Friday, 28 June 2019

Thunderbox is 30 !

Peter with Thunderbox's 30th Birthday Cake before the fun began (very tasty! )
Hi, we had a great afternoon on 23rd, celebrating 'Thunderbox's 30th Year and remembering the Little Melton Light Railway which also would have been around for 30 years this year. We had a nice turnout of friendly people who enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, taking rides behind 'Thunderbox' which ran admirably, 'Hotspur', ditto, 'Remus', reliable as always, 'Chieftain', 'General' and The 'Shay'. 

Remus comes through the station with Dave in charge

Ray comes through the station with 'Chieftain' and the 'Pullmans'

'Thunderbox' was suitably attired with banners and 30th Birthday bunting and looked immaculate. The loco is a credit to all who had a hand in bringing this characterful engine back to life and ran perfectly all afternoon. It was particularly pleasing the welcome Michael Brett, a close relative of Bob Brett, the founder and owner of the Little Melton Light Railway. Michael was sure that Bob would be very pleased to see the LMLR tradition continuing at the ALR. 

Michael Brett enjoying a ride on the 'staff' train
We were also pleased to see Michael Fish, a one time volunteer on the LMLR, who is the driving force behind the LMLR website, (, and who brought along a video of the line that our Boys are going to transfer onto DVD format, so we can experience the LMLR as it was, at our leisure.

There was an interesting display of 'ancient' internal combustion engines, 

Andy and Thomas brought along their Showman's engine again, (they live 5 miles away, just an hour's drive!)

Andy attending to their Showman's engine
and Bob King came along with his powered bike with rear wheel 25cc powered 'CycleMaster'  bike dating back to 1957 ! complete with tax disc from those days !!!!!!

Bob's 'Cyclemaster'

So a very enjoyable afternoon for us all and our visitors....thank you for coming......

Our Junior Guards on duty
(all photos Brian M)


Thursday, 20 June 2019

Extra Open Day

Hi there, just a quick reminder, in case you have forgotten ????, we have an extra Open Day this coming Sunday, June 23rd, weather permitting of course, and it's looking good !, to celebrate 'Thunderbox's' 30th Birthday, and also to remember the Little Melton Light Railway which would have also been around for 30 years this year. Trains running as usual on our Public Open days, from 2 til 5 pm, and we plan to have all the ex Little Melton stock on view and hopefully in use, including 'Thunderbox', now resplendent in its 'refurbished' mode and looking very smart. Hope to see you then.
Usual fares apply, i.e. £2.00 single ride and £4 for Day Rover, (sorry no dogs allowed nor is the consumption of alcohol allowed on the premises.)

Monday, 10 June 2019

June update

Loco line up on June 2nd

Hi there, we had a good Open Day on 2nd June when our visitors enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, riding behind 'Hotspur' , 'Chieftain', 'Little Olive', 'Remus' and 'General', and we are pleased to report that everything ran very well, and the weather behaved too! Good to see our visiting locos again and thanks to Paul, Chris and David for coming over to help out, we know they love coming to see us !

Andy, Jack and Bob King admiring  the Showman's engine.
We also had a welcome visit by the Potter's lovely scale model Showmans engine which was in steam during the afternoon and on display for everyone to see, Thanks to Andy and Jack for bringing it over under its own steam too!

The Class 08 on Shunting duties
Our Juniors, had a good day helping the Yardmaster in placing locos and coaches where required using Peter's Class 08 shunter,  very appropriate ! Our new carriage leanto is in use housing two three car sets giving us more space in the storage shed, where we are reviewing what goes where. The 'work' train with Atlas is now resident on track 4.  
So, we are now continuing with all those jobs that need to be done throughout the year, the vegetation is growing like mad, as usual, and it's good to see the 'shortened' trees already bushing up.We have been very busy working away on 'Thunderbox' to ensure the loco is ready for its 30th Birthday occasion on Sunday 23rd June when we will be celebrating the loco's Birthday and also remembering the Little Melton Light Railway, which would have been celebrating its 30th year. A new hydrostatic drive has been obtained and fitted to the loco and all is being checked and tweaked as necessary to ensure the loco is able to make an appearance on 23rd. 
We have started to look at providing a separate Guards vehicle on each train and will come up with a suitable plan using Ken's existing Guards vehicle as a test bed. We feel it needs springing and should be a bit longer to accommodate the Guards in more comfort, with possibly a slightly higher seat to allow a better view along the train. Once a suitable design is agreed we plan to have the chassis manufactured off site in a batch, so we can complete the vehicles, possibly over the coming Winter, as finances allow. Each vehicle will be finished to match its carriage set.
So, finally, don't forget our extra Open Day on Sunday June 23rd when we hope to have a good afternoon running trains, including, all being well. 'Thunderbox' for the first time in over 2 years, along with several of our other locos. Trains will run from 2 til 5 pm weather permitting, and our usual refreshments will be available, but please remember that dogs are not allowed onsite nor is the consumption of alcohol permitted, thanks....

and we were delighted on Saturday, to see Alan back on 'Lucille' after his recent op, Well done Al!,