Monday, 30 June 2008

Monday 30th June 2008

Dear all
Well we are halfway through the year! We welcomed the Tube Lines and Thales team to commence testing with L18 treating them to the warmth of Derbyshire and a special bonus of a journey on Iris which undertook some fault finding trips.
The Maintenance Facility is now partially covered despite the late delivery of plant hired in for the project and is looking really good. The translucent roof panels deliver a surprising amount of light into the structure.
All our fleet of fire extinguishers, a total of 42 would you believe it?, received their annual inspection and a 43rd was purchased for the Booking Hall in case the till overheats with activity and catches fire. The Buffet Car team will be pleased that running water is now plumbed in to the header tank.
The Incline received further weed treatment as did the site of the Shottle loop and yard. A start was made on the Permanent Way side of the Dash for Duffield with sleepers marked up for changing between the Shottle Yard pointwork and the north end of the station ramp that yielded a grand total of 134! (134x£15=£2015) Just shows the mountain we have to climb.
The Booking Hall entertained a number of visitors yielding a few sales.
A pleasant day.
PS - a mention should be made of yesterday's permanent way gang which achieved a little ballast fettling north of the Idridgehay cutting and then moved on to systematically cover the catch pits in the Duffield area. Robin recorded this activity, pit by pit, which has produced a useful record of the work undertaken - a job well done. Some clearance of the moss from Shottle platform has improved the vista there and both the Landrover and Multicar had a valet. Many thanks for this productive activity.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Friday 27th June 2008

Dear all
Two significant events occurred today! The cladding of the Maintenance Facility commenced with staggering progress on the west side made already and L18 (not L5 as previously advised) arrived from LH Group ready for TBTC testing next week - you can see it nestling under the cameras on the e-v-r site.
Our IMT visited the Hazelwood area and conducted some remedial work on track spikes and sheared fishplate bolts. They also honed their agricultural skills by rounding up a few sheep that had come to see what they were up to. The IMT also conducted a final check on the TBTC test track so that all is well for L18's activities.
The narrow gauge project had more input and the application of Roy (72) and Les's (77) Wirksworth Improved Engine Green began to transform the look of the 40' container at the Maintenance Facility. Helen-Louise, now known as D2084, had further work to relivery it back to BR green.
The Booking Hall entertained a few visitors and the Buffet Car was readied for the weekend.
Another good day
PS - the Maintenace Facility will be somewhat of an exclusion area next week as the roof is put on - please don't venture there unless it is on Railway business!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Thursday 26th June 2008

Dear all
As yesterday, a very great deal of time was spent securing the hire of two machines necessary to support the professionals who are arriving to sheet the maintenance facility. Yes, this part of that project is due to start tomorrow and run through next week to the great satisfaction of all involved in loco and dmu maintenance - they will be wanting heating next!
More energy was expended on preparing for L5's arrival tomorrow from LH Group for testing on the TBTC test track all next week. A check of the Car Park siding and Road 1 through to Gorsey Bank was made to ensure our infrastructure was ready to receive the vehicle. The route to the pit was also inspected so the L5 can move over there safely if running repairs and adjustments are necessary.
Largely hidden from view, the Shark received further attention to its rather dilapidated bodywork and the housekeeping team gave the Mess Hall a good going over. The VCT had a very good day by starting with vegetation clearance around the north side of the damage Derby Road bridge so that scaffolders will be able to assess the site more easily and then turned their attention to south of Idridgehay. Views are being opened up and the Railway is becoming much more visible from the Duffield to Wirksworth road.
A very small and dedicated PW team resolved a particularly difficult rail joint that had been temporarily "fly plated" at close of play yesterday. (fly plating is where only one side of a rail joint can be properly bolted up)They then turned their attention to the checks for L5.
Late in the day a charter to Ravenstor was provided for the "Kids Club", an after school group, but they abandoned their planned tour of the Yard because the heavens opened but agreed to return when the weather was more clement.
All in all, a busy, frustrating at times, productive day.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Wed 25th June

Evenin' all,

A day of various activities scattered between base and Barnsley Lane.

