Friday, 16 December 2011

Seasons Greetings !

We would like to wish all our followers and visitors a Very Happy Christmas and a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous 2012. We hope to see you at some time during the year, but if you can't make it, keep up to date with what's happening at the Ashmanhaugh Light Railway by continuing to visit our website!
From all the ALR Gang !


Thursday, 8 December 2011

This'n That Time

View across the lake with proposed bridge location at about 2 'o' clock!

As we move forward into Winter, progress is being made on several fronts at the Railway. Work on the new bridge continues, with the foundations and abutment blockwork completed, and assembly of the steelwork sides coming on nicely. (in the workshop where it's nice and warm!!!) The decking tmbers have arrived so no excuse, should be done soon!

Bridge steelwork assembly in progress, 7th December 2011.

All the signals and signs have been taken into their Winter storage and the necessary maintenance will be carried out as and when. (we think that means, 'before the next Operating Days !')

We also now have an excuse to run a 'logging' train, as several weeks ago a quite large Ash tree decided it had had enough of this life, and collapsed near Cobnut Junction, but fortunately adjacent to the site boundary, so it didn't fall over the track (thank you!). So, plenty of logs for our hosts to enjoy for quite a while!

A 'fallen over' Ash tree study!
All photos: Brian M
We need to construct a 'leaf pen' too, so we can gather and compost the leaves and stop them from covering our lovely track! (put it on the list....which one? !!!)

Lucille is being re-assembled and The Shay is being 'un-assembled' so we can assess the remedial action required, and Hotspur is to have his/her tender cleaned out and sealed over the winter period.

The Shay minus its front truck drive rod on 7th December 2011

Our Christmas meal is booked at a local Hostelry and we plan to run a some 'Mince Pie Specials' on Wednesday 28th December for members, families and friends (as long as there isn't toooo much white stuff!


Friday, 2 December 2011

So what's this then?

Chassis progress in November Photo: Brian M & DJ

Deep down in the depths of the lovely Norfolk countryside just to the South of Norwich, we recently came across an interesting project being developed by one of our members. He's not giving too much away but from what he tells us it's going to be another loco for the ALR, 'Buggy' ! Using parts from a recently obtained electric powered disability 'scooter', and with some advice from our Yorkshire 'Spuggy' friends, he is currently putting the chasis together and working out how to do the rest! He's being very vague about what it will look like but promises that it will be 'different' with an interesting colour scheme!
Can't wait!


Friday, 18 November 2011

A bridge for the ALR

Assembly work in progress on a bridge side in the ALRC workshop
Photo: John Pond

After much deliberation and discussions, we are now delighted to be in a position to go ahead with our long term plan to introduce a bridge on the ALR!! The details have been finalised, we have received approval from the local Planning Authority, the steel work is on site and being assembled, and the track lengths and ballast are lifted at the proposed location!

ALRC members removing track in the bridge location area on Saturday 12th November 2011
Photo: John Pond

The plan is to provide a 10 ' 0" long bridge at the Lakeside back straight where the 'keep your arm & legs' in sign is. The bridge will use the RSJ's that we already have, on which will be constructed a timber deck structure with steel sides ( a Pratt through truss like M & GN's at Potter Heigham). It will be 5' 0" wide to allow a walkway on each side of the track, which will also allow JP's 'sit on' grasscutter to pass over the bridge. The bridge will sit over a slight depression to represent a feeder stream into the lake disappearing into the trees. John has also engaged a Contractor to dig out the existing lake to make it deeper, using the excavated material to regrade the banks and to enable some further planting to be carried out.
We anticipate the work being completed by Spring next year.

As an additional benefit, this may allow another interesting 'activity' for the members to indulge in ! Watch this space !!!!!!!!


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

First Class Guy Fawkes Night

Last Saturday was another very sucessful and enjoyable day and evening for the ALRC. We had organised another evening of fun, fireworks and food for some 45 members, families and friends. The weather behaved and there was soup, followed by hot dogs and jacket potatoes, and then for afters, gateaux and cream, followed by mulled wine!
Thunderbox, General and Sergeant performed during the evening hauling trains, and then an excellent firework display rounded off the evening, marvellous!


