally as this is my last report of the year, I extend my very
grateful thanks to all at the Railway and beyond who have contributed to
such an astonishingly successful year as we have had. None of this could
be achieved without the complete and thorough dedication to the Railway
which all exhibit, and of which we are tremendously proud.
My colleagues and I will extend a considerable toast to you all and the
Railway this evening at the Whore and Trumpet (A Marston's House) into
whose welcoming arms we are about to descend, and we shall no doubt be
all present and sober, or as sober as could be demonstrated without
excessive falsehood, in the morning.
A very Merry Christmas to one and all.
Saturday, 17 December 2011
Friday, 16 December 2011
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Sunday, 11 December 2011
Well, if yesterday was cold, today was wet in the deepest Peak District,
or at least that part of it which extended as far the North Pole. Santa
duly arrived having struggled with various challenges during the week
including stripping Derby of its entire tinsel supply, all the mulled
wine for miles around, and enough bags for presents to supply most of
western Europe. After a brief tussle with the chimney Santa plonked
himself down at the end of the Mess Room table and searched for his
Morrisons Bag. After some grunting and pulling, the Reindeer were also
extracted from the chimney and parked in the Pullman Buffet, where John
Allsop will be surprised to find them tomorrow morning. Down the line,
to the sound of ticking engines and the coughing of the heaters, the
North Pole Express pulled into North Pole, to the deep joy of all those
who could sing in tune, and to the considerable surprise of the
residents of Idridgehay who were wondering why the entire village
strangely smelled of mulled wine and why good King Wencleslas could be
heard on the radio when it was turned off.
Back at base, the carpet fitter arrived to lay the first class carpet in
railcar 51505, but the adhesive wasn't up to the job and the entire DMU
team were deeply disappointed not to get laid this weekend. The carpet
fitter has promised to return next week, having got over the shock of
having to lay a carpet in a train, and promised to bring the kind of
glue that we won't be able to get off without a hammer and chisel. The
Duty Conscript damply litter-picked his way up to Ravenstor; the class
119 began to receive attention to its interior window frames and the
main footgate was repaired. Meanwhile the Reindeer had escaped and were
eating Dan Smith's chips.
All the best,
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Friday, 9 December 2011
Thursday, 8 December 2011
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Monday, 5 December 2011
Sunday, 4 December 2011
I'm sure there's a Christmas song that goes "the weather outside was
shocking...", well, it was pretty shocking this afternoon and we got
quite wet. The DMU team spent the morning painting the interior cab of
unit 51505 a choice shade of maroon. At lunchtime, fortified by some
sausages, they went out and carried the Christmas Tree into the quad,
and spent rather a lot of time getting it up. After this herculean
effort they went back down the yard and sanded the first class seat
frames prior to painting, and these will presently grace the first class
compartment of unit 51505.
Also down the yard, or more accurately in the shed, the LMS brake van
received its felt roof and is now watertight, to the considerable joy of
all concerned. The Duty Conscript assisted the necessary routine
inspection of the yard sump and then assisted with the cleaning of the
Santa Train. I extend my most grateful thanks specifically to John and
Yvonne for the two days of huge effort which cleaning, preparing and
decorating the Santa Train has involved, not counting the packing of
presents which is taking place even as most of you read this report.
Now that we have reached the subject of Santa, the following further
notes are pertinent. Volunteers are required on Tuesday to fit out,
prepare and decorate the refreshment area of the Santa Train and
complete the decoration of Wirksworth Station which was unfortunately
interrupted by today's weather conditions. Volunteers are also required
on Wednesday to prepare and decorate Idridgehay Station. A tree has been
obtained for Duffield.
Finally, a note for staff who may be new to our railway this year and
who may not have seen Santa in action here. Passengers and guests pay a
significant amount of money for an enjoyable experience, an experience
which requires tremendous work and effort from us. Please note that
hi-vis clothing is confined to trackside activities and safety issues
only: please do not appear in the middle of any Santa activity on any
platform in hi-vis clothing at any time. Any non-Santa operating request
must be approved by the General Manager on Santa operating days.
All the best,
Saturday, 3 December 2011
A very chilly day in Wirksworth which saw the last of our Winter Timetable days for a while. Santa next week!
The passenger department spent the whole day decorating the North Pole Express for next week. The red bulbs in the grotto really finish it off!
Down the yard, the LMSCA were in attendance and work continued on the LMS brake van.
The DMU team rekindled memories of a few years ago as the Class 119 was rolled on to the pit for the restoration to commence. This vehicle was last touched 23 months ago, but last ran in 1993!
A good day,
Friday, 2 December 2011
Thursday, 1 December 2011
The PWT, who have had a strange week, released Pan 11 chairs from sleepers on the former Gorsey Bank line and loaded then to the Sturgeon during the morning. In view of the EMT activities they were confined to Wirksworth Yard this afternoon and provided some most useful shunting of stock including the preparation of the Works Train for next week.