One day of rain and one day of wonderful sun. With yesterday’s wet weather the family weekend was curtailed to one day. This didn’t stop all work on Saturday though. The regular volunteers continued work on the new signal, cleaning down fittings and applying primer to them – an easy sentence which doesn’t cover the hard work involved. Opportunity was also taken to tidy out the paint shop as well.
On the Sunday the Families and Juniors turned up with a vengeance. Work continued on the signal fittings and the back of the Warehouse was stripped of its loose paint, and, following a sand, primer was applied. The picnic tables have been moved into the paddock from their winter store and all the plastic picnic chairs have been cleaned down ready for 60’s weekend. In the yard the stone heap near the crane has been spread and levelled in soft spots to help keep the yard neat and tidy. The old picnic tables from Grosmont have been dismantled (as they were rotten in places) and the good material put to one side for re-use. North of the station the lineside fence was repaired and blackthorn scrub was cut down. The cut material is now all stacked ready for a good burn. This also applies to the fallen tree we cut up a fortnight ago. A good day was had by all and we look forward to welcoming them back in the future.
Weighbridge Teas had another good weekend overall and kept the Families well supplied with drinks, snacks and bacon butties.
It’s been a weekend of mixed weather with sunshine interspersed with showers. On Saturday the roadside was cleared of encroaching grass to keep it looking tidy and some of the ditches and streams were raked to maintain good flow. The main part of the day was spent working on the Marishes Road Signal Box. A large part of it is to be repaired and enlarged for use in the Pickering demonstration signal box and this piece was dismantled where necessary with parts put aside for potential re-use in the rebuild. Other pieces were dismantled completely with pieces also put aside. Despite the building being well over a hundred years old, it came apart very easily with lots of the wooden components in almost perfect condition.
Sunday was spent at Bridge 15 with a gang of junior volunteers when we burnt a large amount of brash from previous cutting sessions and stacked larger timber for future use on the home fires.
Weighbridge Teas had another busy weekend with extra supplies needing to be acquired. Next week we look forward to welcoming the junior volunteers again along with participants in our latest Family Volunteering Weekend, including some first timers.
What a lovely weekend. The sun has shone, the visitors have come and the trains have been full. We will start with Weighbridge Teas who have had a bumper weekend and will have to order further supplies of ice cream this week ready for next weekend.
Around the station we started with cutting the new slot, for the signal arm to sit in, in the recycled signal post. This sounds easier said than done as it needed a circular saw, a chainsaw and chisels to get the job done by 3 Wombles all working in unison. With the slot cut, more paint could be applied to bring it all up to the same number of coats.
After a 6 month wait for good, dry weather we have got the Great Eastern van roof sheet properly fixed. This included replacing rotted edge boards on both sides to allow us to nail the canvas down. As the old roof boards are uneven we have laid some second hand thin carpet as underlay to protect the new canvas from being punctured on sharp edges. The roof itself was also treated to a coat of preservative but is in remarkably good condition considering it is over 100 years old! The body of the van is now getting a quick make over to keep it looking smart and keep out the weather.
The yard crane has had its paint touched up, following last weekends installation of a bolt to stop it swinging around. A small NER poster board has also had a full repaint following a fortnight under cover to dry out.
The gardens have continued to give a good display with the daffodils looking excellent and smart. The gardeners have continued to cut out the old dead material and have planted new primulas next to the Weighbridge.
Up the line we have continued to cut down brash and scrub near the 13 mile post. These patches were left last year as we could not cut them down due to too much brash already lying around. There is a touch more to do next weekend to finish it all off.
Another dry-ish weekend has allowed us to continue with several projects. At the station the yard crane has had its jib erected and the retaining bolts fitted. It now swings round nicely – without hitting the adjacent coach. It has been locked into position now to prevent people playing with it.
The workshop coach has had a second coat of undercoat and a first top coat applied on the station side to keep the weather out. Whilst the paintbrush was out, a further coat was applied to the new signal arm. Kevin and Elaine have completely cleaned out of the setts and weighbridge table of mud left behind by the road renewal. They completed the job by power washing it all spotlessly clean.
In readiness for this week’s 40th Anniversary of the opening of the NYMR all the way through from Grosmont to Pickering, we have put up bunting on either platform and placed a ‘40’ sign in the gardens as well. Flag poles have also been erected – one with the Yorkshire flag on it, the other with the Union Jack.
