5th June 2011
We should have been into a thoroughly productive weekend, but somehow, things went a little awry. Up to Friday early afternoon, we were hoping to be at Scunthorpe on Saturday but again, the vital element in the plan was declared not available this weekend, and shortly afterwards Andrew succumbed to a heart-felt plea from his girl-friend to make an additional trek down to see her on Saturday. Before he left, he stripped out the DVLR’s free-issue exhauster for “Pluto” to check rotation and exactly how, if needed, it can be reversed since space within the casings is severely restricted and turning it physically round may not be feasible.
23rd October 2011
The cold-snap that occurred in the middle of the week sent a chill through Andrew’s and my spines – in this case because, I had a strong feeling that “Pluto” was only filled with plain water. There was nothing we could do on Wednesday (and in truth, the possible frosts had not appeared in Sheffield but the Vale of York is usually somewhat worse) but on Thursday I popped up to Murton and drained “Pluto” as a precaution. Pluto’s radiator drain tap was also showing its age.
16th October 2011
Andrew had a day off work this week, and decided to spend an afternoon at Peak Rail on “Libby”. Sadly it was not as productive as he planned, for a substation blew up (apparently quite spectacularly) and took out all the electrics from Matlock to Bakewell. In contrast, he was off to see his girlfriend on Saturday, so enquired “if I had nothing better to do,” whether I might like, weather permitting, to go to Murton and start fitting the oil separator to “Pluto”. I knows my place.
3rd July 2011
As I was saying at the end of last week’s blog, my next stop was Rowsley to investigate the report of Charlie’s alternator “screaming”. It was quiet enough when I started it up, but it had had time to cool so I took it off anyway and sure enough it was very stiff and probably had a bearing problem. So I hunted out a spare from the VBA, swapped pulleys and got it going again, ready for Matlock duties, though for a day or two Rob was using the HST’s 08.
10th July 2011
Saturday: Andrew arrived back from a few nights inspecting stock down at Norwich mid-morning on Saturday, and after a brief recuperation and lunch, we set off for Rowsley to pick up where we left off. After 4 days of hectic PR at PR, the station appears to have sprouted commemorative plaques all over, a “Roll of Honour” is now up on a wall in the shed (where only volunteers will see it – probably best as it fails to indicate whether the names contributed financially to the shed or records those wiped out by some sad catastrophe) and the shed itself looked conspicuously tidy.
7th August 2011
Our plan, as we thought it was at this time last week, was to spend the weekend at Rowsley operating the Drewry “WD72229″ at Peak Rail’s Forties event. But we already knew that the original plan for a “Troop Train” had had to be scrubbed and as the week wore on, Andrew announced that he would therefore drop me off at Rowsley on Saturday and head on elsewhere. Of course, Steph and my daughter Jennifer were committed, as for several years they have run a stall (”Make Do and Mend”) at the event which started off trying to educate the younger visitors on what life was like for kids in that decade, with such practices as peg-dolls and knitting – quite alien to a generation brought up with the concept that anything involving entertainment involves the movement of electrons.
31st July 2011
A couple of weeks ago I said that the departure date for Pluto was the 25th and could not be deferred. I was wrong. All it needed was the driver to ring in sick and Heanors have no spare man available because of holidays. Peak Rail’s Rob Sanders and I had been waiting 45 minutes before we learnt this of course, and after a flurry of phone calls, we re-scheduled the move to Friday.
3rd October 2011
There was a theory behind naming this blog Weekend Rails that one works Monday to Friday and “plays” Saturday and Sunday. Occasionally however, necessities mean that the format gets blurred, and so it was this last weekend, with Andrew away overseeing fitters carrying out mods on a carriage somewhere. But having seen this state of affairs in the offing, he instead took an afternoon off during the week and headed over to Rowsley with the intention of maintaining progress on “Libby”.
17th July 2011
Surprisingly, both Andrew and I were in different places on Saturday, and neither of them railway oriented (well Andrew spent a time on a platform at the Mid Norfolk, but that’s another story) and I was at a 95th birthday party. But by Sunday we were pretty much in the same place at the same time and so loaded up the van to return to Rowsley.
28th August 2011
And so another August Bank Holiday is upon us. Andrew was away on Saturday, but was anxious that I went up to the DVLR, partly to deliver two radiator elements as spares for Trevor and Vince – owners of D9523 – and partly so that I could make up a fresh drawing of the vac brake linkage on “Pluto” with a view to replacing it with a more rigid one.