Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Origins of village names are fascinating and we (& others!) have been doing a little delving into our railway's home village history. It seems the village dates back to the 10th century or even earlier! There are several interpretations as to the origin of the village name, the most popular seemingly of Anglo - Saxon influence, being 'the enclosure of the 'aescmann' or pirate ! 'aesc-mann' was 'pirate', 'haugh' from 'haga' or 'hagi', a fenced enclosure (for sheep?). So in ancient records can be found 'Assemanhaghe' (around 1175), 'Ashmanhag' (1183), 'Assemaneshawe' (1254), and 'Ashmonhawe' (1535). There was a Bryant map of 1836 which gave the spelling as 'Ashmanhaugh'. Nowadays the most popular pronunciation locally seems to favour 'Ashman'or'.
The village boasts a lovely round tower church, St Swithins, being the probably the smallest one out of 124 in Norfolk, and there is another nearby at Beeston St Lawrence. The 2001 Census shows the village population as being 197 in 74 households. (hope you've done your 2011 one?)
Today the village, although appearing to be quiet and sleepy, is a very active place with the old Village school now the centre of activities being the village Hall (the Preston Room), hosting a wide variety of events throughout the year for the villagers, and others, young and old. There are gardening, art, Senior Residents and Bookworms Clubs, film nights, themed meal evenings, Jumble sales, quizes and there is of course a thriving cricket team. Apart from the usual farming activities there is also a coal yard and a boatbuilding facility!
Thanks to various sources, particularly Bob Payne and the Village Parish Council website.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Marching on !

Happiness is ! and it's not very often Minimus is looked up to !!!!!!
(Club joke !)

Well, have we had a good week ? Yes we have ! With an almost 100% turnout of members on Saturday (12th), well done Guys, lots of jobs are being progressed, and we include a selection for your browsing.

'General' has seen a lot of attention with chassis, drive chains, axles and brake system all checked and serviced. New springs have been fitted to the brake mechanism to keep the shoes off the wheel rims which had been a bit of a problem, especially when reversing. So we now need to go and get the sound unit to really bring this handy little loco to life !

Dave & John attend to General outside the workshop.

Brackers, Alan & Ray finalising the Lake flat crosing signal 'gubbins'

We have now 'commissioned' the colour light signals that protect the Lake flat crossing, which trains activate when entering and leaving the appropriate track circuiting sections. We are impressed, they do look good with the LED lights really standing out.

A 'green' coming off the Lake section approaching the flat crossing.

View of the other colour light signal approaching the crossing from Birchwood Junction,with John in the background 'earthmoving!

Lucile was fired up to test that all was working OK after some attention in the workshop over previous weeks, had a good run round light engine and then with a set on. All good !

Above: The Pit Gang attend to Lucille!
and below, Lucille approaches Lake crossing with the signal showing 'green, yippee, system works !

The workshop external wall was given a creosote 'treat' and the roof area cleaned and washed.

We also cleared all the arisings from the loco pit and other excavations which were transported round to John & Jane's back garden and used to fill in the pond. Why, well after a cleaning session last weekend John & Ben found there to be a distinct absence of fish. (well, just one tiny gold fish)...Herons ? nope, it seems that Otters are now in the area with a family reported in the lakes at the nearby Hoveton Hall Gardens! So the Ponds have decided to fill the hole in and landscape the area rather than to feed the otters !

and finally, can't be too sure Dave, like it ! Can't really go wrong ????????

Until next time, TTFN!