Thursday, 29 August 2013

Progress Thursday 29th August 2013

Dear all
A most wonderful day rounded off our experimental Thursday operation that broke all financial records and was really enjoyed by a great many visitors. The photo shows the crowds awaiting the 1220 Wirksworth to Duffield. My thanks go to the train crew, Booking Halls at Wirksworth and Duffield, the EVRA Shop and Pullman Buffet Car. There were extra special contributions by Julie Ball, Chris Beale and Peter Binks who speeded the process by manning the pedestrian gates at Wirksworth and the large gates at Gorsey Bank.
We also managed to squeeze in a couple of customers, one hosted by Mick Thomas for trolley testing on the Incline and one hosted by me for their regular calibration of "walking sticks". All good stuff!
The dmu maintenance team had a fairly relaxing day as illustrated with Graham and Doug releasing both starter motors from L J Breeze and delivering them to a local contact for repair. Doug also oiled up various freight vehicles required for next week's photo charters.
The PWT replaced old and defective fishplate bolts on an area to be re-laid by Birmingham University in mid September with a follow on by boxing up ballast in the area of MP 134. The VCT announced they had formed the 76 Club as all three participants today had reached that young age and declared they had many years of activity before them. They finished their fencing project south of Hazelwood and celebrated by the creation of one significant fire.
The death of Charles Underwood yesterday was deeply sad. Charles was a loyal supporter of our enterprise and the next door neighbour of Richard Buckby. He had a background in Railway Civil Engineering and rose to become the last Principle of the School of Transport in Derby. I first came across him as a callow youth, young man, allocated to the British Rail Management Trainee programme and spent a lot of time at the School. ( One of the most memorable lectures was by Brian Clough on the art of management) I was later to welcome him to the bridge of the Manx Viking plying between Heysham and Douglas which I think was a treasured memory. He had a fascination with French narrow gauge and very kindly passed their Association's quarterly magazine to me. A delightful and interesting man who will be missed.