6th, 7th January 2018

We hope you all had a happy New Year. Normal service (for us!) has resumed, with a return to the lineside clearance works north of the Station. First up has been the clearance of ditches, which had become blocked with leaves, scrub, roots and general detritus. They are now flowing a lot better. The only puzzle we have is that at lunchtime we had 2 spades amongst all our gear. When we returned they, and only they, had gone!
The hard frost on Saturday night, together with a light hail shower, left everything sparkly and hard on Sunday morning – ideal for getting that scrub down which was growing in a bog. So, back at the 13¾ mile post north of Platelayers crossing, we did just that, together with a lot of blackthorn and other scrub trees. We have opened up a nice glade area alongside the river shaded by a pair of large oaks.
Back at the Station, all the Christmas lights have come down and been packed up for another year. The Christmas tree outside the Cottage has been cut up ready for burning. All four wicket gates at the level crossing have been removed – 3 for their final coats of paint and the fourth for a strip down and repair (as necessary). Work has continued on the new headstock for the NER van, with further mortices cut out and the first of the holes for the buffer shafts drilled through.

27th-30th December 2017

We hope you all had a very Happy Christmas and didn’t over indulge in anything. Since the holiday we have been busy around the Station and its environs.
The white Christmas came a few days late, keeping us busy all Friday clearing the platforms and road (the whole damn hill, right up to the top cattle grid!). We only had around 1” of snow overall but it came over a 3 hour window, meaning we had to keep clearing the platforms for each train! To top it all we then had another inch of snow overnight meaning we had to do it all again. Some sledging was undertaken by the younger members of the gang.
The NER van has had a large old marquee sheet placed over it to allow us to work on the body in any weather. Since it was moved we have removed the rest of the rotten headstock and identified which new pieces of timber are required.
The Palvan door has had further coats of paint applied to make it ready for re-hanging, possibly tomorrow! The 6’ platform bench, currently in the General Room, has had the timber repair completed and been repainted.
Weighbridge Teas were in residence for a couple of days; the first being quiet, whilst the second was busier. Since then snow has curtailed business. They will re-open for the February half term weekends, after a well-earned rest.

Season’s Greetings

We wish you all a Wombling Merry Christmas.

23rd, 24th December 2017

We start this weekend with a big “Thank you” to the Pway Dept, for lifting the box van body from its year-long stay just north of the level crossing onto a base of packing in the Station yard. This will allow us to repair the underframe and install the running gear and wheels.
The 3 wicket gates have been re-hung at the level crossing, ready for services to recommence on Boxing Day. They took a bit of jiggery pokery to fit correctly! The fourth gate will probably come in for a light overhaul after the Christmas running finishes, as it too needs a repaint in places.
The General Room has been cleaned out ready for the train services, including washing all the windows. For good measure the Ladies Room was also given ‘the treatment’, as was the Waiting Shelter on the opposite platform.
In our workshop another general clean up and sort out has been undertaken, ready for the Christmas week.
I will finish by wishing all our readers and Wombles a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

16th, 17th December 2017

One word sums up this weekend – ice! Unfortunately on Friday afternoon a late hail/rain shower then froze solid. This made the road and platforms ‘interesting’ and the salt struggled to clear them. This was not helped today, when further rain fell onto freezing ground.
With the Forest Drive really icy we returned to south of the Station, clearing the scrub on the west side of the line from the platform end down to the Advance Starter signal (No.17), completing this section. Again there are 2 or 3 fires worth of brush to burn.
We did a small amount of cutting north of Platelayers on Sunday, before the rain drove us away. The clearance is really opening out the views of the river.
Back at the Station, the 3 wicket gates have received their final coats of paint and are now complete and ready for rehanging next weekend. Work on the Palvan door has continued, with some small sections of hardwood let in where the original edges were poor. We hope to get this door to the stage where we can hang it during Christmas week.
Talking of Christmas Week, we will be ‘in residence’ from Boxing Day through to the 2nd of January, so come on down, see us and join in.
Weighbridge Teas are also back in residence from 27th-29th December serving their usual wares, come along and see them to celebrate the Christmas Holidays.

