Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Sunday, 22 July 2012 01:00

Of doors, floors and filters

22nd July 2012

It has been another interesting week. OK, not so much of railway interest in the short term - far too much of the week has been occupied with the forthcoming move from Briddon Towers to Briddon Country Pile - which at one point I was seriously thinking wasn't going to happen until some time in August. But by dint of applied pressure we got as far as exchanging contracts on Friday and hopefully completing this Tuesday. So is it then all systems go?

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 24 June 2012 01:00

Of wanderings and doings

24th June 2012

The narrow gauge theme started by the Amberley visit continued this week. On Wednesday night Steph and I met Andrew at Butterley for their annual n.g. open night. (We met for the simple reason that he was on his return journey from Eastleigh.) These open nights have a similar theme - two or three runs the length of the GVLR with resident 0-4-2T "Joan", then the area around Butterley is de-marked into sections and a loco is set on each and visitors are free to have a go.

Published in 2012 Apr-Jun
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of festivals and failures

10th June 2012

The Young Master took his old, decrepit Dad for day out on Monday. Seeing as how his employers are one of the sponsors for Railfest, he had the opportunity for VIP passes for self and family and took it up. So with bright yellow passes strung around our necks, we wandered in to York. Now, I am not usually one for "dos" like this. If I am involved in organising, looking after a stand, or something, fine - I've done quite a few exhibitions over the years representing one employer or another. But to be one of the visitors is a different matter. I cannot immerse myself in the atmosphere the way some people seem to be able and left to my own devices, am liable to charge around everywhere at high speed, tell myself I've done it all and leave!

Published in 2012 Apr-Jun
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of fans

1st April 2012

Dead on schedule on Monday morning the “big green parcel machine” that is Tuffnells rolled up outside Briddon Towers and their man staggered up our drive with a large, flat-ish and relatively light parcel – D2128’s cooler group fan had arrived from Breeza. After Andrew declared that he would be taking Friday off from work to crack on with things at Scunthorpe, I thought I had better plan the same. After all, unless I had an exceedingly good reason, disappearing off in the van and leaving him with few tools and only his “I don’t want anything dirty in the back of this” Golf to get him there would have been foolhardy.

Published in 2012 Apr-Jun
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of exhausting days

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.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of Cummins and cancers

4th September 2011

With Andrew on hols, much of this weeks’ instalment revolves around his activities, for reasons which will also come clear.

On Tuesday, as he headed south to Wansford, I departed north to Batley to pick up the latest profiles from my supplier. These included the bracketry for the revamped train brake control for the Drewry, and bits for the alternator, rad filler, compressor intake on “Libby” plus a few bits for “Pluto”.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of coal and corrosion

21st August 2011

I was back at Rowsley for Andrew on Tuesday, to meet with two gentlemen from a company who repair traction motors and generators and for whom we had brought the Brush over to the shed late last Sunday. With the aid of the Drewry, and Gary Hibbs who was conveniently available to act as shunter (thanks!) I put the loco over the inspection pit. Regular readers may recall that just over a year ago we had Bowers in to look at the motor, but they never confirmed their price and as Andrew is now considering making a “serious start” early next year it was time to plan ahead.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of Bombs and burns

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.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of bits and brakes

15th August 2011

We already knew that Andrew would be away on Saturday attending a birthday party. so I was to have one of those extremely rare things, a free weekend day. For once I was to escape rail activity, but to make up for it, we slipped over to Rowsley Friday night in order to reposition a few locos to make them more readily accessible for a long day on Sunday.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of best laid plans

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.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
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