13th, 14th, 15th and 16th October 2017

Wow, what a weekend! Excellent weather, stunning displays and lots and lots of visitors. So what did you miss? – North of the level crossing was the Wurzburg Fu MG A-D Radar, used to located aircraft and pass the information onto the 2cm Flakvierling 38 (4 barrel anti-aircraft gun), by radio, which would then shoot them out of the sky. These were manned by a detachment of Luftwaffe radar technicians and Helferin (female auxiliaries) respectively. The radar and flak were built by our re-enactor colleagues and ourselves as a joint exercise.
The General Room, on the Down Platform was taken over by the German Army for their Radio Room. Inside there was a display of Radio Equipment, field telephone equipment and maps. Did you look at the maps showing Invasion routes into Southern England!
South of the station in the Paddock was the living history tented display where the soldiers rested, cleaned their kit and slept. Alongside was the gun and mortar display where the different types of gun were displayed, explained and then demonstrated.
In the field alongside was a crashed Meschersmitt ME109 and the soldiers demonstrated how to get the pilot out when his cockpit is jammed shut. Fortunately they got him out just before the fuel tanks exploded.
If this sounds exhausting, Le Tea Hut and Weighbridge Teas offered take away snacks and drinks but if you wanted something more substantial, the Café Alle du Bois offered a sit down dinner and bar. A new line this year was Bouef Bourguignon or Vegetable Cassoulet de Legumes, all served on proper crockery, not polystyrene. The whole team were worn out! Entertainment was provided inside the huge marquee by Luna Nightingale.
Over 60 of our re-enactor colleagues joined nearly 30 Wombles and 20 Catering staff and volunteers to put on this event. As usual, a joint Saturday night 3 course dinner was prepared by MacWomble for 90 of us, followed by a disco for everyone to let their hair down.
All we have to do now is take it all down and put it away, easy!?!

7th, 8th October 2017

Ah the calm before the storm. We have had a very busy weekend getting ready for our transformation into Le Visham. The large marquee, the kitchen tent and the green marquee have all been erected in the Station Yard. All the picnic benches from the paddock have been moved into the large marquee and the marquee ‘dressed’ with French posters and pine branches. The kitchen area has been set up, cleaned and prepared for action. The final signs have been made, the no waiting cones and the Meschersmitt brought out from store and readied for use. The bases for the key exhibits have been set out ready for final works later this week.
Our re-enactor colleagues have delivered some of the key items and prepared as much as they can here before the big event.
Weighbridge Teas and the Tea Hut have made their final checks, the orders for the food and drinks completed and a final stock take made to ensure they won’t run out of anything.
This work was only possible thanks to a large turnout of Wombles and the invaluable support of the Junior Volunteers and their supervisors.
All this was completed whilst still running the station this weekend, selling teas and coffees as normal and tidying up from last weekends Steam Gala.

Parking this week is very limited in the Yard due to the marquees and from Thursday this week there will be NO PUBLIC PARKING at Levisham. Limited parking is available on the hill above the station, which will be supervised by our National Park colleagues, but visitors are strongly recommended to travel to Le Visham by train.

29th September – 1st October 2017

It seems to have been a good Gala Weekend, although the weather has been decidedly poor at times. ‘The Womble Inn’ was set up in the General Room for all 3 days and had a steady trade over Friday and Saturday, although today was poor; as was the weather.
Both Weighbridge Teas and the Tea Hut were open over all 3 days as well, and did particularly well when the weather was poor. It was nice seeing the Freight Train at the Station this weekend, with ‘our’ brake van in use. We found a small leak on one side, which we were able to cure with sealer whilst it waiting here between trains.
Preparations continue for Wartime Weekend, with the 2 new marquee poles now ready for use. Work continues on the new road signs, some parts still need to be assembled but all have now been painted ready for use. A lot of work has been undertaken on this year’s key exhibit by our Re-enactor colleagues, and it is nearly ready for painting. That doesn’t mean it’s all together yet – it’s too big! Strimming of the land north of the level crossing has continued, hopefully we will get it completed next weekend.
Next weekend is the big Womble Wigwam erection in the Station Yard; of the huge marquee, the green marquee and the kitchen tent. Consequently there will be very limited parking at the Station. Weighbridge Teas will be open to keep all the volunteers supplied with drinks, plus our visitors.