9th, 10th December 2017

Well last week’s snow has gone, but snow showers today have put a sprinkling over everything. This did necessitate sweeping the platforms clean before the Santa train turned up.
We have been out on the lineside again, cutting down more scrub and burning some of the accumulated brash. A good fire each day has helped to open out the area and show us what a good lineside we have. It was ‘interesting’ having lunch on the lineside during a snow shower – we had to keep the lid on the sandwiches!
Back at the Station, the wicket gates and wagon planks have received more coats of paint and filler, as has the Palvan door. The Christmas lights look well in front of the cottage and on the platform.
Those readers who have been missing the photo updates will be pleased to hear that the problems with the IT have now been sorted. Check them out.

2nd, 3rd December 2017

All white?! Yes, we had a good covering of snow on Thursday – which is still with us now. It was ‘interesting’ getting here on Friday evening, but we all took the hill carefully and arrived safely.
First up on Saturday morning, therefore, was clearing all the platforms, ready for the first Santa Special of the season. A good frost on Friday night didn’t help, as all the snow turned to ice which meant it was hard work making the platforms safe.
In the General Room, the new wood has been screwed and glued into the 3 wicket gates and a coat of white undercoat applied. Unfortunately more rotten palings were discovered, so some new ones have been made, sanded and primed. These will hopefully be fixed in place next weekend. The Palvan door, currently in the CCT, has had its first filling sanded down and a second fill applied. A coat of undercoat has also been applied, to help show any further imperfections.
Along the line, near Platelayer’s Cottages, we have continued cutting down the scrub and the trees which were growing out of the retaining wall. Although the ground was covered in snow, it was the height of the river which made life more awkward.
The big tree outside the cottage is now decorated and covered in twinkling lights, and the ‘Big W’ has been hung on the front of the cottage. Hopefully more lights will appear next weekend.

25th, 26th November

Brr, it’s cold! The sun has been lovely, which makes up for -5ºC starts.
We have continued the lineside clearance from Platelayers, cutting down young trees which were growing out of the river retaining wall. A lot of time is spent cutting off the branches, gathering them up and stacking them ready for burning. The ‘trunks’ will be disposed of separately.
Back at the Station painting continues, with the new planks for the S&T van receiving a coat of primer and a first undercoat. The 3 white wicket gates have had further rot removed and new timber prepared for screwing into place. The Palvan door has been sanded, given a coat of primer and then filler added, where required.

18th, 19th November 2017

The weather has been a lot better this weekend; dry, bright, and frosty.
An excellent days work on Saturday completed the scrub clearance down to Bridge 13, a mile and a quarter from the Station. Overall it’s taken 3½ days to clear the light scrub, compared to 3 months 4 years ago – when it was awful. This allowed us to make a start north of the Station today, working from Platelayer’s Cottages. A lot of scrub and young trees have been removed from the retaining wall, alongside the river. Hopefully a few more days of work will join up with what we cleared a couple of years ago, up at the retaining wall.
Back at the Station, the painting team have continued applying coats of paint to the metal parts, plus priming and wood preserving some new timber planks for the NER van on the dock. Work on the Palvan door has continued with more filling and adjustments undertaken. More general cleaning up and tidying fallen leaves has also been undertaken.
Finally, 4 kilos of onions left over from War Weekend have been turned into onion marmalade, just to ensure nothing goes to waste!

11th, 12th November 2017

It’s been a day of two halves – bright, sunny but frosty this morning and wet, wet, wet this afternoon. We have been working south of the station this weekend, revisiting the lineside down to the distant hut. It’s been 4 years since we cleared this area and some of the scrub was over 12’ high. However, better to get it down now rather than waiting another few years and we then need the chainsaws.
Back at the station, more metal parts have been painted, the wicket gates have had some decayed wood cut off them and new pieces made to suit (but not fitted yet). The gardens have had a bit more tidying up done. The fire from last Saturday was still warm yesterday (!) so further garden rubbish was disposed of before tidying up all the ash. The new headstock for the NER van has been put inside the van and a start made on marking it up for drilling and cutting.
A contractor has been in during the week to lay a new lino floor in the signal box to replace the cracked and damaged old one.

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The gang clear snow off the level crossing 3Mar18Snow surrounds the Weighbridge 3Mar18.Phill, Lee, Michael and Martyn clear snow off the platform 3Mar18

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