Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Progress Tuesday 20th May 2014

Dear all
An unexpectedly pleasant day that allowed the VCT to draw to conclusion their splendid efforts north of the Cemetery Lane bridge. This has greatly opened up the area to sunlight and improved the ambience of the narrow gauge terminus at the waterfall.Five members of the team were present and produced one giant fire. Mick Kingsley ended his day by cutting the grass on the embankment at Wirksworth's station entrance to very good effect.
The PWT, who are pictured, completed the first part of the new crossover installation which will allow Road 1 to be re-opened tomorrow. The DST have been turning their minds to overheating axle bearing problems on their two Barclay's and devised a further modification to Henry Ellison that may help. No3 was readied for the coming Bank Holiday weekend and Cathryn had attention to her brake rigging. Stuart worked steadily at machined horn guides for the locomotive.
Further work to restore the demonstration wagon at Ravenstor saw the timberwork completed leaving painting to finish the job. Much work was done to prepare the roof of the 8F's groups support coach for repainting that will enhance the vehicles appearance. Arrival of more paint allowed further two pack glossing of Iris and 50253. The LMSCA continued with roof stick production and at Duffield the new seats are now painted and on the platform there.
All this was achieved whilst our service trains ran with their support teams in the Booking Halls and the EVRA Shop. The Pullman Buffet Car looked after today's visitors together with 18 Afternoon Tea customers who were fulsome in their praise for the quantity of food on offer and pleasant way it was all served. The SBT turned their attention to the central drainage channel on the platform which, when complete, will allow the final fill to be placed and rolled prior to tarmacing.
The Booking Hall at Wirksworth had a spectacular day with today's passengers, a Gold Steam Experience purchase and 72, yes 72, bookings for the Station Master's VIP Pullman Luncheon. This latter product only went live on Amazon Local today and it obviously touched the right buttons. To round off the accolades we learnt that we have been awarded Trip Advisor's 2014 Certificate of Excellence based on the warm feedback from our customers.
Yet more praise from the first Knight of the Realm to sample an Experience. Well done to the team involved.
'Dear EVR, Just a note to say thank you for an absolutely fantastic day learning to drive the steam engine. It was just brilliant, and Neil is a great teacher. And an excellent lunch unexpectedly included. Lots of "hands on" , beautiful scenery and warm sunshine. Life doesn't get better than that. I would recommend your Experience days to anyone.
With best wishes
Sir John Oldham