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Tis Autumn

Sunny 'alfresco' lunchtime in October !!!!!!
Photo: John Pond

All at once it is Autumn and the days are shorter, it's getting cooler and our 'busy' days are done for this year, which has been a good one on many fronts, the weather, the Birthday Parties, the Open Days (not one cancelled this year!), the visiting locos (and their crews!), the friendly people we have met, and the fun we have had !.......and of course we have some things planned which we hope come to light in the not too distant future which will enhance the ALR and make it more enjoyable for everyone !

As part of the ongoing tasks scheduled 'we' have done a bit of tree felling! There has been a very old, knarled, Robinia (False Acacia) tree adjacent to the workshop with roots that are beginning to be a problem, to say nothing of the leaves and twigs it deposits on the roof which needs a regular clean to prevent the drains from getting blocked, so a 'tree surgeon' was called in and the tree is no more! Jane tells us that these have been there as long as she can remember (just a year or two then Jane!), and there is still one left, between the house and the Holiday Cottages.

Robinia felled - plenty of logs there Jane ?
Photo: David Jones

Maintenance work is taking place on the coaching stock, being made much easier now that we have the pit.

David & John get to grips with coach maintenance
Photo: John Pond

It seems that the Signalling Boys are coming up with plans for a new lever panel and diagram in the signal box which we are sure will be impressive!

...and there is a possibility of a 'new' loco at the ALR as one of our members had the opportunity to acquire a mobility scooter recently, which now resides in his workshop at home, but in bits. From the pile of bits, a chassis is evolving and we are told, plans are in place for a 'different' loco body (and colour scheme) to be constructed in due course. No more details can be extracted at this time, so it's wait and see!!!!!!

....and, we have this Saturday, what should be the last 2011 Birthday Party for one of our member's Grandsons, so a nice day will be welcome. Hotspur is undergoing its annual check and hydraulic test this Wednesday, so if all goes well it should be steamed up for the Party.

Plans are in hand for our annual Firework Night Party for members and friends on November 5th (when else?), and our Social Secretary tells us that he is currently organising our Christmas meal at a local Hostelry (yes, it's creeping up to that time of year again!). In between the two we have our Annual General Meeting on November 12th which will set the scene for next year, so plenty going on in one form or another!


Saturday, 8 October 2011

End of Season approaches

The Birthday Party train with Hotspur (and Alan !) in charge. Photo by Dawn

The summer season is at an end and so is this year’s season for ALR Birthday Parties. This year has been the most successful so far for Birthday Parties with one nearly every weekend since just after Easter.We have one more before we close part of the track for some winter maintenance and some (possible) bridge construction work.

Last weekend (17th Sept) saw another very successful ALR Birthday Party for a young lad, Sonny, who was five and we had 24 very excited children and their parents, aunts, uncles and Grand Mum, all enjoying the rides and a Picnic on the open field.

The afternoon was very sunny and warm until just before the end when we had a burst of rain, but because the sun kept shining we had the added pleasure of a double rainbow.The attached photo's are just three of dozens taken by Dawn, one of Sonny's aunts. She gave us permission to use them as long as we gave her a credit, so here goes.


Sonny and Nanny on the rainbow brollie train. Photo by Dawn

Kindly note that we will not be taking firm bookings for next year’s Birthday Parties until January, by which time we should know when we can have the full track open again. Keep looking at the Web Site and watch the progress. By the number of enquiries we have had so far it looks like being another good year, so if you would like a party, as soon as you have Christmas out of your system, give us a call.

Dave B

Sonny's Uncle Steve and Cousin Archie. Photo by Dawn

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Final 2011 Open Day

Hi, didn't we do well last Sunday! Our final Open Day for this year was just brilliant, warm (even hot!) sunshine, lots of happy visitors, a visiting loco, a visiting Guard, all in all a great afternoon, thank you all for coming!
'Hotspur', 'The General', and 'Thunderbox' bore the brunt of the services with John's visiting 'Toby' lookalike helping out once again. (thanks John & Jo, great to welcome you again). We were also pleased to be assisted by Tony from the Nottinhgham Club who was on 'holiday' in one of the Cottages on site, and who had 'brought' his Guard's gear with him, just in case!, so he helped out with the guarding turns which was excellent.
Sorry we have no photos to show you but your 'roving reporter' suffered a broken ankle whilst on holiday in Cornwall last week, so at the moment is doing no roving at all! But we'll do what we can to keep you up to date with the happenings at the ALR over the coming weeks/months, when we should have some exciting developments to tell you about !

