Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Summertime !

Well, we can't complain that we didn't get any Summer this year, it's been really hot these last few days, and even though we haven't seen much rain, the trees and bushes have never grown so fast. So several days have been spent lopping trees, and trimming bushes as some of them are really getting too big now and we need to keep trimming them to give good views across the site and to make future maintenance easier. A shredding machine capable of mulching up to 6" logs has been called in to help dispose of the trimmings!

The 'MightyMulcher' in action near the turbine.
Photo: Brian M
We took our publicity stand to a Model Railway Exhibition in Neatishead Village Hall, (very smart! ), just over the road!!!! the other Saturday, when John and Richard met some very nice, mostly local people who didn't know the ALR existed....... they do now !!!! We hope to see some of them next Sunday 4th September which is our penultimate Open Day for this year, when we will be running trains from 2 til 5 pm, weather permitting.

Some great American truck models
Photo: Ricardo
We had a Play Day last Saturday, when we had some fun! Our 'Footplate Experience' candidate enjoyed his day, although we don't think he was expecting to drive a steam loco, as when he saw 'Hotspur', he asked if it was a diesel !!!!!!!.His family called in after lunch and enjoyed several trips round the circuit, as did the Cottage's holidaymakers, so lots of happy people. We ran several trains with General, The Shay. Lucille, Nelson, Viceroy and Chieftain all coming out for a run round or two,. then Fish and Chips for tea. Excellent......a really enjoyable day
Apart from that, not a lot to report with just the usual things going on, a tweak here, a tweak there, all to keep everything in order. The Boys did a great job fabricating a new blastpipe connection on 'Hotspur' which has cured the loco's reluctant steaming habit, so this much loved (mostly!) Club loco is fully operational again!!!!!!

'Hotspur' coming down the ramp on its way back to the shed after the blastpipe works
Photo: Brian M

Our Winter job list is beginning to mount up, so plenty for us to do so we won't get bored !!!!

Until next time........TTFN

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Sunny Sunday

Chieftain leaves the station with a full load, and a goodly queue waiting
We had a great Open Day on Sunday with lots of very nice people coming to see us in the lovely sunshine, and it was great to be able to spend some time chatting to people, we love it when we can see people enjoying themselves at the railway, Mums, Dads, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, children, grandparents, our regulars and enthusiasts, young and old alike, thank you all for coming. We know that one of the reasons for such a good turn out (they tell us!) was that we had a different signal box crew, Pinky and Perky, on duty, who more or less kept things going with, at times, a record five trains out and about !!!! Well done Boys, it's not quite as easy as it seems is it !!!!!!

Tod The Tug comes round into Den section
We had Mike Riches, Charlie and Mike's Mum helping us out too with 'Tod The Tug', Mike's new diesel which performed very well, along with Isabel, Lucille, General. Nelson, The Shay and Sergeant, all doing their bit, a really good afternoon's running.
So, four done, two to go, how quickly this year is flashing by........see you next time


Lucille steams under the gantry on the Back Straight

Isabel heads over the flat crossing down to the Lake

General in the trees on Den section
All photos: Brian M

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Now it's August !!

'Old Time' ALR Station fence advertisement
Photo: Brian M

Hello, so it's almost time for our August Open Day, this Sunday 7th August, from 2 til 5 pm, weather permitting, and hopefully it will be OK. We are just about ready, all our locos are serviceable and we have a visiting loco from the Norwich Club, Mike Riches' diesel, 'Tog The Tug', so it should be a good afternoon.

'Viceroy' having some fun with the ALR Boys in Suffolk
Photo: Brian M
We had a great day out last weekend when we had an invite to visit a very interesting railway in deepest Suffolk, where we were made very welcome, and when another ALRC first was created, as we took one of our locos, 'Viceroy' for a day out. This is the first time we have taken one of our locos to another railway! The loco performed very well, (apart from the controller sulking after getting a bit wet during a very heavy downpour!), mixing very well with several other very interesting locos from the Chelsmford Club, and we were very pleased with our first outing with one of our locos. So a good time was had, we made some new friends, and renewed some 'old' ones, and generally had an enjoyable time !!!!!
We have been quite busy, (understatement.... exceptionally busy!) in the gardening department as everything is just leaping away this year, never known it to grow so quick, you can almost see it growing ! We have had to 'demolish', professionally by our local 'tree surgeon', a fir tree alongside the path near the 'Ice Cream Parlour', last week, as it was outgrowing its welcome. Amazing how well the trees and bushes have flourished since they were planted. They obviously like where they live,and why wouldn't they ??????
We regularly see our two 'resident' Buzzards as they patrol the adjacent fields 'squeaking' to one another, a lovely sight.....
Yesterday we welcomed the nice Folks from the Springfields Miniature Railway at Spalding, who came over for a look round to see how we do things and to swop ideas, think they were impressed ! another enjoyable day We look forward to a visit to their railway to see how this developing attraction is coming along, Early days yet but lots of interesting projects in mind, it seems.
The families staying in the holiday cottages were also treated to a ride round with 'Chieftain' in charge, so all everybody was happy !


Photo: Mark Reavell