Monday, 1 May 2017

Progress Report Sunday 30th April 2017

Dear all,

There really seemed to be a buzz about the place today as we enjoyed the bright and surprisingly warm spring sunshine. 

First thing a large group of walkers set sail from the station aided by our own Vince and Neil to undertake a circular route taking in the Cromford and High Peak railway via Black Rocks, a call at the magnificent Lee Wood Pumping station that was operating today, a short trip via EMT to rendezvous with our 3pm service leaving Duffield finally returning them to Wirksworth. A great way to take in several aspects of our local industrial heritage. 

Back at base all attractions were in operation and judging by the cars in rows in the carpark these were indeed appreciated by our guest young and old. The gift shop, buffet, bric a brack, model railway and museum coach provided a range of interest for all.

On the incline the steam team operated a charter and then pay and play service with Henry Eillison and a brake van. I spoke to the charter customers as they completed their session asking if they had enjoyed their morning. I was greeted by a huge smile through a modest layer of soot and his only comment was "just awesome!". Throughout the day we took regular questions about when and how to take a ride on the steam service, the attraction of steam clearly shows no sign of abating. 

Our mainline service was provided by the three car set and it transpired this was a wise choice, our mid afternoon service left Wirksworth with just in excess of 80 guests on board and it would be fair to say every one of our four services recorded good passenger numbers. 

We should not overlook that last night was our Jazz and Real ale service with traction also provided by our own steam engine, work was ongoing this morning cleaning the carriages and it should also be noted that some of our volunteers who finished helping with the special event very late last night were back onsite first thing again this morning to do another full day.

Down the yard a small but deeply determined group from our engineering team were trying to remove bolts from one of our corridor connections using an eclectic mix of bars, spanners and hammers. Its seems said bolts were fitted by an equally determined engineer several decades ago who probably walked away from the completed job muttering, "they won't come out in a hurry!". 

Towards the southern end of the Wirksworth site Ron had executed a full line possession on the miniature railway and over the last few days has fitted another three panels of track. This developing new asset to our railway will without doubt be a hit with our younger guest once fully operational. Brandon is pictured below undertaking some driver training and is expected to be able to sign the route in due course.

A busy but enjoyable day, I leave you with pictures of Henry Ellison..

My thanks to our numerous volunteers who contributed to all of the above