There really was a feeling that our 2019 season continues at something of a gallop as we scanned across the carpark, platforms, buffet, shop, miniature railway and passenger service this afternoon and they all looked really very busy under distinctly average weather conditions.
We also performed something of an operational first in the late afternoon as the returning final steam service passed a two car DMU southbound and under private charter at Shottle, more of this later. This could not have been performed without Signamen John and Tony turning out on a Saturday afternoon to ensure safe passage of the later afternoon passing services.
Todays deepest footbath award goes to the catering team, as well as dealing with the aforementioned large volume of hungry visitors, part way through the day they were slightly startled by an unexpected party of a further 22 hungry visitors but as usual rose to the challenge and all were sent away having enjoyed their meal with us. As afternoon turned to evening and still not convinced they had fed enough people they catered for the large evening charter. If you haven't tried Helens cakes I must insist you do so at your earliest convenience, they are to die for.
This evenings private service was to celebrate the birthday of one of our members who is also a very experienced railwayman with his friends and family. The evening comprised drinks taken in the Bubble car, followed by the full group on a 4pm departure on the two car DMU to Duffield. On their return an extensive buffet meal provided by the catering team prior to which all the names were entered into a hat and four lucky winners got a drive a diesel service on two more return trips to Duffield. Under Bens instruction the four lucky winners each took their turn at the desk and provided the crew a rather pleasant ride down and up the valley. As the party organisers left at the end of the evening and enthusiastically thanked us it was clear they had genuinely enjoyed their time with us, its rewarding to see people leave as new advocates of our services and hospitality.
Away from the gaze of the crowds the Engineerium was also busy working on the Duke, Faraday and the Derby Lightweights smallest room was a focus of attention as the toilet facilities were being installed.
A huge vote of thanks to everyone who gave their time today to ensure so many guests enjoyed their time with us.
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Operations