Thursday, 22 May 2008

Oliver Cromwell Photo: J Pond

The Gang At Echills Wood: Photo JPond

Each year at about this time some of our members disappear for the weekend to enjoy a variety of railway attractions here and there. Our illustrious 'Social Secretary' usually manages to fit in some varied attractions which normally include one or two 7 1/4" gauge railways so we can enjoy and learn from others ! In previous years we have been to Wales (2005), Dorset & Devon (2006), Kent & Sussex (2007), and this year to the Midlands. So on Friday 16th May at 07.00 hrs, 7 of us left Ashmanhaugh and headed for the Echills Wood Railway near Tamworth. We were well entertained by a friendly bunch of enthusiasts, viewing their workshops & loco sheds, and of course enjoying a train ride, including a trip on part of their new extension.We then proceeded to our Bed & Breakfast accommodation in Loughborough (Highbury Guest House on Leicester Road -highly recommended!). After an early Saturday morning breakfast, we visited the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley where we saw a large variety of steam & diesel locos. We then headed back to Loughborough to visit the Great Central Railway where we had trips behind Sir Lamiel and later, Oliver Cromwell ! On this trip we sat in the Observation car and enjoyed wonderful views of the passing countryside and on the return trip, Oliver Cromwell's smokebox complete with surround sound! During the evening we enjoyed a 6 course meal on the 'Charnwood Forester'.

The next morning we headed for Ruddington (Nottingham Heritage Centre), the other 'half' of the Great Central Railway where we were made to feel very welcome as well, especially by the NSMEE. We didn't really want to leave, and a couple of our members had a go at driving and guarding, but we finally dragged ourselves away at 16.00 hrs, and headed for home. Everybody had had a great weekend again and The Gang would like to express their thanks to everyone on the Railways visited for making them feel so welcome.
Our poor old Social Secretary is wondering how the **** he is going to better that next year! (rumours of Somerset & Devon?)


The Great Eastern Railway Society visit the ALR

This evening we were pleased to welcome some 23 members of the Great Eastern Railway Society, who once again were able to enjoy our railway and see the progress made since their last visit. The weather was very kind with sunshine and clear blue skies. We were delighted at the very favorable comments made and a good evening was had by all.

Hotspur, The General and Thunderbox were on duty and all performed faultlessly. It was a very enjoyable evening for us too, as we enjoyed showing off our railway to our visitors in a calm, friendly and relaxed session, with much light hearted banter being enjoyed by all.. Light refreshments were taken before our visitors took their leave as darkness fell.

Hotspur disposal by night ! Photo: BM

Monday, 12 May 2008

Mad Dogs of Englishmen ?

Photos: BM
With soaring temperatures at the weekend, we had a very good turnout on Saturday, including some new faces. Our Gang of willing workers were undaunted by the heat, or so they said!, and got to work excavating the Stage 3 trackbed ! The turfcutter had been ordered and so it just had to be done. Good progress was made but was it hot out there!
The 'refreshment' train (The General) made several trips to the work site during the day carrying supplies for the inner men.
Plenty of other jobs were being done too including work on Lucille, Hotspur, coach brakes, weed control, and platform fence painting.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

May 2008 Open Day

All ready !

Trains running - everybody happy !

ALR Day Sleeper on prestart test !

All photos; John Pond

After our disappointment last month following the cancellation of our first 2008 Open Day due to the waterlogged ground, we were delighted to be able to welcome all of you that came to see us on Sunday, especially as the sun shone for us and enabled the afternoon to be thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. We had a good turn out of visitors with 'Hotspur', 'The General' and 'Thunderbox' taking care of some 350 'passenger journeys' between them. 'Sergeant' also made an appearance on our 'demonstration' goods train.

We were delighted to be able to commission our ticket office for the first time which was a great sucess.

So, if we didn't see you on Sunday afternoon, hopefully we will see you on the 1st June ?