Up the lineside we have continued the controlled burning of the tree scrub to leave a neat and tidy lineside (special request as there is a photo charter shortly along the line). More logs have also been transported back to the station.
Weighbridge Teas also had a good weekend and sent drinks, by train, up to us near bridge 15. They now have a different bakery supplier with lots of lovely new cakes, pork pies and other savouries to tempt you all! They will be open on Wednesday this week, 40th Anniversary Day, if you can’t wait to sample their wares at the weekend.
Don’t forget the railways Artist in Residence Chris Ware is now in residence in his studio Thursdays to Sundays as well.
A good weekend spoilt by a fire right at the end. The south headshunt at the station has had the track levelled, lifted and packed with the ash we unloaded a couple of weeks ago. At the station itself painting has continued on the signal posts, both finials and the paraffin cans for the lamp room. The workshop coach has also had the station side scraped, sanded and undercoated where the paint was starting to crack. Hopefully we can catch this before the side requires major work.
Up the line at bridge 15 we have continued clearing the trees and scrub from the lineside. Several loads of logs have also been brought down to the station for disposal. We had help from the Junior Volunteers again on Sunday with a pair of fires to dispose of the brash. A goodly amount was burnt but there is still a lot to get rid of.
Unfortunately at the end of the day a couple of uncontrolled fires were alight in Northdale, about half a mile from the summit. The extent of the fires meant the Fire Brigade was required – 7 Engines, Incident Control Van, a pair of Land Rovers, one with a trailer with an All Terrain vehicle on the rear, a Water Bowser and a couple of Fire Officer Cars! The fire burnt last year’s dead bracken, quite a large area in fact, but they got it under control before it escaped out of the valley.
The workshop coach is unrecognisable thanks to the major clean up by Kevin and Elaine. This wasn’t on the original plan but Kevin was trying to find the bits to put a wheelbarrow tyre back together (which he successfully achieved, eventually)!
We now have both timber dolls cleaned down and undercoated. The second ‘post’ has been cut from another partly rotten signal, which was stored north of the station, and brought onto the dock. The old signal finials have been cleaned down to bare metal and primed, as has one of the old NER paraffin canisters which will eventually go on display in the lamp room.
David, one of our gardeners, has returned now things have started growing. He has been clearing out dead growth and smartening up the garden beds ready for the plants to fill out the area.
Up the line at bridge 15 we have continued clearing the area of scrub and trees to open up the views. More brash is now waiting for the Junior Volunteers to burn it (they are due next weekend). Several trips with a pway trolley have brought some of the logs back to the station but there are quite a few more trips to do.
At the level crossing one of the planks had split through use and settlement underneath it. We have replaced it with one of our spares once we had got the packing underneath sorted.
Weighbridge Teas have had a steady weekend, with ice creams selling well now some warmer weather has finally arrived.
Another long weekend for the Wombles meant more work done! The refurbished Running-In Board has been reinstated on its concrete posts and very smart it now looks. The Lamp Room has benefitted from a further paint touch up where the additional timber fillets have been inserted under the eaves.
Up the line more trees have been removed from the abutments of bridges 14 and 15. This prevents further damage to the stonework plus removes sighting hazards making it safer for passing trains (they don’t get scraped by the branches). The Junior Volunteers have been down to help us again and succeeded in burning a goodly amount of the scrub we had cut down during the winter period.
Back at the station we have commenced cleaning down and repainting one of the ‘new’ signal doll posts for the new North Eastern bracket signal. This will replace the BR upper quadrant version north of the level crossing, giving Levisham all NER signals for the first time since the 1920’s. We have another second hand post we hope to make the other doll from but we will need a new main timber post. This will probably cost over 4 figures (£750 plus if Gift Aided). Is there anyone out there who would like to sponsor this?
We have held a meeting to review last years Wartime Weekend and look at options for this year (and next!). Nothing is confirmed yet but you can be sure that it if you miss it you will regret it.
Weighbridge Teas have had a good weekend with a steady flow of visitors to purchase their wares as well as despatching drinks to the team up the line via passing trains.
