Thursday, 1 November 2012

Progress Thursday 1st November 2012

Dear all
Well, what a surprising day as we operated for the first time a Thursday half term service at this time of year. To encourage us a minibus turned up for the first train from the Castle Donnington Volunteer Centre driven by a Great Central volunteer with 17 passengers and, after that, the only way was up.
Very satisfactory results from all departments in this experimental toe in the water at this time of year. We had the very first ever online booking for this coming Sunday lunch opportunity, thank you John, and I hope there will others before the weekend. It is very romantic in the Pullman Second Open with our new lighting system!
The dmu team dealt with the alternator belt repairs to 51360 and LJB benefited from the attentions of David and Doug who sorted radiator leaks and demonstrated how the radiator was fixed in manageable sections revealing the sealing washers had degraded.
The PWT fixed the newly manufactured lift fishplates to the Shottle loop and dealt with missing fastenings on the south loop point. The Shottle deviation moves ever closer.
The VCT dealt with more blackthorn south of Hazelwood, enjoyed two large fires and repaired the fence exposed by their clearance work.
The Booking Hall welcomed our many passengers and processed yet more Santa bookings which are now 20% ahead of this time last year and the Pullman Buffet Car had a satisfactory day although many of our passengers rushed off without a purchase. Maybe the economic situation continues to affect discretionary spend.
Tonight's photo is of the enamel sign from Borrowash signal box that now is exposed to the light in Wirksworth. The history of the sign is that it adorned the box until closure with the introduction of Derby Power Box in the 60s. At that time I was working at St Pancras and returned home with my washing to find that T W Ward had put a hawser around the box to pull it over and burn it. I asked if I could have some parts before the pyre and was encouraged to help myself. The sign has travelled extensively to New Mills, Romiley, Bolton, Guernsey, Southampton and Sheffield Park before ending up at Wirksworth Moor. It deserves to be exposed to the general public after being in hiding for so long.