A great deal of planning for the next stage of the Shed work, which
will be commencing soon, much sourcing of materials and machines.
Meanwhile work continued on the 03 fleet with stripping and painting
along with some routine maintenance work.

The per way team were a little depleted but carried on with fishplate
greasing, they again had some difficult joints, and some of the gaps
required adjusting. Pete asked whether greasing is a regular exercise
on the big railway, well certainly on jointed track , plates come off
on a regular cycle every couple of years. The track rats know which
ones they have done usually by putting a different type of bolt in.
Some of our plates have not been off for many years, may be 30 plus
years! Some of the plates are almost rusted to the rails and some bolts
are in dire need. Last week, the Infrastucture Maintenance Team
actually found fishplate bolts that had sheared off (on the non
passenger section), this is what the IMT are there for. On CWR the
Breather switches are also stripped and lubed up on a regular basis.

Several members of the Per way team joined some Passenger Services
members for some First Aid Refresher training, this is held on an
annual basis. If you dont use the skills you can loose the effects of
the training. It is worth while and many thanks to John Ball for
sparing the time to go through things with us. Personally, I would like
to see everyone have a basic knowledge of First Aid. Although there are
always First Aid members on site, especially when open to the public,
it is beholdent on us all to have some knowledge of what to do if your
mate has an accident.

A few hardy sould travelled on the Ravenstor service, and this
afternoon also saw a routine check on our water supply to the water
crane, a chance to briefly flush the system.



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Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Tues 24th June

Evenin' all,

A busy day with members scattered the length of the line.

Firstly the VCT roared off to their patch between Idridgehay and
Shottle, not only doing clearance work but also repairing fences but
also a little light painting. Some of them carried on further south
doing some running repairs to the worst of the vegetation that
overhangs the line. Withe everything in full leaf and the weekend
storms, some of the trees are hanging very low and close to the track.
They also report that the encroaching pile of chip at Hazlewood has now
been disposed of. This has caused some problems in the past, but
hopefuly is now resolved.

The Per way team then went down fishplate greasing, and added another
11 panes to their score, they are now around Derby Road No 2 bridge.
Some perticularly awkward bolts today.

A builder came to have a look at Derby Road No 1 bridge, which was
smashed into recently - quite a big job to repair. He has now gone to
workout the methodology for repairs. The main road goes over the bridge
and enquiries are in hand re temp traffic lights, crane/winch to get
the stones back up to road level from trackside, scaffolding etc.

The Passenger Services team were greatly represented, so much so that
Anton once again moved to the C&W side and is busily decorating the
recently arrived Box Vans. The purists may argue that they are not
quite the right shade of fitted Bauxite etc, but the first is certainly
more presentable than when it arrived last week. Judging by the state
of him at close of play, some more paint will be required.

The 'not wee yorkie anymore' team made a start on rebuilding, with the
Reversing lever equipment being fitted and painted, There is pleasure
when things start going back together again. The 03 lads paid attention
in their area with sorting out their stores area and some repairs and
servicing. The lightweight skip was repositioned but will need a nudge
tomorrow when more manpower becomes available. More rail grinding took
place on the Pit road entrance.

More attention to the Domestic side with the Mess Room, the Training
Room and the Gatex recieving attention.

After yesterday's mega shunt, another will take place over the next
couple of days - it seems a regular item at the present. Has anyone got
a Sidings pack that they dont want?

The pace in the Admin block has also really picked up, with several
key projects in the pipeline, the trouble is that all of this is unseen
until the action finally starts.



