Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Progress Report Tuesday the 17th of April 2012

Dear all,

A bright and fairly sunny day with a vast range of activity in many
parts of the Railway. Starting at our southern extremity, painting of
the lavatorial extravaganza took place at Duffield, closely preceded by
fence repairs and petrol engine shunting, and then closely followed by a
hue and cry down the main line, thankfully not our main line.

At Hazelwood and environs, the fencing team commenced a grand tidy up
which appeared to run very nearly along the whole of the south end of
the line and involved several fires for the removal of brash, tat,
rubbish and other detritus.

At Shottle, our hoary-handed men of toil strove to get the crossing gear
fixed, in a gargantuan effort of blood, sweat and tears and are very
nearly at the crossing noses in a day of wide ranging p-way action along
the Shottle Loop.

At Idridgehay the station dog was no doubt highly entertained by the
surprise arrival of a train full of evacuees from Wirksworth, along with
their jam sandwiches and gas mask boxes. This was an exercise in wartime
re-creation by Wirksworth Junior School and there was a certain
reluctance to come back: "I like it here the sun's shining". This
involved steam locomotive No3 (the semblance of wartime engineering),
the SK and the Saloon, as well as a trip to Twiggs to buy a pipe so we
could fill the toilets in the SK. The toilets rather predictably
proceeded to leak in the usual way as soon as the tanks were filled.

Meanwhile, back at Wirksworth the steam team were engaged in a frenzy of
activity involving Henry Ellison covering the sanders, the lubricators,
the vac system, the regulator valve and the dome cover. During a short
breather the grate was removed from No 3 in order to have a new pattern
made, presumably following its triumphant return from Idridgehay. In the
buffet we were offered 500 teddy bears.

The LMSCA could be heard banging and grinding for most of the day and
the new floor in the brake third carriage now extends about two thirds
of the way along it.

When the post was opened (about half past four) a very charming letter
emerged from some visitors on last Thursday's London charter, which
extolled the virtues of our Railway and our friendly staff. The friendly
staff are now soaking their feet in embrocation and the station bike has
been re-attached to the flag pole.

All the best,