Sunday, 22 May 2011

Happy Birthday Party

'Lucille' and 'Thunderbox' preparing to leave Ashmanhaugh (Central ?) with Birthday Party Specials!

Another good week at the ALR with a very Happy Birthday Party on Saturday when the children and their folks had a great time, and did they make some noise? Great, so well behaved too, we were impressed. The weather was excellent too, very warm and sunny! 'Lucille', 'Thunderbox' and 'The Shay' came out to play.

'Thunderbox' heads round the Lake as seen through the wild flowers.

The Engineering (coaches !) Boys also managed to get Doris back on the road having fitted a pair of new homemade, plain and simple bogies that were completed recently in an attempt to keep her on the track. It worked and the coach was given several gentle laps around the circuit with 'General' to ensure all was OK. It was, so someone then said, "shall we put the top on?", "Why not", was the reply. So the lid was brought out from the shed and fitted. Then some more careful circuits to confirm all was OK. It was. The coach rides really well as two guests holidaying in one of the East View Farm Cottages confirmed, they were impressed and thoroughly enjoyed their unexpected trip around the circuit! (As did the young family who were staying in the other Holiday Cottage who had a trip later on round the circuit behind 'The General'!)

'Doris' going back together again!

'General' takes a covered 'Doris' along the Back Straight past 'Chestnut Junction'

We also enjoyed driving round the alternative circuits now that we have a few more signals and points commissioned. Keeps everybody on their toes! We can now come into the station area off the Back straight without coming through the 'layby' siding, and we can now also take a 'right' coming into the triangle section off 'Den' section to take us around the Lake section. So, we're nearly there just two more signals to commission and a bit of tweaking to do to the track circuiting, and then there is talk (and will be much more yet!) about upgrading or rebuilding the signal box control panels.

'Lucille' heading round the Lake with happy party goers!
All photos: Brian M 21st May 2011


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Birthday 'Boy'

Ray with his trophy and certificate.

On Wednesday (18th), Ray, our hardest working member, celebrated his 8oth birthday. Over the Winter and Spring, Ray has 'embarrased' us younger members (and when we say younger we mean a bit younger than Ray!) by working mainly on his own in all weathers to get our track up to scratch for this year's running season, and we think our trains are running better than than they have ever run before.
To mark the occasion, we presented Ray with a Certificate and a Golden Rail trophy during the lunch break, and Ray provided us with sausage rolls and a cream cake.
We should also mention that Ray cycles several miles to get to the ALR and after a full day's work cycles home again.
So, keep it up Ray, you seem to have many years work left in you yet!


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The 'Little' People ?

One of our phone box installations , this one at point 9 approaching the Triangle.

We have a telephone system on the ALR which is very useful. It is a BT 'Inspiration' kindly donated to us in the early days by one of our members. We have since installed handsets in the signal box, workshop, ticket office, Laurel Sidings storage shed and siding, at point 26 in the layby, on the platform, at point 9 (triangle approach on Den section) and at point 12 on the 'home straight'. The system is very useful and allows us to communicate with the various parts of the railway easily, but, we seem to have a 'phantom' caller! Weird or what ? At no particular time, and for no apparent reason, the handset in the Workshop will ring but when answered there is no one there!!!!

So if anyone knows who this might be and what they are trying to tell us ?, you know where we are !!!!!!!!!


Monday, 2 May 2011

Sucessful May Open Day weekend

Star of the weekend 'Spuggy' coming onto the layby with a happy Martyn in charge!

We have had a great weekend! The weather has been excellent with blue skies and a 'cheeky' breeze, but fine all weekend.
Three Happy Brighouse Lads with 'Spuggy' in Laurel sidings
ready for the Open Day to commence!

We were very pleased on Saturday to welcome some of the Brighouse & Halifax Model Engineers 'Gang' who were in Norfolk along with some of the Bradford Society members, visiting the Hemsby Club for a few days with some of their locos. Martyn had asked if they could visit us with a couple of locos on the Saturday, and as we had agreed recently as a Club to start to have visiting locos again, we were delighted to welcome Martyn, with Brian, Ray and Co, to the ALR with 'Spuggy'. Martyn did intend to bring his Romulus as well ,but apparently there was steam issuing from everywhere so he decided not to bring it! So we had a great day preparing for the Open Day and then in the afternoon let 'Spuggy' loose around our circuit. This lovely little loco was an instant hit with the ALR Gang and most of us had a drive (or three!). On several occasions were members heard saying,"I want one !". So, not making any promises just yet, but this space!!!!.
As the day drew to a close we all agreed that it would be great if the loco could 'sleep overnight', and take part in the Open Day on Sunday. Martyn, Brian & Ray were more than happy to do that so the loco was tucked away in the ALR shed for the night, and we all went home happy Boys!

JP brings 'Hotspur' past the Back Straight Home signals.

Sunday was another super, sunny day and we welcomed our first 2011 Open Day visitors, with 'General' and 'The Shay' hauling the first trains of the day. Hotspur came out to play eventually after our Engineers cured a whistle valve problem, along with Thunderbox, Sergeant and of course 'Spuggy'. Lucille was given the day off, as there was a water and driver shortage! Woodpecker Lodge was opened for the first time on an Open Day and was a popular stopping and sitting point during the afternoon with its photo displays and sunny aspect. We welcomed several visitors from other railways including Brighouse and Halifax, Barnsley Society of Model Engineers, Barton House, and Little Orchard railways. So all in all, an excellent afternoon, not the busiest, but nice and relaxed, plenty of time for chatting and catching up! and finally, no double header to finish the proceedings but what must have been the slowest trip ever round the circuit (by 'Hotspur' with some help, thanks Guys, clinkered up fire is my excuse!) , and then 'Spuggie' helped to push the train round to the shed. So it was a sort of 'double header' but more American 'shover' practise than two on the front!

'Spuggy' with a full train at the Back Straight Home signals on Open Day.
All photos: Brian M

Our grateful thanks to the Brighouse Boys for making our weekend (think they quite enjoyed it toooo!), and of course to our visitors on Sunday, see you next month?