As we get ever deeper into September we might expect the weather to be turning down the thermostat but as the pictures below will testify today have been one bathed in gloriously warm sunshine.
As I approached the station this morning a trail of bright orange could be seen developing through Wirksworth as our friends and colleagues from Birmingham University left their over night accommodation and made their way to continue their project turning rails in the upper yard. As they assembled in position to start work the dog walkers on cemetery lane bridge could be seen squinted in the orange glow. I can only also assume their hosts had treated them to a hearty breakfast of Derbyshire Oatcakes because, under the watchful eyes of Robin and Tim, by lunchtime they have placed, fixed and largely packed a 60' panel of rail completing their objectives for this years visit and returning possession of the line to operations. This is the fourth year we have hosted the staff and students from Birmingham and we look forward to our opportunity to contribute to their training and their contribution to the maintenance of our infrastructure in the future. Tim declared he was retiring home for a hot bath and a pint of old and violent...he looked like a needed it.
Geoff was on site early this morning to facilitate the second of our car boot sale with June looking after the bric-a-brac, a modest turn out of vendors and purchasers took advantage of the fine weather to survey the chippendale wotnots and multitude of other delights on display.
Being the third Sunday of the month our regular visitors from the MZ motorcycle group took advantage of the Pullman buffet (bacon cob with a dash of Eazystart on the side please) and the boot sale (pair of leather bike gloves as worn by Barry Shine, bargain at 12.50) and a picture of their fine mounts has been distributed by Martin previously.
Ian and Peter ran the two booking halls with their usual quiet efficiency with myself and Ian turning baggage handler briefly as our University guests left for Birmingham and York on the 2pm service with there being a significant danger of all the luggage reaching the correct destination by close of business today. We commented on the large size of baggage the average student needs for a three day visit to the Derbyshire Dales as we staggered over the platform concluding that several 100 kilos of ballast would be a useful source of further research work back on campus!
Iris (funny age) reported she was enjoying her last summer vacation at the Dean Forest railway taking a staring role in the their Railcar Gala but said she was looking forward to coming home and is the bunting still up?
Julie hosted the model railway, the train crew operated a four service day with surprisingly good numbers reported and the catering team managed to provide meals for students, motorcyclists, public and staff alike. My thanks go to all staff involved for making the day so successful..
In those moments where we had chance to chat and reflect on the events of the past week our thoughts and conversation inevitably turned to the passing of John Evans which has left a significant gap at our railway. John filled many roles not least of which being a good friend and trusted advisor to our staff and supporters alike. For those who wish to make donation please speak to the Pullman buffet staff.
I leave you with a picture of the Bubble car and our new Duffield booking hall looking resplendent in the late summer sunshine and our friends from Birmingham university working hard on our infrastructure earlier today.