Friday, 22 June 2012

A Day for Welcoming Visitors !

 The Toddlers on their way through the greenery. Photo: John Pond

Another happy day on the ALR yesterday (Wed 20th June), when we were delighted to welcome the Rackheath Bombers Playgroup for a 'sponsored Toddle' ! The Playgroup organise this event annually at a variety of locations to raise funds for the Barnardos Charity and this year they went for a ramble round the ALR perimeter ! It was a lovey warm sunny day and the little ones, many in fancy dress, with their Mums, Dads, Aunties, Grandmamas etc etc, had a lovely time. They all got round, eventually and then were rewarded with drinks and nibbles before spending some time having train rides around the circuit (General and The Shay were happy to oblige !). Then as it was such a nice day, they spent the rest of the morning happily playing on the grass. Excellent!
 Two Toddlers'  Expresses on their way! Photo: John Pond

Then during the afternoon as we were busily jobbing (as is our wont on Wednesdays !), a car drew up and who should emerge but Brian Reading (the 71/4" Gauge Society President) and his friend John Dabson with their ladies!. We were delighted to see them and so tools were downed for some chat to catch up with developments, and a drink before they had a tour round the track behind General ! Think they were quite impressed, and it was lovely to see them!

A happy 'Presendential Special' about to depart!  Photo: John Pond


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Seeing Double ?

 Dudley ready to go ! Photo: John Berry

We had some fun last the other Wednesday afternoon when John & Dudley from the North Norfolk Model Enginers brought, not one, but two Tram locos to the ALR to see if it was possible to run 'em together as a 'double header'! Well it is, and did they go !!!!! After some initial 'tweaking' with the 'pots' (as we understand it, and we don't !), and using the connecting cable that John & Dudley had made up to try to get them to run at the same speed on the Workshop sidings, they did. So out onto the mainline for a trial which was very sucessful and judging from the delighted expressions on several of our faces as we had a go, a lot of fun ! We were amazed at the amount of power that these lovely little locos produced , enabling them to whizz round the circuit at a good rate of knots!

 John heading up the 'hill' towards Birchwood Junction with the two blues 
Photo: John Pond might just be possible to see and ride behind these two, (Toby & Tobia ?) at one of our Open Days, that would be a first and as there were only six of these ever produced, quite an event eh ? 
Watch this space!

 Dudley pasing Chestnut Junction with just one blue!
Photo: John Berry


Monday, 4 June 2012

Some You Win, Some You Lose !

Nelson comes into the flag bedecked platform during the Village Jubilee session. 
Photo: Brian M 
What a week!, full of contrast, some good, some not so good, but, hey, this is England and how boring it would be if all the days were the same? Last Saturday we had a very pleasant and relaxed session when we opened up the railway as part of the Ashmanhaugh Village Jubilee Celebrations. There was a good turnout of village people (do you remember them!), who all enjoyed the chance to come along and have some rides, enjoy a cuppa and a chat, very pleasant (we even picked up another Birthday Party booking, and a possible increase in our membership !!!!!)
Thursday evening saw our friends from the Norfolk Railway Society visiting the ALR once more to catch up on the latest progress. Some 30 folks turned up to enjoy a most enjoyable, and again, relaxed, sunny, evening! The Society's venerable headboard was brought along (The Norfolk Railway Society Special), and proudly worn by The General and The Shay during the evening. The board, we understand, dates back to the 50's when it was used on local line 'specials', so we were honoured to be able to display it on our 'Specials' ! (that's another job for the list Chaps ? !!!)
General about to depart with the NRS headboard
Photo: Mike Fordham

Saturday saw a much better day, weather wise, fortunately, for the lucky little chap who was having his Birthday Party on the ALR. There was a good turnout of friends and family, so we were kept busy giving them all rides around the circuit for their two hour session.
Then to cap off a busy week, Sunday's Open day was a bit of, no, a lot of a flop! It rained and rained and rained all day, so understandably in view of the weather, (we nearly cancelled !) and all the other Jubilee events taking place (what a shame for them all), not a lot of people turned up, but a big thank you to those that did, and we ran some trains for them using Hotspur, Thunderbox, The General and Nelson.....and lots of 'Brollies'!!!!!! So an early finish was called for as it went 'quiet' at about 4 pm, and after tidying up, off we all went home to dry out and (?) relax.......
This coming weekend some of our members are heading off to Kidderminster for our annual 'Boys Weekend Away', so more on that when we get back, but in the meantime, keep smiling, summer's not tooooo far away!
 Hotspur heads back into the platform with another Village Jubilee train
. Photo: Brian M