Sunday, 24 June 2018

Progress Report Saturday 23rd June 2018

Dear All,

The Ecclesbourne Valley basked in glorious sunshine today and our visitors were out in force. Firstly a group of heritage railway enthusiasts arrived from Bristol. With notebooks and pens to the ready they departed on a very comprehensive yard tour facilitated by Richard. I believe every item of rolling stock/ motive power was suitably photographed and catalogued before they enjoyed a trip to Ravenstor then Shottle for some further stock identification and recording. The second service of the day required our catering team to provide some ad hoc afternoon teas as visitors had seen the carriage laid out ready for a booked service which had stimulated their appetites. Thanks to Helen for organising this at very short notice.

Shortly after departure of the 13.20 Duffield service, a coach party from Essex pulled into the car park. This was scheduled to arrive for the 15.15 return service to Duffield but the driver felt his passengers would enjoy a longer visit to our railway. So a coach load of 40+ descended on the station cafe for refreshments. The team were already busy serving customers and preparing sandwiches for the last train service of a party from Rotary who were joining the train for afternoon tea so one can imagine the challenge the catering team faced. Thankfully, they rose to that challenge and were able to cater for the unexpected rush. My grateful thanks to the catering team who were very busy throughout the day and a special mention to our youngest volunteer, Kyle Tait who prepared and laid the compartment tables for the afternoon tea service. We achieved consistency high passenger numbers on all trains today and it was great to see the stations so busy.

Down the yard over running maintenance on 'Brian Harrison' meant 'Iris' undertook the Ravenstor service. It is hoped that we will be back to steam on the incline for Sunday. There was much banging and clattering coming from the maintenance facility and I will leave it to Tim Oakes to brief you on progress. Between passenger trips on the miniature railway Ron could be found preparing the ground for the next extension to the line and I'm sure he would appreciate any help anyone can offer with this project.

Today's service was supported by the booking office staff, EVRA shop, catering team and miniature railway. 

A most enjoyable and commercially rewarding day.

All the best, Tom