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Monday, 23 June 2008

Monday 23rd June 2008

Dear all
Another case of after the Lord Mayor's show! The dmus were correctly filed, the Teddy Bears paraphernalia removed and the EVRA coach returned to the sidings. Dmu maintenance also took place with a concentration on Iris to resolve an intermittent fault.
There was a new face in the Carriage & Wagon dept. applying some paint to one of the newly arrived fitted vans and a shipment was collected for the Chinese economy estimated to be 3 tonnes of our finest steel.
The Booking Hall acted as mission control whilst Phil and I conducted a possible solution to our flailing and lifting requirements on a whole line tour including, what I believe to be, the Landrovers first visit to Ravenstor. If we have been successful the VCT will be very, very grateful.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Progress Report Sunday 22nd June 2008

Dear all,

A drier day than yesterday and sufficiently windy to bring tree branches
onto the line designed to keep the guards exercised when they were not
practising the Gorsey Bank gater's two-step. The Happy Day Express ran
happily all day with a steady flow of passengers, many from as far
afield as Ilkeston, where surprise random advertising had appeared in
the Ilkeston Investigator instead of that planned for the Belper
Trumpet. This and the correctly placed advert in the Derby Telegraph
brought in a number of passengers who had never enjoyed the delights of
our line before. No records were broken but we certainly did better than
last year notwithstanding yesterday's lousy weather.

A magistrate of conscripts attended to the day's only other work, which
was to address the two box vans (Fanny and Johnny) which arrived from
another railway on Thursday in a state of high rust. A large number of
wire brushes were given out and much rust removed, this was followed by
a little modest preparatory work and topped off by the application to
the strapping of one of the vans of Mr Shone's Improved Box Van Pink.
Further applications will follow.

All the best,

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Teddy Bear Saturday

For the third year in succession, the first day of The Teddy Bear weekend saw continual rain.

Luckily it did not stop a steady stream of children with Teddies who were able to enjoy both train rides and a Magician in the dry in the EVRA coach.

Yvonne also told her very good stories in the Buffet Car.

Roy and Les continued on the 03's brakes. Let's hope the sun shines for the teddies tommorrow !!

Mike Evans

Friday, 20 June 2008

Friday 21st June 2008

Dear all
A pleasant day with the last charter for Wirksworth C of E school at the end of their Railways Week. The children were ably hosted by JHT who went on to fill a staffing gap in the Booking Hall. I am sure our role in the community and the benefits we bring are much more widely understood.
Ian the Australian had a full day inspecting and fettling our dmu doors before leaving us for two weeks holiday.
Preparations took place for the Teddy Bears weekend with much photocopying and balloon inflation.
The track patrol team completed one of the three outstanding level crossing tasks which was to secure the southern concrete road panel against any movement. The two remaining tasks should be completed next Wednesday so we can put this project to bed. The team then took a detailed look at the section between Edwards crossing at Duffield and milepost 134 achieving some remedial work as they progressed.
Our "light" steel skip was exchanged yielding £95 for what 12 months ago we would have paid to be taken away! This encouraged further fishplate bolt sorting and discovery of a little more scrap.
All in all, a good day.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Thursday 19th June 2008

Dear all
A day of many contrasts. This was day 4 of the Wirksworth C of E infant school's Railways Week with Year 1 riding the rails in the morning and Year 2 in the afternoon - I must say that Vince looked a little shell shocked from his 4 day stint but the tremendous effort all seemed very worth while. The morning train was also joined by a party from Callow Park and the afternoon train gained a few members of the public to add to the coffers.
At some distance from this activity the PW team finalised the work on the pit road point and jacked and packed the base of the Incline. A short sentence does not do justice to the back breaking work to achieve this result. A shunt took place to maximise vehicle storage space in readiness for the return of Tube Lines to the fold next week and Margaret-Ann received further attention.
The VCT made further progress with the entrance gate installation and had a filing session for their stock of timber. An essential component for the return of Tube Lines was successfully completed - an illuminated buffer stop light at Gorsey Bank turned on and off at the flick of a switch.
A little goodie bag was prepared for the Chef de Gare at Die, the twin town of Wirksworth, as a contingent leaves for France tomorrow.
Further news of the cause of the Derby Road bridge incident revealed that the absconding car driver was uninsured, had no MOT and only possessed a provisional licence - I fear it is going to be a long haul to receive any compensation, if at all, for repairs that are likely to run into five figures.
The Booking Hall received our many visitors and the till was satisfactorily energised.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Wed 18th June

