A pleasant start tom the day that deteriorated through the afternoon to a typical Bonfire night evening. However, the day was successful and quite exciting as Austerity locomotive "The Duke" arrived from Rowsley having followed a support coach from the 8F locomotive group down the Station approach. We welcome both these new arrivals and their teams which will fulfil a most useful addition to our own Dream Steam Team.
"The Duke" is from the same mold as the J94s that were used in the latter days of the Cromford & High Peak Railway and will be capable of working steam hauled trains between Wirksworth and Duffield. The locomotive has been put into the Maintenance Facility for a quick cosmetic repaint with a view to it being a static feature on display during the Santa train period. Restoration will start in earnest in 2011 alongside the continuing work on Henry Ellison.
The decision of the 8F group to relocate to Wirksworth brings a whole wealth of new skills, and manpower, to enhance the work of Bob Gibbens and his team which will make Wirksworth a continuing centre of excellence for steam locomotive restoration. The iconic maroon liveried 48624 is unlikely to visit us in the near future with existing commitments on the Churnet Valley Railway followed by a contract at the Great Central Railway but there is the tantalising prospect of occasional visits when we have more of the infrastructure necessary to support its operation in place.
In order to deal with these arrivals and put them where they are required there was much shunting and many thanks are due to Mick Thomas and the dmu team for orchestrating the necessary moves.
The funeral of Lady Hilton took place this afternoon and John Blackmore kindly represented the Company and members. The remainder of the day is left in Anton's hands as we support the Stone Centre's fireworks evening.
Quite a day in the development and growth of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway!