Friday, 25 May 2012

Summer's Here ?

 A fine view towards the station area shows off the completed fencing in the summer sunshine.

Well, what a lovely day we had on Wednesday, really warm, even hot, all day!!!!! So, it was a bit of a busy day with lots of gardening going on....trackside grass trimming and cutting, strimming, grass field cutting, signal box  uplift of green and cream preserver (part!), handbrake work being finalised on 'Nelson', and Ken came along with his new 'carriage' that he has been making at home, to use behind Sergeant. They had a gentle trundle round the circuit and all was well, excellent.

Ken's coach standing in the platform ready to go !
The Boys working (!) on Nelson
John start to trim the big field.
Things have quietened down a bit now after a very hectic May, and on Saturday we are opening up the railway just for the villagers for a couple of hours, as part of the Ashmanhaugh Village Jubilee celebrations, which will be a gentle, fun morning.

Summer greenery around the East View Farm Holiday Cottages makes a pleasant view.
All photos: Brian M


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Another Great Weekend on the ALR

We were very honoured on Saturday when some 72 Heywood Society members and Guests visited us during the day as part of their busy weekend in Norfolk. All went well, we are pleased to say, and everybody enjoyed the day. It was great to talk to others, some of whom we had already met on our 'Weekend Aways', who are involved with running railways, and some good contacts were made for future visits!
We tried to run as many different trains as we could with Hotspur, The General, Sergeant, The Shay, and Nelson all helping out during the day.

Hotspur pulls way with a good complement of Society members, with The General pulling in behind !
Photo: Brian M
As you can imagine there was much chat as our visitors came and went, during the day using their cars or the minibus arranged by Peter, that was shuttling between the BVR's Wroxham station and the Barton House Railway. Much tea and coffee was consumed and it was good to see the ladies involved too! We were presented with a super framed certificate as a momento of their visit, that already proudly hangs on the Clubroom wall !, as well as a very generous donation to Club funds which is very much appreciated. 
Many thanks to the Societyfor coming to see our railway, it was a great day!
 Some of the Gang relax with an early lunch outside Woodpecker Lodge before operations start !
Photo: Brian M

Then on Sunday, we had 'lent' the ALR to the Leonard Cheshire Disability Charity in order for their volunteers to raise funds for their local Home at East Carleton just south of Norwich. Their volunteers did the Charity proud as they provided all the refreshments, cakes & buns, with added attractions of Tombola, Bric a Brac & games to 'persuade' the visitors to part with some funds for the Charity! We just ran trains and sold tickets! We were especially pleased to welcome Jeromy Cheshire (son of Leonard Cheshire) who seems to be enjoying the afternoon (2nd from right in photo below) as he enjoyed several trips round the ALR. The Charity were very pleased with the afternoon's results, so everyone was happy and we all had a good day. 

Photo: David Barrett


Thursday, 17 May 2012

The ALR celebrates being 10 years old !

 Proceedings get under way with 3 trains ready to go ! Photo: Brian M
 Some of the Gang enjoying a morning 'mardle' in the sunshine! Photo: Brian M

Saturday 12th May was a special day for the railway as it is now ten years old ! We wanted to have an enjoyable, relaxing day to celebrate the milestone and so decided to have a fun day for members, their families and invited Guests, to enjoy our railway. The weather was excellent and so we did just that! A whole variety of trains were run during the day and some very long circuits were made now that we have the choice of five routes available to us. (thanks Guys! thought we were never going to arrive at the platform again once or twice!),  Lucille was a 'goer' having had a new regulator valve fitted, following the old one's failure right at the end of the last Open Day! Lucille wasn't feeling too well so had a bit of a rest!, (nothing serious but needs a few 'tweaks' following her initial running in), and Thunderbox 'slept in' !, General had a few runs round , the Shay had lots!, Nelson trundled round and is settling down nicely, Sargeant was out and about, and John Berry had brought 'Toby' along to stretch its wheels, and it did, being a very popular loco having several different drivers during the afternoon!. 

 The Gaffer was on hand making sure we all went the right way ! Photo: Brian M
(Come On You Yellows ! Sorry Al !)

Highlight of the day was the official opening of the new bridge, which was dedicated to Ray King's wife, Margaret, who sadly passsed away last year, and who had left a legacy to be used on the railway, knowing how much Ray enjoyed being at the ALR. So it was decided that an appropriate and lasting tribute would be a bridge ! At a brief ceremony during the afternoon, all the trains were sent down to the bridge, in an orderly procession with Ray driving the last one in General. Once everyone was gathered round, Ray was then asked to cut the ribbon and unveil the commemorative plaque fixed to the bridge side. A nice touch and quite a sight with all the trains lined up around the lakeside!

 Train line up for the plaque unveiling. Photo: George Aldridge

Ray about to cut the tape Photo: Brian M

     The plaque which reads 'This bridge was built in Memory of Margaret Joan King and funded by a kind donation by her family. ALR 2011'.

The afternoon was then rounded off with more chat and train running followed in style with a lovely BBQ, gateaux and 'drinks' !

A really enjoyable day with grateful thanks to everyone who came along. We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did !


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

ALRC Locomotive No 7: Nelson

Nelson was built in late 2011 early 2012 in the ALR’s workshops to a freelance design following the principles of ‘Spuggy’, the loco built by the Halifax Club which visited the ALR in 2011. The loco which has a bolted 5“ x 3” (125m x 75 mm) channel mild steel chassis with 6” (150mm) diameter steel wheels, is powered by a 5hp Loncin single cylinder, electric start, 4 stroke petrol engine, coupled to an Eaton hydrostatic drive transmitted to the wheel axles via a 2:1 ratio chain sequence. The loco body is fabricated from aluminium alloy with a stainless steel front grille, and fitted with doors for engine access. The loco is fitted with a two tone horn powered by a small compressor and has front and rear lights. The loco, Number 7 in the ALRC fleet, is owned by three of the ALRC members and is named ‘Nelson’ to give it a local ‘flavour’.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Excellent Open Day Number One for 2012

Hotspur & Lucille pass on the Back straight. Photo: John Pond

We were delighted with the turnout on Sunday for our first Open Day this year, in spite of what looked like being a wet afternoon ! The weather held off after an initial shower and our visitors enjoyed trips around the circuit behind Hotspur, Lucille, The Shay, General, Thunderbox and Sargeant. Nelson had a trundle round later on with the goods wagons and Coach 41, and Isabel was on display as was Nelson, on the sidings adjacent to the signal box.
 Hotspur arrives back at the platform after another trip. Photo: John Pond

We were delighted that Lucille is back in action again, following a very sucessful trial 'running in' session the day before on a Birthday Party session. She is a different loco again and back to her best ! She is a very responsive engine and you do have to be constantly alert to what's happening with the fire and water to keep her running ! Plans are in progress to fit an axle driven, adjustable water pump to help keeping the boiler topped up.

 'Nelson' runs through the station with the late afternoon 'mixed' ! Photo: John Pond

Our newly opened 'ice cream parlour' (Woodpecker Lodge) did a reasonable trade despite the coolish weather, so should be a popular spot during the Summer whilst waiting for the next train !

So, thanks for coming to see us Folks, don't forget the Leonard Cheshire Charity Day on Sunday 20th May, and of course our next Open Day on Sunday 3rd June. Trains running from 2 til 5 pm both days.See you then ?


Thursday, 3 May 2012

Alll hands to the Wheels !

Come on you lot, keep up ! Photo: John Pond

Hi there. Well, as our first Open Day approaches, lots going on to ensure all is ready, well nearly! All we need is some decent, or even dry, weather for the rest of the week, as the car parking area is very wet at the moment.  
We have had some new arrivals on the pond with the appearance of 14 ducklings !!!!!!, and there is a good increase in the lake water level thanks to all this wet stuff we are having !!!!
Work to the new signals protecting Laurel Sidings continues, the new fencing alongside the footpath to the platforms is coming along nicely, and the track is in very good condition thanks to all the attention it has received over the winter!
New fencing run in progress. Photo: Brian M

'Nelson' has had a test run with our goods wagons and a coach set, and just needs a bit more weight down below to give it a bit more traction, but it's a super loco to drive, and it may be trundling round on Sunday with the goods wagons !
'Nelson' with stock on  'bedding' in runs on 2nd May 2012
Photos: Brian M & John Pond 

Spraying of the site is in full swing to eradicate and keep the weeds under control.
Woodpecker Lodge has been cleaned out, and displays updated, ready for the Lodge's new ice cream sales duties. 
We were very pleased that 'Lucille' and 'Isabel' both have new certificates following their tests on Wednesday 25th April. Thanks to Brian Reading and John Dabson for their attendance on a very wet day !!!!!
We are hoping that 'Lucille' will make an appearance at the weekend as part of her 'running in' turns following her overhaul. ''Isabel' will be on display but not in steam as there are some jobs to do on her before she can enter public service. All our other locos are servicable so will be out and about doing their bit!
 Hope to see you on Sunday, weather permitting!