Evenin' all,

The weather was not as bad as had been predicted. Howevr a shock was
felt this morning, as the Police informed us that a car had smashed
into Derby Road No.1 bridge. The driver had absconded. Quite a large
hole has been made in the stonework - this bridge was partially rebuilt
some years ago and was one of the finest on the line. The local council
were quick to repair the crash barriers and put signs up. Enquiries are

The Per way team took some vehicles down to Shottleyard for temporary
storage to relieve congestiopn, after dropping off a gang to carry on
with the fishplate greasing. Approx a quarter of a mile was done today.
Only another 156 panels to see to, before the Duffield jaunt starts.

The Booking hall staff had a malfunction today meaning that Driver
Lidgett had to 'volunteer' for the post. We were also unable to
operate the Incline service. Fortunately no one turned up for a trip.

The Narrow gauge team continued fettling up the track in the area of
Waterfall Halt.

Various loads of scrap were removed from site and replacement bins
brought in.

Our guests were able to complete their Installation and Testing of
more bits for the Tube Lines Test Site. They confirm that there is a
definite possibility, that there may be a battery loco turning up in
the very near future - hence the need to clear space.

Much behind the scenes business taking place, regarding Project
Planning, and many new contacts being made

Tomorrow sees school party trains venturing down the line. with Per
way work in the yard at Wirksworth.



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Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Dave Mee

Dear all
Just to add a note to Phil's report. There was a very sizeable contingent from the Railway for Dave Mee's funeral that, in some way, recognised his considerable contribution to the enterprise. His presence with us will be greatly missed.

Tues 17th June

Evenin' all,

Today saw the funeral of Dave Mee, one of our longtime stalwarts. As a
result, many members attended the service. A few turned up and a
scratch working party was assembled.

Some scrap rail was cut up and conveyed to the skip. The assorted
chairs and spacers were taken into stores. One sleeper on the Pit road
itself was changed and a joint was packed. Two further crossing timbers
were brought up for changing in the next few days. Two concrete
sleepers were lifted from the swamp area and moved so that spare
equipment can be relocated in the site. Some sorting out of the stores
area was also carried out.

'Wee' sorry, the small green loco had her reversing system overhauled
and painted ready for to start refitting next week.

Some paying guests spent the first of a few days with us adding bits
and pieces to the Tube lines Test Site

The Schools team were out and about in local schools as part of an
ongoing project. Vince decided to return to base for lunch - he can
still remember school dinners!

A handful of visitors attended and preperations continued for the
Teddy Bear weekend.



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Monday, 16 June 2008

Monday 16th June 2008

Dear all
The first day of Wirksworth Church of England infant school's Railways week. Ably guided by Vince Morris and John Hastings Thomson the morning and afternoon visits were most successful and it was heartening to see how much effort our team and school had put into this project.
Phil and I accomplished a whole line weed treatment journey, not to escape the children honest!, and is clear we are getting on top of the on track vegetation with the very noticeable exception of the mares tail invasion - more research required. At Duffield we met the developer of the new flats and had some useful information on the routes of power cables and drains through our property there.
Back at base 2 fitted vans arrived containing spares for the dmus. After some tlc they will look quite nice on demonstration goods trains in the future.
Further work was achieved on the narrow gauge project and some mechanical and cleaning progress was made with Iris. The track patrol covered Ravenstor, Gorsey Bank and the Yard accomplishing some routine repairs, point and ground frame oiling.
The Booking Hall received a few visitors and help welcome our school visitors and white paint was applied to the first of the two new entrance gates.
Quit a lot of activity on a "quiet" day

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Progress Report Sunday 15th June 2008

Dear all,

Mr John Ball, esteemed Duty Manager of this railway, was regrettably
unable to overcome the intransigence of the General Manager's computer,
for which it is famed throughout Christendom, and has asked me to convey
to you his report:

"A bright day of sunny parts in which a modest passenger business was
done on the Ravenstor service and in the buffet. A gentleman of Kent had
an afternoon with Ferrybridge no 3 and further parts were painted. Work
continued on the narrow gauge and Waterfall Terminus appears to be
taking shape. The Station Supervisor from Duffield attended and conveyed
news of the effectiveness of the new water pumping system at that
Station, designed to save Jaime toiling round to the mainline platform
with 300 cups of water a day for the plants.

