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!