A Happy Easter to all our readers. Its been a 4 day weekend so we have plenty to report on. The mass picnic table erection activity took up most of Friday, 8 picnic tables being assembled, 6 of which have been delivered to Grosmont on successive trains. A pair of Wombles accompanied the first to help off load it and then waited for the successive ones to follow. Four old picnic tables have been sent back via the same method for dismantling here. We may be able to make 2 good ones out of them for use at the back of the cottage by the Wombles when they take lunch outside.
The lamp room now sports a lock and period door knob, following much chiselling and adjustment of the door so it would fit neatly. The tops of the side planks have also had the final filler pieces fitted and the building has had a touch up of paint where filler had been applied. A new enamel door plate has been ordered for the lamp room along with some for our litter bins. Elsewhere on the platform the repaired running in board has had its back re bitumasticed and the surrounding copper beech paintwork touched up.
In the yard the crane has had its second top coat applied and is now ready for the safety guards to be fitted.
Along the lineside north of the station we lit a pair of fires and disposed of a fair bit of scrub and brash which has finally dried out following last years lineside clearance. Weighbridge Teas again supplied us with hot drinks, kindly delivered by the passing locos. There is still a fair few logs to collect from this area though – something for the evening possessions, when we book some. The lineside is now clear up to the Grange, with the fence patched up where required, but there is still an awful lot more to do further on.
Weighbridge Teas have been open all Easter weekend and will also be open Tuesday as a special treat.
Following a generous bequest of a filming prop from Elizabeth Beresford, who had heard about our great Wombling work, we erected her 8’ illuminated Womble in front of the cottage on Easter Monday morning. It looks a bit gaudy but we think it makes a statement about the station group!?! People will get used to it
I must start with an apology over last weeks blog. Unfortunately although it was written and uploaded onto the web we failed to ‘publish’ it.
Blimey its cold, with a bitter, strong wind blowing up the valley both days! Saying that though, we have had no snow apart from a few isolated flakes every so often. In the station yard the crane has had its North Eastern Railway ‘face’ built around it. This comprises railway sleepers laid around it with sleeper ‘packers’ in between. The concrete structure behind was painted black so it doesn’t show through. A wagon of fresh loco ash, kindly delivered just in time by the Pway Dept, was then used between each sleeper and on top of the concrete to finish it all off. It now looks like its always been there. The crane mechanism has had its first top coat of paint applied as well.
A couple of pot holes had appeared adjacent to the level crossing and these have been dug out and topped up with fresh ash (again off the wagon). The rest of the ash off the wagon (15 tonnes of it) has been unloaded and spread down the south end headshunt. The far end will need further packing and levelling but at least it is out of the wagon.
Further lengths of timber have been prepared for the mass picnic table erection next weekend and one was trial erected this weekend to check tolerances. In the General Room the repaired ‘Running In’ board has had its top coat of paint applied and the repaired and touched up enamel sign has been mated to it. The edges have been sealed together to try and keep out the weather and prolong the life of both.
Weighbridge Teas have been in residence and have helped us by serving teas and coffees to warm us through, in addition to the hardy few visitors who turned up.
After a weeks wait the yard crane mechanism is now on its base and thanks to the wonders of grease it turns easily as well. The lift was undertaken with the local Loadall again – a wonderful piece of kit for lifting and moving heavy items about.
The mechanism has had further cleaning off and painting done to it now that we can get to all areas of it.
At the station, the Running In board woodwork has had further undercoats and the first top coat applied. The metalwork has had further primer and an undercoat on the rusty edges. Hopefully we can mate the two together again next weekend. The signal gantry metalwork has been turned on its edge allowing the top beam to get its paint allocation. On the Lamp Room, the ridge tiles have been delivered and these have been mortared into place, completing the roof. Work has continued on picnic table manufacture (we have 8 to make for Grosmont) with wood sanded down, drilled and a start made on putting them all together.
We have had the Junior Volunteers with us this weekend. North of the station, they have completed the replacement of a length of fence which has been damaged by scrub growth over several years, using second hand materials. Further up the line they have spent a day collecting logs, burning a substantial amount of brushwood and repairing a further section of fence. They are back with us next weekend to keep on with all this – there is a lot to do. They have been bravely soldiering on in the rain, so lets all keep our fingers crossed for better weather next weekend!
Weighbridge Teas have been in residence and have helped us by sending teas, coffees and orange juice up the line, with delivery by the locos of the passing trains.