The Passenger Manager, fresh from a hangover and an attempt to demolish
Buxton with a BBC rock, apprehended a large number of conscripts in the
Mess Room and these were soon whipped, whipped I say, into a frenzy of
activity. Ten potholes were filled on the station approach and this has
used almost the entire tarmac allocation for the whole year. On another
front Billings Landscapers and Scrapers addressed the embankment below
North End footpath and this has now been levelled, top soiled and grass
seeded. More aggregate related work was achieved around the micro
container next to the Kave cabin and finally the entire wide-way between
the incline line and the Gat Ex line has been seeded and doubtless will
presently explode into a large grass cutting opportunity.

All the best,

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Saturday 14th June

Afternoon all,

A warm sunny day led to an increase in passengers on last weekend, with the last run FULL, courtesy of the Branch Line Society. All were very complementary of how tidy the station looks!

Elsewhere, some light DMU maintenance and shunting took place and the Briddons attended to the needs of Kimberley. The open coach was stabled at the north end of platform 1 ready for 'Schools Week' and the upcoming Teddy Bears Weekend. No. 3 steam locomotive also received a few more splashes of paint.

All in all a good day,

Mike Evans

Friday, 13 June 2008

Fw: Friday 13th June 2008

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2008 5:10 PM
Subject: Friday 13th June 2008

Dear all
Yet another very significant day in our short history with the visit of two Railway Inspectors to verify we had complied with all aspects of the two new Level Crossing Orders to gate the public roads at Gorsey Bank and Idridgehay. I am very happy to say that they were fully satisfied, subject to three minor areas that we have in hand, and extremely complimentary about the standard of workmanship, quality of paintwork, electric lighting system, signage and general ambience surrounding the installations. They were very appreciative of all the energy and hours put into the present scene. A very satisfactory conclusion to this most daunting of our renovation of the line. The visit was rounded off by a splendid light lunch prepared by Dorothy and presented by Fred and Iris and much appreciated by our visitors.
Back at base some shunting was achieved to prepare next week's works train and the narrow gauge project inched forward. "Wee Yorkie" parts received more paint and further work to keep the doors and windows of the Bubble Car operational continued. Dmu maintenance also featured as part of the day's activities.
The track patrol team worked in the Yard until the "Officers Special" returned and then completed the Wirksworth - Idridgehay inspection effecting some essential maintenance reflecting the need for this process to be regular and continuous.
Lastly, thanks to JHT for standing in at short notice for the Booking Hall and welcoming today's visitors brought out in the afternoon sun.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Thursday 12th June 2008

Dear all
A combined VCT and Permanent Way Team headed for the Derby Road bridge area south of Idridgehay achieving a major push in the clearance of the line between Idridgehay and Duffield. Two minds were brought to bare on the pit road point and successfully resolved it fitting snugly.
Shark repair work was in progress and some of  "Wee Yorkie's" parts were painted.
Michael Mee, Dave's brother, visited the site to return Dave's collection of keys and was quite moved to see the Union Flag being flown at half mast in his honour.
The Booking Hall had a new clerk in the shape of our Finance Manager who managed to bring our accounts up to date and conduct a teach in for EVRA's new treasurer. He also welcomed a few hardy visitors on what has been a fairly miserable day.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Wed 11th June

Evenin' all,

The Per way team had an early start and went to the Gorsey Bank area
for routine ballast fettling nad track maintenance. A little more stone
was dropped and some further 'boxing in' was achieved.Only acouple of
lines but a big effort by those concerned.

The Blue 03 had an attack of the needle gun and a repaint in places.
Whilst the Met Cam had a full external wash and brush up.

A little rail grinding took place in the yard, and some regular
strimming took place around the are near the station entrance.All of
the above jobs are routine and show the increasing nature of our
maintenance programme.