22nd, 23rd, 24th September 2017

The rain has stopped and the land is drying out, which has allowed us to get the grass cut at last. The paddock took 3 runs with the mower to get the grass down to the correct length. We had to rake off the cuttings before we could do the third cut!
The modified marquee poles have been trial erected with the green canvas tent and it goes up much more easily, and safely, now. Work has continued making the new road signs for the approach to Le Visham.
In the Station Yard, a further section of the wagon turntable has been primed and undercoated. Hopefully we will get the top coat on next weekend. Further monument blocks have been recovered from the lineside for use as parking markers in the yard.
North of the level crossing a lot of strimming has been carried out, the garden waste pile has been burnt, and the base for this year’s key exhibit has been screwed together. On the dock, three interestingly shaped sections have been made for the secret weapon. Two loads of well rotted manure have been collected from Levisham, ready for our gardener to use on the platform gardens once he has completed the tying back of the roses (he’s nearly there now). Both platforms have had a de-weed and general tidy up of the tarmac areas, and the drain gulleys cleaned out.
Weighbridge Teas have had a steady weekend, allowing them to plan what they need to do for Steam Gala and Wartime. The condiment boxes have been cleaned out and repainted.
In support of other stations we have dispatched fencing to Pickering and our stage flooring to Goathland, who also received 2 of the JVs BBQs for their event last night.
Both the Weighbridge and the Tea Hut will be open for the Gala. There will also be the “Womble Inn”, set up in the General Room. A variety of beers from Darwin and Ainsty Brewery will be on offer. The bar opens at 11am each day.

16th, 17th September 2017

It’s been another wet weekend in our lovely valley. The regular showers, varying between drizzle and torrential, put pay to some of our plans and curtailed others. We were again joined by our re-enactor colleagues; cutting and welding more metal for this year’s display. We put up one of our marquee sheets in the Yard to keep them dry and keep them working (I don’t like people just sitting doing nothing!). You still can’t tell what it is yet, though! On the main frame, the last of the drilling (for new fixings) has been completed.
We have taken delivery of two new poles for the main marquee. These have been ‘roped’ up and had their pulleys fitted, ready for Wartime weekend. Our modified pole for the green marquee has been adjusted and welded where needed. The marquee canvas itself has been on a trip to Pickering, where we have been able to use the sowing machine in the Upholstery repair coach to adjust it to suit the new poles. This change should also make putting up the marquee much safer and easier.
A start has been made on making support frames for our new road signs for use over Wartime Weekend. These should be more robust than the old cardboard ones we have used in previous years.
In between the showers, one of our gardeners has continued pruning and tying back the roses and generally tidying up the gardens. I now need to get some more well rotted manure for him. The weather eased enough for the shed in the Paddock to receive a coat of green paint, as did the rear and side of the Tea Hut. Near the south end loop points further lopping of the scrub has taken place.
Weighbridge Teas have been quiet this weekend, the poor weather keeping people and walkers away.

9th, 10th September 2017

Work began in earnest this weekend on this years ‘secret weapon’ for Le Visham’s Wartime Weekend. A two front approach was adopted with help from our re-enactor colleagues. What is it, we can’t tell you – you’ll have to come and see it!
It was also Family and Junior Weekend so the station was awash with orange! They have helped us by sanding down the rear of the Tea Hut and all the Paddock Hut. They even managed to get a coat of paint on before the weather spoilt itself, again. Elsewhere a separate group continued the manufacture of the side panels for the new fake box van body whilst another group were out lopping scrub along the lineside at the station. Yet another group were wire wheeling one of the base castings for the turntable. Unfortunately the rain came before they could finish it and get a coat of primer on them, but the worst of the job is done. Everyone had a good time and we look forward to seeing them all again shortly.
In the Station Yard we have installed most of the cold water plumbing inside the kitchen shed and fitted edge trims to the doorway. A new delivery of timber poles have been placed under cover and some more roofing laths have been de-nailed and put into store. The pair of marquee poles, made last weekend have been given a further sand down and the metalwork fitted at the tops. One of our long wooden ridge poles has been shortened to suit the green marquee to replace the original poles. The tying back of the roses continues….The Palvan door is now complete and looks like a door, with the repaired frame parts screwed onto the plywood back board. A start has been made on repainting it all.
Weighbridge Teas had a steady weekend although it did get very busy when the Juniors came for drinks!

2nd, 3rd September 2017

It’s been a quieter weekend compared to last. Lots of little jobs have been undertaken, tidying up and sorting bits and pieces. The bushes around the bin compound have been trimmed back, so the gates actually open and close; the scrap has been moved ready for collection this week; one of the NER poster boards has been repainted; the new Palvan door framing has been jointed together; the dock has been tidied up; 2 new main marquee poles for the green marquee have been sourced and planed smooth and the new pulleys for these have been painted; and the Ladies Room door knob has been tightened up! There was even time to go to Goathland to retrieve more ‘goodies’ for re-use at our station.
We had a visit from the Land Rover club with 12 old Land Rovers, of various types, calling in for a short visit. They helped Weighbridge Teas have another excellent weekend of sales, with lots of goodies flying off the counter.