Keep smiling


Friday, 9 September 2011

September snippets

The Lakeside scene this summer before 'The Strimmer' got to work to remove the rampant growth !

We enjoyed a very pleasant Open Day last Sunday (28th August) when we were extremely lucky (again) with the weather, which behaved itself until about 4.30 when we got some precipitation from above, (no, not Hotspur priming !....rain!), so it didn't really spoil the afternoon. (we just got soaked putting everything away, but that's all part of the fun eh?). We had time to chat to our visitors, one of whom was delighted to see some ex Little Melton stock running, as he used to 'play' there many years ago when he was at University. Although it has to be said he was quite upset when he saw the photographs that we had taken at Little Melton when we were removing the track back in 2002, as by then it was really overgrown and neglected, shame. But its 'Spirit' lives on we are pleased to say!

So 'Hotspur', 'General', 'Thunderbox' and the 'Shay' ( just a short appearance) did the honours, as 'Lucille' is still unavailable due to repairs and refurbishment works being carried out. It is very unlikely that she will be back in service for our last 2011 Open Day on October 2nd, as we have found one or two other 'things', as you do, that need attention!.
We also will be doing some work on the Shay after the final Open Day, as the drive shaft has shifted about 10mm, due, we think to the derailment in May. The bearings at the bottom of the piston crankshafts are a bit 'sloppy' too, so we will take the opportunity to remedy those as required.

Our S & T Boys have been experiencing problems with the telephone installations recently and it now appears that there is a fault in the cable that runs from the signal box to Triangle Junction, so a new length is being installed to rectify the problem. (not the little people at all then!)

The first stretch of cable about to be tucked under the Terram adjacent to the edging boards 'en route' to the Triangle area

Timber for re-sleepering has been obtained and some of it cut into sleeper lengths so the Track Gang can carry out some replacements here and there, mostly on Den section. Over the Winter it is intended to make up some track sections so we can carry out quick track panel replacements where required.

...and of course the horticultural works continue ! The strimmer has been busy around the Lake area tidying up.

Richard (yes it is, honest!) busy Lakeside.
All photos: Brian M

..and finally, we had a look at some website 'stats' which always make interesting browsing! Did you know that in the month 8th August to 6th September 2011, there were 1280 page visits from UK (1063), Germany (108), U.S. (43), China (22), New Zealand (10), Australia (8), France (7), Turkey (7) Switzerland (6) and Denmark (6). Last Tuesday there were 60 hits and on Wednesday we had 93 views! Excellent, thanks everybody, keep on looking!


Saturday, 3 September 2011

Birthday Party with a difference !

Number 131 stands proudly outside the ALR workshops shortly after being unloaded on Saturday
Photo: Brian M

Another good day at the ALR today when we welcomed John & Jo Berry and their family and friends for a Birthday Party with a difference. With this one you bring your own loco !
We had said to John a while back when we knew Jo (John's Other Half) had booked the party, why not bring your Tram loco along again for a run? John had brought the loco to the ALR once before, many years ago (not exactly sure, just checking 2004 or 5 methinks !).
"OK" he says, "that would be good, thanks, she hasn't had a run for a couple of years". So he did.

Needless to say, the little loco was soon at home on our circuit with several members 'having a go'. So we all enjoyed the hot, sunny afternoon, with 'Hotspur', 'Thunderbox', 'General' and 'Number 131 The Tram Engine' (yes he does look a lot like Toby, our little visitors thought!), all taking part.

Superb little loco !
Photo: Brian M

We were very impressed with the loco's hauling capacity as it had no difficulty with our 'DWT' (Driving wagon trailer) and coach 41 and passengers, and at a fair rate of knots too!
So thanks John, we had a lot of fun!.

The Tram is dwarfed by its bigger brothers Hotspur and Thunderbox
Photo: John Berry


P.S. John is very much involved with the North Norfolk Model Engineering Club whose members operate the miniature railway tracks (3 1/2" and 5" gauges) up at Holt on the North Norfolk Railway, definitely worth a visit if you haven't seen it and ridden it, you won't be disappointed!

Monday, 29 August 2011

From Norfolk into Suffolk and back.

A glimpse of the lovely garden. Photo: Brian M

Some while ago we had been invited to visit the Little Orchard Railway in deepest Suffolk by Rex & Janet when they visited the ALR during our May Open Day. So on Sunday, a goodly ALR Gang (14 in all !) discovered this lovely little railway (in size but not heart!) built and operated by Rex and his very friendly 'helpers'. We had a great afternoon chatting, admiring the garden, driving trains, (even the Girls had a go !), watching trains, discussing railways and stuff, it was excellent!
Then we were treated to a very tasty BBQ followed by a variety of 'afters' including a huge chocolate Birthday cake to celebrate Helen's recent 'important' Birthday! (one of the LOR's 'helpers').
All aboard !

The railway's Number 5 and 'Glenda' were in charge of the trains, which ran more or less all afternoon non stop, and driven a lot by the youngsters!!!!!.

Kevin explains the controls to Alan.

So, if you haven't seen this super railway then you should try to get there on one of their Open Days, you won't be disapointed! (see '').

Relaxing and chatting!


Sunday, 28 August 2011

Posh Hotspur

Well, as promised we bring you at last, an update on 'Hotspur' now that most of the scheduled (and some unscheduled!) work has been completed. As you can see from the photos, the loco now carries her side tanks once again which completely alter her appearance and we have obtained some 'ALR' decals which have now been applied to the tender. Our 'head' painter, Barry, (no he doesn't paint heads, just locos and things!) has been busy repainting the loco whenever he could get possession of it for any length of time, and, we are told, all is now just about done! (well almost, just inside the cab to do !!!!) She does look smart and is going well....

All photos: Brian M

Friday, 26 August 2011

A 'Work and Play' weekend !

It's not all about 'working' on the railway, we do have some 'social' fun too! For instance last Saturday evening some 15 of us went across to the Mid Norfolk Railway and enjoyed a tasty supper on a 'Fish and Chip 'Pig' Express' train organised by our Friends of the 'Flying Pigs' reknown!!!! One of the MNR's Class 101 DMU's was chartered (it was even showing 'Fakenham' on the destination blind !!! excellent, if only!) and we tootled down to Wymondham Abbey meeting the other F & C Special on its way back to Dereham hauled by ex GWR 0-6-0 pannier tank No 9466 at the Thuxton passing loop, looking very smart in its black livery. (Well respect where it's due even if it is Great Western !) There was a bar on board and a raffle was held during which several good prizes were collected by the happy travellers. It was a really good night with a great atmosphere, and it's good to see the Mid Norfolk Railway purposely moving forward and improving all the time.

...and then to Sunday, when we took our publicity display stand to the 'Larger Scales Model Railways' exhibition held at East Dereham and organised by the 'Flying Pigs' Group. A good variety of layouts and trade stands attended, giving a pleasant, if quiet day for our Guys who were able to chat to the visitors, another good opportunity to meet up with old friends and to make new ones!

Meanwhile back on the 'work' front, we have completed the installation of the dedicated ALRC water main into the Clubrooms, painted the inside of the 'chicken shed', oops sorry, Ticket Office, (hope you approve Ladies, much brighter now eh?), more work on completing the telephone installations over on the Lake section, we have had the piston plates off 'Lucille' ground down as they were a bit 'uneven', and new cylinder gaskets are being made up, and on Wednesday there was even a 'where shall we put the bridge' gathering by the lake following which some orange paint has appeared in the grass together with some sticks poking out of the ground, so things are starting to happen on that front, it seems !, and further work continues on the track circuiting installation and improvements. Oh and a bit more weed spraying, bush/tree trimming, and grass cutting has been done. Think that brings you up to date, see you soon........


P.S and talking of Flying Pigs reminds us that there is one over on the North Norfolk Railway at the moment! Yes, LMS Ivatt 4MT 2-6-0 No 43106 has arrived and will be out and about on this lovely line until the end of September. The loco which used to work over the old M & GN line through Sheringham, will hopefully take part in the NNR's Steam Gala (Sept 2nd to 4th), and the 40's Weekend (Sept 17-18th). Excellent, will be worth a look!

TTFN (2)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Succesful August Open Day

The busy scene on Sunday afternoon as Hotspur loads while The General passes.
Photo: John Pond

We were delighted with the attendance on Sunday which proved to be one of our best Open Days ever! Although breezy, the weather behaved and we just had one slight 'sprinkling' but apart from that it was fine and mostly sunny. As there were lots of other attractions taking place last weekend we were not expecting to be so busy, so thank you all for coming, we hope you enjoyed your afternooon with us, we hope you enjoyed seeing the 20 or so MG cars (many thanks Guys & Gals, we hope you had a good day too !) that came along, and we hope you enjoyed the friendly atmosphere, we are so lucky to be able to play in such a lovely setting!

The MG's resting with their owners!
Photos: John Pond/Brian M

All our locos except Lucille were out and about during the afternoon with three trains running to try to keep the queues down a bit, and all went well, we are pleased to say. Lucille is stopped at the moment as we try to find out where all her steam goes to so quickly! She has been 'difficult' for a while now, so after taking some advice from a much more enlightened, experienced, professional engineer (and chemist), who works on another of our local railways, our Boys are in the process of stripping the loco down so we can see what is happening (or not!).

Lucille's innards being 'got at' by Ray over the pit last Saturday.
Photo: Brian M


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Charity Bike Ride

We are delighted to be able to tell you on 31st July one of our member's sons, Ryan Butler and his friend James McCrea completed a London to Paris bike ride to raise money for the MacMillan Cancer Relief Charity!

They began from Greenwich Park in London on Thursday 28th July and arrived on the outskirts of Paris on Saturday evening, leaving a short distance to ride into the city early on Sunday morning. The highlight of their trip was a circuit of the Arc du Triumph and a ride down the Champs -Elysees and on to the Eiffel Tower where their 'fan club ' was waiting to cheer them in. The Boys were delighted that traffic was very courteous and stopped to let them across the Arc du Triumph !!!!!! We also hear that the Butler/McCrea 'Fan Club' enjoyed a very good evening or two in this vibrant City!!!!!

The trip was originally organised by a company, but earlier in the year they changed the date of the ride, so the boys decided to organise it themselves with their partners acting as support team, travelling with them in a camper van. This meant they paid their own expenses enabling all the moneys raised to be given to the charities of their choice. In Ryan’s case The MacMillan Cancer Support..

Ryan James at the end of their London to Paris charity cycle ride celebrating under the Eiffel Tower. Photo: John Butler

Well done Guys.......Should you wish to donate to this very worthwhile Charity you can, via Ryan's website, ,or if you are visiting the ALR this weekend there is a donation envelope in the Clubroom which our members will direct you to. Many thanks....


Friday, 29 July 2011

Time flies

Lucille & Thunderbox on Birthday Party duties on 21 st May 2011.
Photo: Brian M

Hello again, yes we are still here and keeping busy, it's that time of year when one or two or three of us have been nipping off on holiday to 'recharge' our batteries and maybe pick up some tips if we can get near a railway!
But back on the ALR front we are doing all those things that need to be done, such as grass & bush trimming, track, point and signal maintenance, laying a blow down slab adjacent to the pit road outside the shed so we don't keep filling (well nearly!) the pit up with hot water, giving the platform seats their annual timber treatment, painting the point levers and plates, thinking about where we are going to build the bridge! oh yes tis on the list, so watch this space! etc etc etc.....

The locos are all servicable at the moment, Lucille has been given good tube clear out with a new brush which we are hoping will improve her steaming as she has been 'difficult to keep going for long recently. There is also a plan to introduce an axle driven, variable rate water pump to help....we are also having the water checked to ensure our 'water treatment' mix is producing the right result. Hotspur's repaint job is more or less complete and needs the ALR transfers placing on the tender, then we can let you see her as she is now!...
...and pssstttt ! there are rumours that we are planning to build our own version of 'Spuggy', the very popular Lister look alike!!!!!!! (many thanks to Martyn & Co who kindly sent us drawings!)

We also tried using the large Gazebo roof (no sides) last weekend during a private Family Picnic event, which was sucessful, easily put up and removed, so we plan to leave the frame up as this provides very useful additional shade (sunny) or shelter (rainy) when we have a Public event.

We are also looking forward to our next Open Day on Sunday August 7th, when as an additional 'attraction', the local MG Owners Clubs (Broadland, Cambridge & Norwich) are visiting for the afternoon and will be displaying their cars around the site. Trains will be running from 2 til 5 pm weather permitting, and we look forward to seing you there?


'Spuggy' passing Cobnut Junction on 30th April 2011.
Photo: Brian M

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

A Good Charity Open Day

The Lakeside wild flowers have spread even more this year !

We were delighted that the weather stayed very kind over the weekend so we could welcome our visitors in aid of the local Leonard Cheshire Home Disability Charity. It was a good afternoon with plenty of visitors enjoying the sunshine and the side stalls, Tombola, competitions plus the lovely cakes and refreshments. Thank you all for coming to support this local Charity.

On the operating side all went well with Hotspur, Lucille, General, Thunderbox and The Shay all taking their turn and performing faultlessly! We initiated the use of the calling on signal for trains waiting in the layby siding as well, so only two more signals to 'fire up' and the signalling personnel will then be in full charge! Ha ha!

The Shay waits to be called into the station by the new signal in the Layby siding on 3rd July Open Day 2011

On the work front during the week we installed a soakaway from the water tank to 'distribute' the surplus when its full, made up some 'duckboards' for the loco pit so we can have dry feet when its wet in there, and did some more 'gardening'. The green woodpeckers were about too.....


Wednesday, 29 June 2011

An American Influence !

The impressive Santa Fe F7 A & B units unloaded and ready to roll!

We had a great weekend for on Saturday we had a visit from a super Santa Fe F7 A & B unit locomotive brought along by fellow 71/4" Gauge Society member Ivan Hewlett and his family. Ivan arrived late morning as arranged, and the combo was easily unloaded from Ivan's trailer, and 'fired' up. After a trundle round the Triangle to get the loco facing in the right direction, and a brief chat on how we run the railway, Ivan set off and did one or two circuits with a big smile on his face!
Father & Son trundling back along the Home Straight after turning at the Triangle.

The loco was very impressive and the sound of that horn was excellent, made my day! We picked up the two car set on the way past Laurel Sidings and then I was then given the chance to drive the loco round the circuit which left me with an even bigger smile on my face, a very impressive loco it is, with a very professional control panel. Ivan's son then had a go with Dad in the first carriage and by then the Grandparents had arrived so they had a trip round too!

William takes a driving turn with Dad and happy Grandparents on the cushions!

As we had a Birthday Party in the afternoon we confirmed with Ivan that he was happy to participate, which he was, and so the loco along with Hotspur, General, The Shay, Sergeant and Thunderbox all had their turn in giving our Party visitors rides around the circuit for the whole afternoon. The F7 had to retire unfortunately with a transmission problem, which we hope is easily remedied, but all in all a good time was had by all !!!!! Even the weather behaved!

Another Happy Birthday Party train departs.
All photos : Brian M


P.S. Don't forget that our next Open Day (Sunday 3rd July) is a bit of a special one as it is a Charity Event in aid of the local Leonard Cheshire Disability Home in East Carleton near Norwich. So please come along if you can to give support to this very worthwhile local Charity. We will be running trains from 2 til 5 weather permitting, with teas, cakes, and competitions for all the family! See you there?
......and, we may have another surprise loco taking part !

Friday, 24 June 2011

Flying Pigs AGM

We received these two photos of the proceedings last Saturday, thanks Rosemary! (and for the mention in the Eastern Daily Press today!!!)

A happy Alan with Hotspur

Brackers about to depart with another trainload of Flying Pig members !
Photos: Micheal Thorpe & Rosemary Cooper


Monday, 20 June 2011

Getting There!

The 'call on' signal having some final tweaks in the workshop (18th June2011)

We are getting nearer to having the last of our signals installed and as you can see, the 'calling on' signal is just about ready to install at the exit of the 'layby' siding where trains wait to be called into the station when needed. Not sure what all the 'technical bits are that make it work, but as long as it does!!!!!!

The 'business' bits!

Saturday was another busy and enjoyable day. We were delighted to welcome the 'Flying Pigs' members to our railway for their inaugural Annual General Meeting. All went well and we are sure we will hear more from this Group (of which the ALRC is a member) now that they have formalised their activities. The Group caters for 'O' gauge modellers and above.
Hotspur, General and Thunderbox were out and about during the day, dodging the showers, and later, in the afternoon we had some excited children riding round for a Birthday Party, when the Shay also made an appearance.