The Ravenstor service ran using the Bubble Car, and during the
afternoon the Passenger Services Dept had a huddle in the Booking Hall.

Planning meatings were held this morning for the Schools week which
comes up next week. Also throughout the day plans were further advanced
for the Duffield Dash. This starts in early July. A lot of strands are
starting to come together



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Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Tues 10th June.

Evenin' all,

Our clients were her by 0800 this morning and a very successful day
was had. Another slight variation on a theme, resulted in the sales
team from this firm having their 'team hug' in the GLV this morning. A
short trip at lunchtime followed by a lot of practical per way work for
them this afternoon, finishing after 1715. The first time that this
international company have carried out such a meeting in such a
location - they usually use Hotels or rail based training centres.
Wirksworth ticked all of the right boxes. This contact made via the NEC
rail exhibition earlier this year.

Elsewhere, the Landrover conveying the VCT headed down to the Old Lane
area to continue tidying the estate, by disposing of precut brash. Alan
Taylor left the team and continued the repainting of Gorsey Bank
crossing. David Newby carried out routine maintenance of the lighting
systems at the crossings, as well as seeing to other electrical works
around the yard.

The Per way team zoomed down the Ken Rowlands crossing area to
continue the fishplate lubrication - with the new stuff one could
hardly call it greasing- despite some tricky bolts and a rapid rise in
rail temperature, the team are well south of the crossing now. Some
ballast fettling was also achieved as was some spike work.

The Wee Yorkie team, sorry I mustn't say that, one of the two 0-4-0 ST
answering to No 3. You know, one of the two presently in bits, had its
top coat applied to the frames. It is now in 'Fern Green' similar to
LNER green, and really looks quite presentable. Catherine (Kathryn etc)
the blue 0-6-0 had more blue protective paint applied.

The Narrow Gauge team moved loads of wood around the place, however
the decking didn't arrive (decking!!), this should arrive tomorrow.
Work also progressed on the Shark.

Martin returned early from the continent, due to the wet weather, and
the fact that he couldn't keep away (its not just me then) Some new
referalls were followed up, and once again we may get some more
visitors working on site.

Tomorrow sees the Per way team carrying out more routine work along
the line.


Monday, 9 June 2008

Mon 9th June

Evenin' all,

A hot and sunny day preparing things for tomorrow.
Firstly an examination of Derby Road 2 bridge, following remarks that
it had been 'bashed'. This is old damage, the bridge has been like that
for many years, and it has been checked by the Structures Examiner
whose report we get. No action is required at this time.
A little light weedkilling was undertaken in part of the yard, as was
some painting of the blue 0-6-0T.It is a cosmetic job for the time
being. More rotten woodwork was exposed on the Shark Brake van.
Tomorrow sees the Landrover and VCT out first working south of
Idridgehay with a works train out to Ken Rowlands crossing soon after.


Sunday, 8 June 2008

Progress Sat 7th June 2008

Hi All,

Although the Idridgehay service has been very lightly loaded, the Yard has been an hive of activity with DMU 51505 having its cab painted and the 03 continuing work on the brakes. Anton has been painting the training room and himself !!.

Mike Evans

Friday, 6 June 2008

Friday 6th June

Evenin' all,

A quiet and relatively peacefull day, saw the departure of our yellow
vehicle that has been on test fot the last couple of weeks, As I write
this, it is on its way to foreign climes.

Some track inspection work on the Idridgehay line , to ensure that all
was well, and a little more work in the yard.

A new guest was given the grand tour and various training oportunites
were explained.

Jobs for the weekend will include ballast bashing at Barnsley Lane
area (there is no need to check the line to Duffield).

The site by the Pit Road turnout renewal is to remain as it is. Some
paying guests are working there on Tuesday, so old sleepers and other
bits and pieces will remain in situ, they will also be working on the
ballast. The line inself at this point has not been packed on the panel
between the Pit Road and the Water Crane siding, and cannot be classed
as fit for traffic. It can be transversed in an emergency at dead slow
speed and with someone walking alongside. Should the Pit Road need to
be accessed, a Point Clip must be used.



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Thursday, 5 June 2008

Thurs 5th June

Evenin' all,

Another day of testing for our client who has been with us for nearly
two weeks. They have been putting their equipment through exhaustive
tests and have learnt a great deal.

On the Narrow gauge line, the last sleepers have been laid into the
'platform' at the waterfall end of the line. The Lister was run up and
some vehicle testing took part to act as a gauging train.

The Per way team carried on working on the Pit road turnout and
associated panels, some stone was dropped and a start made onpacking
the track. Rail gaps were set (Today's rail temperature reached 34
degrees) One of our rail grinders was brought back to life, and some
tests were carried out with it to take some of the lip off the rail
head. Please note that the route over the pit road turnout is still out
of use.

The VCT again split into two, whilst one part were painting Gorsey
Bank gates, the rest were down the line clearing precut brash and
burning off.



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Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Wed 4th June

Evenin' all,

What started off as a busy and generally a good day was brought to a
halt at lunchtime with a phone call announcing the death of Dave Mee.
Dave was a very early volunteer, and was on site most days. He assumed
the mantle of Carriage and Wagon Supt, and was responsible for much of
the restoration of our vehicles in the early days. Indeed the exterior
of the Incline coach kept him going for more than a year. Laterly he
has been very involved with the Narrow Gauge line, on which he was
working only yesterday. His enthusiasm and wit will be sorely missed. I
have no doubt that many words will be said about Dave, He was a
pleasure to be with and furtunately was with us one minute and gone the
next - such is life. It is true to say that the news put a bit of a
dampner on the day. Details of the funeral will be sent out later. Our
thoughts are with Daves family.

In other news, A call this morning at 0800 reported that Iris was
moving around the yard - yes it was, it was working. We do work at
those hours fairly regularly, it is the best time of the day. Iris was
used as part of the Test train for one of our paying guests, and
performed yeoman service in helping them with their testing of the new
vehicle. The Blue shunter was perfectly alright for the majority of
tests, but the customers wanted a longer run at a slightly increased
speed. The trips were a great sucess.

The Per way team continued work on the Pit road point, that has been
screwed down, the panel of track leading to the Incline was fully
resleepered in the process. Work will continue tomorrow.


Today also saw an object lesson in rail expansion. Yesterday the rails
fitted perfectly, today we rolled them out in the out in the morning
and put them back mid afternoon and they had expanded, fully closing
the gaps. More work is required.

The narrow gauge team continued with their activities, their afternoon
work was obviously curtailed with the news of one of their team.

Passenger services ran up and down the Incline allowing the passengers
to see chaps in orange working. It is often said by people travelling
on the National Network that they dont know why so many people are
employed on the railways, as whenever they see them from a train they
are all standing about not doing anything. Ho Hum!

A team went to Rolls Royce and returned with some bits and pieces,
generously donated by them.



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Dave Mee

Dear all
It is with very great regret I report the death of Dave Mee. Dave was taken ill last night and died in hospital this morning.
We have lost another good friend and a man with tremendous engineering experience who was prepared to turn his hand to anything that aided our project. His good humour and willingness to help anyone leaves quite a gap although there will be many memorials around the Railway of his endeavour.
Dave joined the team in the pioneering days and enthusiastically joined in the daunting task of seemingly unending tree felling with the associated giant fires. He the gravitated to rolling stock maintenance and restoration with the single handed preparation of the Incline dmu taking over 12 months. Latterly, the laying and extension of the narrow gauge took over his life, working on the project only yesterday.
The Union Flag is at half mast in his honour and I will circulate funeral details when they are known.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Tues 3rd June

Evenin' all,

They call this flaming June - well role on flaming July, thats what I
say. It didnt stop raining until knocking off time.

The VCT had a morning tidying their store and having a sort outready
for the push to the south. After lunch they ventured out and continued
clearing the estate south of Idridgehay .

