A tremendous turnout today to prepare for the Santa trains. Vehicles were moved round to be in their correct positions and the Komatsu was in action clearing areas to be occupied by visitors cars. Snow clearing and checks were made of the Wash Green crossover and bridge check rail section on the Gorsey Bank line for next week's test customer. Further Santa supplies were collected from Morrison's and Rod & Mary completed their final touches to Santa's mobile grotto.
The platforms at Wirksworth and Ravenstor were finally cleared of snow and all the accumulated crockery from the Buffet Car was moved to the Mess Hall, which now has running water again, for washing up - and there was a lot! The Buffet Car was then cleaned and the train decorated until dusk descended. The boffins ensured that lights would be available in the First Open and heaters have been strategically placed to provide a warm and welcoming environment.
After lunch the tree arrived and turned out to be a monster. I had asked for one about 15ft high but we received the jumbo sized version of around 25ft - maybe the largest tree on any heritage railway?
There was also a catch up of phone messages and postal bookings for the Santa season after the post has been somewhat interrupted by the weather.
Grateful thanks go to all who heeded the call for assistance as without them we would not at all ready to receive our visitors.