Sunday, 30 January 2011

Soon be spring !

Oh this is great, thanks Boys ! Our own little houses!
Photo: Dave Jones

Hi there, we have been busy little 'Ashmens' recently, 'beavering' away at various tasks, in spite of the weather! and so have the Ashmanhaugh ducks who seem to have found the perfect nesting site,,,,,, in our new lockers ! ! ! Once it gets warmer we are sure you will see them once again happily enjoying our lake !

Work is progressing very well on our new toilet and locker room area with plumbing and electrical works all done, just need to connect the new loo to the drains. All wallboard joints and holes are all filled ready for the painting to start. As you will see from the above photo, our new lockers are coming along with doors being fitted which will provide all our members with some 'personal' storage space. Lots are to be drawn to decide who gets which one !

We had a bit of a problem with Lucille during the Mince Pie Specials running on December 27th, when she suddenly would only go backwards, very tricky! So, having cleared out all the 'stuff' from the workshop area, we were able yesterday, to get the loco up on the stands so our 'engineers' could investigate the problem. This was, as suspected a 'loose' valve on the rod on one side, so that side wanted the loco to go backwards, the other forwards ! Not good. Anyway it seems the problem is now sorted so we can continue with the other maintenance items on both steamers.

We are also changing the handbrake mechanisms on the coaches to give a positive lock when the brakes are applied, which the 'rotary' method was not giving us. One set has been fitted with the new lever and cabling as can be seen from the photo. Work will now proceed on the other sets. The new pit has been very useful in progressing this work.

New brake lever fitted and cabling complete. Photo: Brian M 29th Jan 2011

We have also given Woodpecker Lodge another coat of cedar preservative and the window frames are being painted cream. We are looking forward to seeing this welcome addition in use during the summer.

'Stalwart' Ray has been steadily busy tweaking the track over the last few weeks, in spite of the cold conditions, so it will be in good 'nick' once running starts. Ray has also just taken delivery of a very smart new 'electric' bicycle, complete with all mod cons, and we are just wondering how best to modify it for use a TIV (track inspection vehicle !) Just joking Ray!

It was also very nice yesterday, (Sat 29th) to welcome a long standing Society member, Brian Moretti to the railway. Brian was in the area and had expressed a wish to come and have a look, and as we are always willing to show off our railway, along he and his friend came. We think they were suitably impressed ! We were certainly very impressed with his account of life on the East Herts Miniature Railway Society situated within the Van Hagues Garden Centre at Great Amwell, near Ware, where Brian has spent many happy years!

A moody, wintry shot of the wind turbine
Photo: Dave Jones 27 Dec 2010


Thursday, 13 January 2011

Happy New Year !

There were some rails here somewhere says John !

Hello everyone, we hope you are all recovered from the festive season ! It seems ages now since Christmas as we proceed into 2011 which we hope is going to be a good year for everyone !

We managed to have our Christmas Dinner at a local Hostelry just before Christmas although several of our members were unable to make it due to the extremely icy conditions ! One intrepid couple set out but ended up in a ditch after not travelling very far so decided to go back home! They were both OK fortunately, just a bit shaken up. The ones who did make it had a good evening we hear !

We had also planned to run some Mince Pie Specials on 27th December for members and friends and again the weather and the Christmas 'family' activities prevented some of us from making it, but those who did brave the conditions were met with some very, picturesque snowy scenes and after some snow clearing (who said 'we' should make a snowplough? !!!! ha ha!) , some running did take place as can be seen from the photos!

Happiness is !
All photos : John Pond

Since then, the New Year has seen us very busy giving the signal posts a repaint, some work being done fitting new, more substantial brake levers to the coaching sets, and the provision of the new toilet and member's locker room area is now well advanced. It is rumoured that paint brushes might be employed this weekend ?

Signal posts being painted in the workshop

and Hotspur enjoying some winter sunshine !
Photos : Brian M

Happy New Year !