Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Progress Wednesday 23rd May 2012

Dear all
Firstly, for those of you who missed my excellent publication last night the contents can be viewed on the web site ( ) owing to our own personal satellite malfunctioning. I trust today's offering will reach all the usual readers as these publications take hours to prepare.
We were delighted to host two customers today, one planned and the other remedying faults found yesterday. It was good to welcome two Network Rail participants who we had got to know well during their time with Delta Rail and catch up on their present projects.
An extremely pleasant surprise was to receive a cheque for £1000 from Hingley's timber merchants at Hazelwood as a thank you for all the endeavours of the VCT to fence their station. The accompanying letter was extremely complimentary and the team can glow in the well deserved credit given to them. They all deserve our gratitude for a good job done and the wonders achieved for neighbour relations.
The PWT divided into three groups to deal with the required whole line track inspection resulting in some very warm and sweaty people. Yet another PWT group arranged to recover the S&T van from Duffield and the RUDD from Shottle. This enabled the Komatsu to load further reclaimed ballast from the former Gorsey Bank line resulting in the RUDD and three Dogfish being filled for use on problem areas on our "main line" where ballast is "light".
The LCC targeted the Training Room and my office for attention as well as the service two car set. Again a sweat, or glow, was developed in the delightful weather produced for today.
The Head of Gardening also glowed in the warm sunshine and suggested shoe was going to cool off at Alport Heights - the mind boggles.
An unreported activity yesterday was further oiling up of our wagon fleet at Shottle and the appropriate records completed this afternoon. Doug, the oilier, announced he would be leaving us next week for Malta, his wife being aware there were no railways there.
For those twitches our there I am advised that seen at Wirksworth were grey wagtails in the station area. The LMSCA were out in force to detach the northern corridor connection and faceplate from the Brake Third Open and support the equipment precariously, but safely, between their two vehicles. Shunting in this area is now prohibited while they tend to the problem area.
Down at Duffield the DTT varnished door steps having been somewhat shocked to find a lawnmower parked in their beautifully created Gents toilet. I fear a call from the constabulary if the culprit is caught and looses essential parts of his anatomy.
The Booking Hall and Pullman Buffet Car continued with their revenue raising activities.
PS A note from Bob Gibbens reports that Messrs Gibbens and Swepstone recently visited a relatively new railway museum in Jawroszna Slaska, Poland, to look at the possibility of laying a short siding for them. All materials are on site but they do not have any bodies to do the work. The two Bobs are looking for willing volunteers to go out for 4 or 5 days around the first week in September to do the job for them. The reward is to have a locomotive in steam for the use of the volunteers which I suspect will be slightly larger than our own stable. Accommodation is around £30 a night B&B or the use of their fully kitted out sleeping car. Air fares are around £100 and beer and food is inexpensive. Anyone interested should contact either of the Bobs or I will forward expressions of interest.
Having been to Poland a few times to pursue my passion for trams I can commend it as a splendid destination which provides a mix of present day comforts and a feel of life 30 or 40 years ago.
PPS Neil has been extremely energetic in engaging the good traders of Wirksworth with the pleasant and productive efforts for the town by our activities. You can imagine my language on receiving the 2012 Carnival brochure that shows the location of Wirksworth station with the legend "trains run to Idridgehay and the line is being cleared to Duffield" - how do you get through to these people!