4th, 6th-8th July

It’s a bumper report this time, thanks to 4 days of work this week. On Wednesday we were joined by some Network Rail staff from Northern House in York. They helped erect the Beer Tent in the Paddock, undercoated the west side of the Exhibition Van, cut the grass in the Paddock and tidied up the gardens. On Friday a different group of Network Rail staff joined us, this time from George Stephenson House in York. They helped us put up the main marquee in the Paddock, dismantle and ‘flat pack’ the NER van body in the Station Yard so it’s ready for transport to Goathland, top coat the Exhibition Van, scrape and sand down the South end of the Shock Van, sand the west end of the VEA, empty the Warehouse contents into the CCT and move some sleepers from the siding to the headshunt.
The tent and marquee have been erected ready for next weekend’s 60’s Fest, when Elvis will be returning to perform in the Paddock. The Tea Hut is ready for its transformation into an American Diner.
On the new NER van, the new underframe disc and plate straps have been bolted into place. These help hold the ‘W’ irons securely in place. The Exhibition Van has received a second top coat, whilst the south end of the shock van has been primed, undercoated and then top coated.
The Warehouse has been cleaned down internally to remove any old nails and hooks. The roof has had recycled insulation slabs fitted, prior to fitting a boarded ceiling.
Weighbridge Teas were again kept busy selling their wares, with ice cream being particularly popular. They were also on site on Friday to support us, whilst they prepared the outlets ready for next weekend.
Don’t forget that both outlets will be open, and there will be a bar in the Paddock to support Elvis and his fans.

30th June and 1st July 2018

The sun continues to shine on Levisham (and everywhere else in the country!).
We are very pleased to announce the arrival of a ‘new’ North Eastern wheeled box van. After probably a century as a grounded van body, this afternoon it moved on its donor wheels for the first time. This was a very satisfying moment for the Group, after many hours of hard work repairing the underframe, sourcing wheels, refurbishing springs and ‘W’ irons out of our stores, replacing the east side panelling, re-felting the roof, and giving it a full repaint.
Elsewhere on the Station, the new roof sheeting for the grounded van body has been offered into place and is now ready for fixing in place when it gets to Goathland. Works to prepare the Tea Hut for its transformation into a shiny, silver, American Diner continues. The south end of the Palvan has now received 2 coats of satin top coat, returning it to a smart condition. The dock side of the exhibition van has had a good sand and scrape down, the rusty metalwork has been cleaned off, and a coat of primer and undercoat has been applied. Hopefully if this good weather continues we should get a second undercoat on, and the top coats applied next weekend.
The gardens look superb at present with all the roses in full bloom, as well as the flower beds. The task of keeping the roses in check goes on unabated. Hand watering is the order of the day at present, particularly on the sweet peas and runner beans.
Weighbridge Teas have been kept very busy selling cold drinks and refreshments; there has been quite a run on ice creams (no surprises there then). Sandwiches and cakes are still popular too, though.

23rd, 24th June 2018

Cor Wot a Scorcher! Oh, and I believe England won in some football game as well.
At the Station, work has progressed on several fronts. The south end roof of the Palvan is now firmly screwed and mastic-ed into place. The south end itself has been wire wheeled and sanded down, the bare places primed, and then a coat of undercoat applied.
The new box van body shed for Goathland has had the roof hoops fitted with timber pieces, ready to accept the roof covering, and the hoops themselves have been bolted into position.
The NER van body in the siding has had the final section of new underframe cut, fitted, adjusted, fitted, adjusted, fitted, and finally glued and bolted into place. Hopefully we can get the final W iron fitted next weekend and then get the springs correctly installed.
The long grass in the Station Yard has been strimmed to expose the wagon turntable parts, as we hope to get the final pieces cleaned down over the next fortnight or so. A lot of the weeds growing along the fence line have been pulled out, leaving it all much tidier for our visitors.
Weighbridge Teas have done well again, with ice creams selling like hot cakes. Let’s hope this good weather continues. A start has been made preparing some silver boards, ready to convert the green Tea Hut into an American Diner for the 60’s Weekend – when we are transformed into Elvisham. Both outlets and the Real Ale Bar will be open for this event. Come and sample our wares whilst listening to the Elvis tribute act, and looking at the memorabilia they bring of the ‘King’.

