Friday, 24 May 2013

Hey, Summer, where are you?

 Happier April days with all three of our steam locos in steam !
 Photo: Brian M

Gosh, what is going on, snow in Scotland, hail in Norfolk and it's nearly the end of May!!! But this is England and we will just have to get on with it !!!!
Just in case you were wondering how things are at the ALR just now following the cancellation of the Charity Day on  19th May.... all is OK, but we have been struggling with illness, a close family bereavement and loco failures, all of which meant we have been unable to roster enough members or locos to run a full 3 or 4 train service.
But, we are slowly getting back to normal on the loco front with The Shay back together and ready for testing. New bolts and locknuts have been fitted to the bottom cranks and we have changed the engine and Eaton hydrostatic unit oils. Thunderbox also needs an oil change and service but the loco is fine. 
Lucille's blast pipe ring is repaired and we just need to finalise the boiler feed water pump installation, although she is servicable without this. Isabel's work is coming along and she should be in action in the near future (no date, not likely!). We are also hoping to solve the battery problem on General soon, by either buying new batteries or sorting out the charging situation, but apart from that the loco is good...and Nelson is only a week or two ? away (no I didn't say that !) from being back in service following this loco's extensive chassis improvements. 
We are also looking forward to welcoming some visiting locos over the coming months, some of which will be able to help out on Open Days, providing additional interest for our visitors and helping us out on the loco roster front. We were due to have a 'guest ' loco on our last Open Day but unfortunately, Paul, one of the Halifax Boys, who was staying in one of the holiday cottages, had seriously injured his hand previously, and was unable to bring his loco. Nevertheless he had a good week here and helped out with platform duties on our Open Day. 
Several of us had a very enjoyable visit to the Halesworth Club's Open Day on Saturday 11th May, where we were made very welcome and enjoyed their company and a fascinating variety of locos and traction engines. It sounds as though we may be seeing one or two of their 'Sweet William' locos at the ALR, which we were very impressed with (we've all started buying Lottery tickets again!!!!). We are also looking forward to popping across to the Parklands Railway during their Hemsby Week to see their improvements and to enjoy their trains and visitors with some enjoyable rides and chats !!!!! 
On our next Open Day (Sunday June 2nd), we will be pleased to welcome Martyn, of Spuggy fame who will be bringing his Romulus and maybe Spuggy too, so that will be good! And on the Saturday we are welcoming Paul Coates who is bringing along his Station Road Steam's 'Stafford' saddle tank loco which will be a very interesting visitor. So, let's hope for some lovely warm sunshine so we can all enjoy the day and have some fun !!!!! Maybe see you then ?