The loco restorers (are we allowed to call it Wee Yorkie?) enjoyed a
decorating excursion, going to Derby with a paint sample to see if
specialists could match their colour (One could almost imagine the two
of them trolling into a shop with the main frame under their arms,
asking if they had anything to match it) They returned in triumph and a
gentle dab here and there succedded in adding paint to the frames of
the loco as well as each other and the area in which they work. Once
again I do take my hat off to them trying to work in the open.

The Passenger services spent the day rearranging the Booking Hall,
very few customers and even fewer calls.

Our customers continued testing their new vehicle but managed a couple
of test runs.

The big job of the day was the Per Way team dismantling the turnout
into the Pit road, which was extreemly worn. Once the component rails
were out of the way, the old timbers were removed. After a little light
digging the new switch panel went back in and was plated up, the
stretcher bars were reconnected, all in pouring rain. Work will
continue tomorrow to guage it and screw it down. Many thanks to all who
helped today , including members from other departments. It was a
manual job withou the use of machines. It is a fine testament to
members that they can replace pointwork, and think nothing of it.A lot
of preperation having gone into the job during the last few weeks.

Off for a nice hot bath now!



Guard your email -

Monday, 2 June 2008

Monday 2nd June 2008

Dear all
Another interesting day with our customer whose vehicle was ready to move today - as ever we are very happy to help and try and understand what is required of us - all parties seemed happy with the end result.
A brief visit by a young offender and minder saw further ballast fettling in the Barnsley lane area and we benefited from a very generous fuel donation. Our diesel fuel bills have risen very dramatically this year, along with everybody else, and today's windfall has great benefit to our enterprise.
Much dmu maintenance and cleaning took place and I have to take my hat off to Railcar Enterprises who undertook this basic and very necessary task.
The Booking Hall maintained a calming influence and our Finance Manager arrived to ensure all funds were banked.
I am sure you will wish Les (77) who is presently residing in the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary a speedy recovery. He is enjoying designer meals and will be tended to tomorrow - they think it is a hernia and I am sure all assistance will be given to help him when the Duffield platform reconstruction starts. I have sent him all our best wishes

Sunday, 1 June 2008

New Section on the Website

Evening all,

I am pleased to announce a new section on our website.

We have been gathering together press and magazine articles that concern our enterprise and have began the mammoth task of scanning them in! These articles will become available for download from our website at . There is a selection of 7 articles that have been uploaded for your enjoyment already and we hope to add many more in the near future. I will try and send out an e-mail when new articles get added! If you have any electronic articles that you wish to share, please send them to me!


Sunday 1st June 2008

Dear all,

A day in which we were moist in parts, very moist in almost all parts.

Miss Toseland's P-way gang set off manfully at sun up (09.45) and applied themselves to the regulation of ballast at 40 steps in torrential rain, followed by a grand tour of the line due to landrover manoeuvring difficulties at Shottle. In addition work was then undertaken in repair of the viewpoint and at the grand (and little used) entrance to Ravenstor Station at Ravenstor Road.

The days conscripts attended to the usually prescribed landscaping and earth moving activities.

The sound of hammering reverberated around the Gat Ex as the Stewarts Lane Maintenance Handbook was read in one hand and the hammer applied in the other. In light of the afternoon's booked activity, essential repairs were carried out to a step on the FO.

In due course the afternoon's booked activity arrived with balloons and parents and a jolly time was had by all, followed by a trip to Ravenstor on the 14.50 Happy Day Express. This was itself followed by another session of spreading jelly and crisps in the second class dining car accompanied by a gargantuan queue for the toilets. The departure of the party was followed by a mammoth cleaning operation, which will have to have a follow-up during the week. I am most grateful to all who rolled their sleeves up whilst on their hands and knees, in which is contained a salutary lesson about children's parties.

All the best,

Saturday 31st May 2008

Although very warm and sunny, a very very steady day for the Idridgehay service.

  • Briddens repaired Claires handbrake.
  • 51505 received a cab clean.
  • The Buffet was busy with drinks etc.
  • First Aid boxes checked for Month.

Mike Evans