16th, 17th June 2018

We’ve had a very pleasant weekend, apart from a cracker of a thunderstorm late afternoon on Saturday.
It’s been a flat pack erection weekend, with us trial fitting the 4 sides of the new grounded box van body for Goathland. A certain amount of adjustment was necessary, but it is now all together. The roof hoops have been trail fitted and hopefully will be bolted on next weekend. A new ply roof has been made using some of our ply sheets, which have been glued and screwed together.
On the Palvan, the south end has had the rotten ply cut out and new ply ‘plated’ over the top.
On the ‘new’ NER van, a hardwood ‘blank’ has been cut, and made ready to replace the rotten underframe corner.
Weighbridge Teas have had another excellent weekend with plenty of visitors each day.

9th, 10th June 2018

We’ve had another glorious weekend of weather, spoilt only by the midges!
Work has progressed well on the NER van body – the day of it moving on its own wheels is getting ever closer. All 4 axleboxes have been fitted and 3 of the ‘W’ irons bolted into place. The ‘new’ springs have been placed on the axleboxes, which will allow us to set the spring hangers in the correct place.
The St Ivel milk tanker (stored in our siding whilst its future is determined) has had the exterior underframe cleaned down and given a coat of paint. This smartens up the wagon and keeps our Station looking neat and tidy.
The Palvan doors have been adjusted slightly and the holding bolt has been reinstated. One of the seized hinge pins has been attacked to free it up. The internal ply has been fitted on the north end, completing this repair.
In readiness for erecting the new van body for Goathland, the 4 corner pillars have been made as a ‘sandwich’, cut and screwed together before receiving a couple of coats of paint.
We have taken delivery of another load of plywood, supplied by a local firm. This will be used to help clad the interior of the Warehouse, ready for its new use as the Exhibition Room.
Weighbridge Teas had another good weekend, ice creams being particularly popular.

26th-28th May, 2nd, 3rd June 2018

It’s a double bumper report this time. There was no report last week as half the team, including the Editor, were on a week’s ‘fact finding’ trip to Scotland; visiting several railways ‘OOP NORTH’. A hot, sunny week was had by this team, but normal service resumed this morning.
Meanwhile, last weekend the Station hosted an Animal Farm in the Paddock. A wide variety of animals were present including sheep, alpacas, etc. Both Weighbridge Teas and the Tea Hut were open to support the event and, by all accounts, were kept very busy. There were a goodly number of visitors who came to experience ‘something different’. Elsewhere, the north end of the Palvan received its second coat of top coat and the ½ mile post was wire wheeled down, then given 2 coats of primer and 2 white undercoats. A further 4 wagons have now had their numbers hand painted onto the visible side. The grass was cut, again, and was even trimmed over the weekend evenings to keep it neat for the event!
This weekend was not as hectic; the mile post received 2 coats of white gloss, the wagon ventilator hood was ‘cut and shut’ to fit the end of the Palvan and has been bolted into place; a new interior ply sheet has been cut to fit and screwed into place; and finally the NER van body has been jacked sideways to get it exactly square over the track, allowing the first 2 ‘W’ irons to be offered up, the underframe marked and drilled and then the irons bolted into place.
Weighbridge Teas had a ‘steady’ weekend compared to the previous one.

19th, 20th May 2018

We’ve had another glorious weekend of weather at Levisham. The midweek shunt went well, with both the GUV and the green BG coach leaving the Station; whilst the green Palvan has been moved into the Yard on the front siding. This van has a poor pair of doors on the west side, so first up was their temporary repair to make them secure. The 2 ends and the west side were then scraped clean and given 2 coats of black fence paint to smarten it up.
The NER van body now looks like a proper wagon; the wheel sets are now underneath and the body itself lowered to the correct height. The Exhibition van ends have been repainted in early BR bauxite, and the VEA now sports bright yellow ends. The Palvan framing has been completed and the old generator exhaust exit plate has been removed, with “new” ply bolted into place. Eagle eyed visitors will have noted that several of our vans now sport their numbers; hand painted with care. More wagons will follow over the next few weeks.
The grass around the Station has been strimmed round the edges; the main areas will be cut later this week. The final 12’ platform bench is now out in situ, following its repaint last week, whilst another with a poor back piece has had its beam replaced and repainted.
This weekend was also Family Volunteering Weekend; with Junior Volunteers and family groups working around the Station and at Newtondale Halt.
The Weighbridge team have been kept very busy all weekend keeping the Junior and Family Volunteers fed and watered, along with quite a lot of visitors who also sampled their wares.

