Nonetheless there has been a bit to report from up here in the middle of the week. On Wednesday evening, under cover of darkness, a large articulated lorry (with rear steer) arrived at Darley Dale and with Andrew operating the rear wheels, propelled into the narrow entrance way and bedded down for the night. At first light Thursday morning we were back down (Andrew having tagged annual leave on to Christmas), James moved the locos out of the way, and the lorry, laden with conflats Thelma and Louise, backed up and unloaded.
First job though was to pick up the ramp section and put it on one of the wagons, so that we can bring it inside and modify it to connect with the second part of the ramp that we must manufacture. With Thelma off the lorry, James drew it clear so that Louise could land in the same spot, the two were then re-united, Tightlock to Tightlock, as they will remain for the present. By just after ten the lorry was unloaded, reconnected, the gear stowed and he was on his way for a fresh load in Sheffield, then Cardiff and back before he finished for Christmas. And we were all back to normal before the first Santa's train was ready to leave Rowsley.
By that time, Andy H had arrived and so I dashed home to drop Andrew off (who was away to collect grandson) and returned with milk (for tea) and lunch (for me) to proceed with a day in the shed. Andy having meanwhile been measuring 'Janus bits' for somebody's modelling project. My Andrew had apparently given him orders as to what to get on with, and that was to drag down one of the channel sections that had been the original eave beams and start cutting shorter lengths and prepping them to be a second heavy duty stand for engines or the like. Now, in my youth I might have thought nothing of picking up such a beam between us and slinging it over our shoulders. But nowadays, well, let's just say my internal overload alarms are set at lower levels. So James was called in to play, and with a long strop dragged it down, and I set Andy up with the cut-off saw.
For me however the Terrypicker beckoned, and soon I was up in the eaves mounting and cabling C1 and C2, and cursing that the Chinese have skimped on the length of flex to the latest batch of floodlights to such an extent that the junction box can barely sit in the purlin above – I may have to stop and re-cable C3 onwards.
I'd popped over to the loos earlier and seen an enthusiast photographing Ring Haw on Santa duties, and sure enough on my return he was hanging over the back fence so I invited him round for a 'proper' tour. He had a DCC namebadge round his neck but assured me he was there privately during his lunch hour, so I kept the individual history lessons brief.
I would have liked to have got on with C3 but various items were still in the way and I could not manoeuvre the Terrypicker into place, and the forklift, having been accidentally left switched on for several days last month, wasn't about to play ball. But the next phase is to finish removing pieces from around there so that the floor can be sealed and that means moving the Terrypicker up for C3 and C4.
On Friday I had planned a final tour round certain suppliers and a bit of Christmas shopping, so decided I would buy the forklift a new battery as its Christmas present.
So although we had a couple of hours in there on Friday night, for Christmas Eve and today we have had a break, although I did pop in this afternoon (while Andrew and grandson were fattening up some ducks in Whitworth park) to check that all was well. We'll be back into it over the next few days, so I hope your Christmas day has been as pleasant as ours and see you all again next week, as we look forward to 2017.