26th-29th August 2017

It’s a delayed blog for the Bank Holiday weekend, due to the works we undertook.
Saturday started with the weekly grass cutting marathon, which included collecting up the previously cut grass on the land opposite the cottage due to the amount of it. This allowed us to set up the large ‘beer’ tent and chairs ready for a BBQ in the evening. It was then time to go back up to mile post 14, to clear out the bottom of the washout hole ready for rebuilding the wall on Sunday.
40 members of the Station Group, friends, and neighbours gathered for a BBQ in the evening, where a wonderful time was had by all. It was worth the whole day it took do the catering to see everyone enjoying themselves.
With a bright day on Sunday it was time to move the tent into the Paddock ready for Hunmanby Village Brass, who were visiting us on Monday. We had been informed Goathland Station Group were having a clear out, so we went to visit and see if any of it was any use to us. Glad to say it was, so we came back on the train with 4 wheelbarrows full! It was then time for an early dinner prior to the main event – the rebuilding of the retaining wall at mile post 14. We had arranged for an overnight possession to allow us to work with the PW Dept and their digger (due to the proximity of the running line to the site, we cannot use the digger when trains run). We set lots of lights up and Peter, the digger driver, could commence lifting the large stones down to the waiting Wombles at the bottom of the wall. It was steady away all evening and into the night. By 1:30 am the wall was just about complete, so a halt was called for the night. A lie in was called for on Monday morning, before it was time to set up the Paddock for the band. They duly performed for our visitors in the afternoon and it was very pleasant to listen too, whilst we pottered around at our workshop coach. Once they finished it was time to take down and put away the tent, leaving a tidy paddock before another early dinner.
It was then time to go back up the line for a second evening/night of work at mile post 14. Pete again joined us, helping to complete this section of wall. We have marked the limit of the repair by using a chaired stone sleeper block at each end. It was then moving onto digging off the overburden/excess ash/stone ballast to lower the land down to the top of the retaining wall. This helped expose the next 2 sections of collapsed wall, which in reality is one big repair; something for later. The excess spoil was moved by dumper further down the line and spread and levelled. A 2am finish this time concluded the works for now. Another lie in was called for, before we returned to site to tidy up after the works.
We must not forget Weighbridge Teas, and the Tea Hut, who were both open all weekend and the Bank Holiday Monday at the Station for our visitors and to support the band. The big task of maintaining the gardens also continues, with the cutting back of the roses now they have finished their wonderful display. It’s a never ending job. Work on the Palvan door continues with the framing now coming together following major repairs to the verticals and replacement horizontal spars.

19th, 20th August 2017

We’ve had another nice weekend weather wise. The grass continues to grow, so the mower and strimmer have been out dealing with it. The pot holes opposite the cottage have been filled with old tarmac pieces, which we’ve had in ‘store’ for a while. Hopefully this will keep the road in good condition for a while longer. Some of the planks on the NER van on the dock were rotten, so they have been slid out and the wood behind prepared to receive ‘new’ ones. The corner post has also seen better days so this has been cut out back to good timber, ready for a new piece to be spliced in. The gardeners have been starting the great rose tidying exercise this weekend. There is still a lot more to do. The vegetable patch has continued to supply us with fruit and several large marrows, some of which are now chutney.
Up the line, at the 14 milepost washout, we have been preparing the site ready for next weekend, when we have possessions on Sunday and Monday nights to get the wall rebuild completed. We will be using the Pway’s digger to lift the heavy stones into place, which is why we need the possession. We have also tested our flood lights, as we will need to get those set up ready as well.
We had a Junior Volunteers working party this weekend carrying out grass cutting and tidying at Newtondale Halt, and working on the new grounded van body under construction for Goathland.
Weighbridge Teas have had another reasonable weekend and are already planning the Wartime catering needs (it’s not that long to go now). They are also getting organised for next Monday’s Hunmanby Villiage Band concert, which will take place in the paddock.

12th, 13th August 2017

Following last weekend’s Shadows event it was time to get the marquee down, tidied up, and put back into store. At the same time the storage shed was given a good sort out ready for Wartime Weekend (it’s coming faster than you think). The grass around the whole Station has been cut, now that the mower is back up and running. It will no doubt need cutting again next weekend as the grass seems to be on a fast grow setting at present. In preparation for Wartime we have been making new traffic signs, and further poster frames for inside the main marquee. The pneumatic wheeled trolley has had its third wheel re-welded as the wheels were not very well made. A new worktop has been prepared and delivered for the Junior Volunteers at Grosmont shed.
It’s been another good weekend in the Weighbridge, with such a demand that many lines sold out! Fingers crossed for next weekend.

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