19th and 20th May 2018

We’ve had another glorious weekend of weather at Levisham. The midweek shunt went well, with both the GUV and the green BG coach leaving the Station; whilst the green Palvan has been moved into the Yard on the front siding.  This van has a poor pair of doors on the west side, so first up was their temporary repair to make them secure.  The 2 ends and the west side were then scraped clean and given 2 coats of black fence paint to smarten it up.

The NER van body now looks like a proper wagon; the wheel sets are now underneath and the body itself lowered to the correct height. The Exhibition van ends have been repainted in early BR bauxite, and the VEA now sports bright yellow ends.  The Palvan framing has been completed and the old generator exhaust exit plate has been removed, with “new” ply bolted into place.  Eagle eyed visitors will have noted that several of our vans now sport their numbers; hand painted with care.  More wagons will follow over the next few weeks.

The grass around the Station has been strimmed round the edges; the main areas will be cut later this week. The final 12’ platform bench is now out in situ, following its repaint last week, whilst another with a poor back piece has had its beam replaced and repainted.

This weekend was also Family Volunteering Weekend; with Junior Volunteers and family groups working around the Station and at Newtondale Halt.

The Weighbridge team have been kept very busy all weekend keeping the Junior and Family Volunteers fed and watered, along with quite a lot of visitors who also sampled their wares.

12th, 13th May 2018

Another two dry days has allowed both North Eastern Railway vans to be lettered and numbered. The one against the dock is in early NER livery, whilst the other is in later NER livery. Can you spot the difference? The wheel sets have been moved from the yard onto the siding ready for installing, thanks to the help of a friendly farmer.
One of the turntable castings has been lifted upright, to allow the underside to be cleaned of scale and painted.
On the dock the second 12’ platform bench, which has been under repair for a while, has had its new back rest fitted and a complete repaint. Further surplus special event props have been dismantled for re-useable materials.
The VEA (sliding door) van has had the south metal end sanded down and repainted, back into yellow gloss. The exhibition van alongside it has also had both ends sanded down and undercoated. On the Palvan the replacement plywood panel is finally in place, and a new upright corner post has been manufactured and installed. The end support steelwork has also been cleaned down and primed.
A major shunt is taking place this week; with the steel GUV returning to Pickering C&W so their stores can be sorted out. At the same time the green Palvan, which is stabled in our north ‘yard’, will come into the south yard alongside our CCT.
Several kilos of rhubarb have been cut and processed into jam and chutney this weekend, ready for the cold winter months ahead.
Weighbridge Teas have been giving the Tea Hut a good clean out, ready for the Spring Bank Holiday weekend when they will be open to support the Animal Roadshow in the Paddock; see the Railway’s website for further information. The Catering Wombles had a reasonable weekend again, with passengers and passing walkers keeping up a steady trade.

5th, 6th, 7th May 2018

Well, what a lovely hot weekend! It certainly brought out the visitors, both to the Railway and our Station. Weighbridge Teas have been kept busy and, not surprisingly, ice creams have been very popular.
The temporary covering of the NER van on the dock has come off, the west side has received its top coat of paint and the lettering has been applied. The north end supports have been taken off – they are rotten, as were the bottom half of the exterior planks. New planks, that we prepared over the winter, have been fitted in exchange.
Work on the Palvan continues, with the slow process of stripping off the rotten ply end section. The steelwork has been cleaned down and primed.
The clear out of the Warehouse continues, along with the preparation of the inside ready for its new role as the Station Exhibition. One of the items removed was an old Arab printing press. This has been stored here for over 40 years; it does not have a railway pedigree and has no future with us. So, it is now being offered free to a good home (buyer collects!).
The shock van has been cleared of some stored materials, which we no longer need, together with an old small workbench. Four stored wagon ‘W’ irons and the axle boxes for two wheel sets have been brought out, cleaned down and repainted. For information, the ‘W’ irons support the underframe above the wheel sets.
The GUV, which contains C&W stores as well as some of ours, is going back to Pickering shortly for use there. Consequently we have had to take our stores out of it and re-house them. Several sections of old wartime set have been dismantled.
The warm weather has helped the grass grow this week, so it has all been given a cut this week. The vegetation is also growing on the lineside, so we went out on Sunday evening (after the train service had finished) to flail from Platelayers Cottages north towards Newtondale Halt. A walk through was undertaken beforehand, to ensure no nesting birds were present and if any were found to set up exclusion areas. Fortunately none were found. This has cleared a lot of low level scrub, which supports all the major clearance we did this winter.

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