Thursday, 25 July 2013

Time Flies

The NRM's lovely L & B 'Taw' seen at its temporary home at the Nottingham Club during our visit in June.
Well into this lovely Summer now and Schools are out so let's hope it lasts a while longer ! We had a pleasant Birthday Party last Saturday with lots of happy, singing and laughing children enjoying the trains and the surroundings.(to say nothing of the cakes and stuff!).  General, Thunderbox, Lucille and The Shay came out to play, but not for long in Lucille and The Shay's case,! Lucille quickly ran out of breath (a shortage of that steam stuff actually!), and the Shay, well, if we will try to run the loco with the brakes full on, it's hardly surprising that the drive belt from the Eaton to the chain axle gave up and snapped! But another has been sourced and should be fitted on Saturday all being well, so no serious damage done thank goodness, but another lesson learned ??????.  
Isabel needs a new injector we found, so one is on order, but we are hoping to give her a run round on Saturday which is going to be a bit of as training day for us to 'polish' our skills, driving, guarding, signalling or whatever we can fit in. We are getting more members 'passed out' on more tasks now so we can be very multi skilled hopefully, which will help out on Open Days!
Oh and you won't believe this, but what did we do yesterday?, you'll never guess, well we pointed up the ridge tile on the signal box roof which has had a 'gap' for 'x' years now !!!!!! All done, really, it is, honest......  so that's another job off the list (not sure which one ?).
The bridge handrail is re stained and the bridge decking has been given a splash of decking stain, the Ticket Office roof has had a new felt ridge piece fitted as there was a hole on the roof felt.
And Hotspur's chassis is having a good clean and checkover prior to being repainted so it's all posh when the new boiler arrives (not yet for a while !) 
Ben's mended another puncture on his bike tyre ! and we need to get some of that 'stuff' to put into the wheelbarrow tyres to stop them deflating as they are all flat again (it's all them thorns from the gardening!).
And we will have another 'green ' loco soon, (if it rains!), not quite sure what it is, looks a bit like a tank loco, think it's a steamer as there is a chimney, but let's wait and see what nature can do and we'll show you a photo maybe!
So, all is well here, hope all is well with you all....see you soon?

Roy's super Class 40 out in the 'Boondocks' during its visit to the ALR earlier this year.
Photos: Brian M

Monday, 15 July 2013

An Update For You !

'Little Olive' amongst the greenery on Lake section
Ok so as promised, here we go with a brief update, well reasonably brief......., on what's been happening on our railway since the middle of June....
On Wednesday 19th June, the Rackheath Bombers Toddlers Group came for a 'toddle' round the perimeter, as a Fund Raising exercise for Barnados, following which they had some stories (excellent, we were very good and sat very still 'til they'd finished!), followed by a bit of a picnic and a train ride or two. Their theme this year was 'Fairy Tales' so there were some excellent costumes about the place (we declined thank you!)...lovely morning!

'Scamp's friend and 'Scamp' approaching Laurel Sidings
Saturday 29th June saw us 'hosting' the 'Flying Pigs' AGM, which was interspersed with some fascinating visiting locos on the circuit!!! Some of the Guys who attended the FP AGM had come all the way from Stoke and brought along a couple of locos which had several trips round the circuit, good to see you Boys, and what a long way to come! We also welcomed some of the Gang from the Halesworth Club whom we had met during our recent visit to their Club in May. We had asked them if they would help out on our July Open Day as we thought we were going to be a bit short of locos ( and crews), and they were very keen! So they brought along two 'Sweet Williams' , 'Holkham' and ' Little Olive' (for a practise), which were duly unloaded, fired up and, after a pleasant 'induction' walk round our circuit, were let loose to see how they got on with our slight grades, and signals ! Of course they managed very well and the smiles on their and our faces told the whole story ! So we had a lot of fun and some of us had a go, as you do, (even Barry was persuaded!), and I have to say we were more than impressed with these lovely locos' performance, what super engines to drive !!!!! An excellent day all round!
Sunday 7th July, our quietest Open Day..... ever!!!, well it was hot, very hot, 'whatshisname' was in the Wimbledon Final (well done Andy, great performance!), it was hot, beach time?, barbeques in the garden ?, it was hot, there were fetes everywhere, it was hot, so it was a nice change for our visitors not to have to queue, and for us to be able to chat to people. As well as the two 'Sweet Williams', John and Dudley had brought along their 'Toby's for a run out, so there were loads of locos about, so the crews had a great time...!!!! Thanks a lot Guys, see you again ?????
The Sweet Williams all ready to go. 
...and finally, last Saturday saw us 'lending' the railway to the Musical Keys Charity, for them to welcome their guests and visitors for a different afternoon out, and to help them to raise some funds. A pleasant afternoon was enjoyed by all, with General, Thunderbox and Nelson doing the 'honours'. 
Lucille negotiating the bridge on 7th July
The Tobys out in the Boondocks!

'Holkham' coming off Lake section
On the 'work' front we have been and are still busy with the gardening, all the greenery has shouted 'yippee' and is growing like there's no tomorrow, so there has been much snipping and pruning going on!
The bridge handrails are having a rub down and restain....the water in the lake is disappearing rapidly in this hot, dry weather. The two comments are not related! although there has been some weed clearing going on, maybe the plug was pulled out ????
Track and signals are being tweaked as necessary, and Isabel has been fired up after all the work that has been done to bring her up to ALR standards.... and it all looks promising, in fact ...ssshhh but we overheard Ray saying that she should be good for the August Open Day !!!!! but I didn't tell you that, and I don't know if he meant this year!!! Sorry Ray, just joking, you are doing a great job, double bonus this year eh ?
Hotspur's boiler was collected last Wednesday for a trip up North, to have a new one made, which will be excellent, but not just yet! Cheers Harry !
 Think that's about it for now, see you soon eh ?

 You can leave her here if you like Guys !!!!!!


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Back on the ether !

Hello there! Just in case you have been wondering where we have been for the past few weeks, well, my 'modern technology' decided it had had enough, and has gone to play in that big junkyard in the sky or somewhere! So if you can just bear with us for a few days to let me get to grips with the new (lovely!) machine and it's OS (that's Operating System they tell me!), we will bring you up to date.
Suffice to say we have been busy doing lots of things, had a nice quiet Open Day last Sunday (tennis, weather, fetes,  etc etc !) so you missed four, yes four visiting locos !!!!!! There will be photos soon, we promise!