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....