This is a bit of an omnibus edition as I would firstly like to say a tremendous thank you to all involved in our Santa operations. We ran all the services we promised against a background of sub zero temperatures and the most inhospitable conditions for the machines and people involved. A great number of folk pitched in to make it all work but we should pay special homage to the Victorians; Rod, Mary,Yvonne and John together with Anton who kept the catering in order and Leigh who ensured that we had a train that worked. We should also say a special thanks to Santa and his deputy, the deputy was somewhat poorly causing Santa to increase his productivity at short notice. A number of our cadets were in evidence and it is a fact that without them we would not have delivered and I thank them for their vital contribution.
As an aside, I am quite reluctant to pursue a Santa programme next year that is so dependant on a very few of our team taking part. In many ways it's your choice whether we carry on with this opportunity.
I am very grateful to Graham who acted as Duty Manager on Monday for an afternoon party charter and an evening special for the Wirksworth Beavers both of which were well received and , I hope, increased our profile in the local community. ( I was enjoying a Christmas lunch at the usual venue - and very nice it was too)
Today saw a return to some semblance of normality with everything made so much more difficult by the awful temperatures. After dramas associated with frozen points the Works Train reached Duffield and moved a great deal of brash to the burning site. The VCT were back to full production at Duffield creating the brash to be moved which included a Sturgeon load on the last rain.The Komatsu followed the Works Train and discharged the Sturgeon of the contents of the southern extension of the head shunt together with ten bags of ballast that will be useful when they thaw out.
The LMSCA had a good turnout with beading applied to the seats and ceiling of the Third Open and a splendid start was made to republishing the vacuum brake cylinders. There has been much material taken away for homeworking as the deadline approaches. The DST made great progress with Henry Ellison with the first axle box refitted, the rear cab steelwork largely completed and the horn guides have been cleaned up.
The Duffield platform project benefited from supplies delivered on the Sturgeon and we should be able to make limited progress over the next few days. The Booking Hall had a round up of revenue and stock from the Santa Train season.
There is lots to do and it is planned that we have a Works Train tomorrow and next Tuesday and Wednesday and the same again next week.