29th April-1st May 2017

It’s been another 3 day weekend, allowing us to get even more done than normal!
On Saturday it was time for some more tree pruning, but not along the lineside. This time it was in and near the Paddock where small trees were rapidly growing into large trees, and also overhanging adjacent properties and where we site the marquees.
Up the line, at the 14 milepost washout, the rest of the gang were getting their hands (and some even their feet!) wet, recovering stone from the river which belonged in the retaining wall. Quite a bit has been moved to the site, ready for lifting out. We know they are ours as the stones are whole or half pieces of the old railway sleeper blocks, with the 2 holes in for the cast iron chairs! Hopefully we can start lifting these out, and back into the wall, next weekend.
Back at the Station, the CCT sides have been given their second top coat and now look rather smart. The marquee roof has been taken down and a new canvas cut and fitted. At the moment it is only temporarily held in place, whilst we wait for it to settle and the creases to ease out, before we permanently fit it in place. Hopefully this will keep it dry and watertight for a good long time.
Work continues on the NER van body, with the 3 pieces of new framing on the East side now cut ready for gluing together. On the same side, the drop down door metalwork has been cleaned down, rusted bolts freed and the woodworm attacked timber removed. Three new door planks have also been fitted, the steelwork given a good wire wheel clean, and the whole door given a couple of coats of primer and an undercoat. The west side door steelwork has had it’s new wood trial fitted, planed to size and also given a coat of primer.
The gutter to the rear of the station yard shed has been adjusted and a start made on repositioning the water butt. This will be welcomed by the gardeners to keep the vegetable patch nearby well watered. They have been busy around the Station, moving plants and keeping the gardens well manicured.
6 old fire buckets have come out of store. They are being cleaned down and repainted ready for use at Wartime Weekend fully lettered in French!
Weighbridge Teas have provided a steady flow of hot and cold snacks for our visitors and passengers. The new litter bin is now in place and the old one dismantled for re-use.

18th-23rd April 2017

We’ve had another good week overall, with lots achieved. During the week the roof of the CCT has been nearly completed, bar the actual canvas – the ply sheet covering and carpet underlay have been fixed down to the roof boards. The last of the exterior timberwork has been replaced and both sides have been sanded down/wire wheeled as required. Following a patch coat of primer, and then undercoat, the first of the top coats has been applied.
On the North Eastern van body further bolted plates have been removed, the rotten ends cut off and new threaded bar welded back onto the studs where required.
Several loads of well-rotted manure have been collected for use in the vegetable patch – we are hoping for bumper crop this year.
A new litter bin has been made, using pre-loved timber.
The Weighbridge Teas have had another excellent weekend of sales, helped by the good weather.

14th-17th April 2017

We hope you all had a Happy Easter. The weather has been mixed, although predominantly dry, which has led to great contrasts in the sales at the Weighbridge. Some days they were running out of ice cream whilst others it was hot soup and pies! Overall though, they have had a good long weekend and now for a request, does anyone have a good under counter fridge available? If so, the Weighbridge Team would love to hear from you. You can contact them via the website or call 01751 473427 and leave a message.
Meanwhile, on the Station, the CCT is now structurally complete again (for a while) with door runners refixed, timber cover plates refitted and the whole lot given a coat of paint. The west side exterior has been sanded down, wire wheeled (on the steelwork), primed where necessary and then undercoated. A start has been made applying the top coat, but there is more to cover.
On the NER box van body, a start has been made on the east side frame repair; well actually it became the east side frame renewal! We had hoped to keep half the side frame but on close exam it proved to be in very poor condition. We have now removed it and made a new frame unit ready for installation later. Two of the corner post bottoms are also rotten, leading to these being trimmed back to solid wood and new hardwood pieces made as replacements. These were a challenge as they have 2 mortices that have to be cut, at different heights, on different faces! The rotten headstock on the south end is being chiselled out and the metal straps, drawbar plate, and corner brackets carefully removed. This metalwork is now cleaned down and given a coat of primer.
Elsewhere on the Station other painting continues; with the latest half mile post now ready for dispatch back down the line. Several steel road pins have also been painted into Station orange.
The grass cutting season is now in full swing and the ride on mower now sports a new (pre-loved) seat, which is a great improvement for the operator.
The gardening continues with more well-rotted horse manure collected for digging in. The daffodils are coming to the end of their season after a good display over the last few weeks. General weeding continues, as does trimming old the bushes to ensure a good display this season.

8th, 9th April 2017

What a lovely hot, sunny weekend. Work has concentrated on the wagons this weekend. On the NER box van, the replacement north end grab handle has been ‘adjusted’ to fit the existing bolt positions. The rotten lower panel beam on the east side has been knocked out; the steel angle brackets undone and removed; the drop down door taken off and the old, rotten and rusty bolts knocked out of the timber underframe.
The new top beam for the CCT has been installed, together with a new upright that has been morticed into it. The whole beam has then been through bolted, with the door runner girder remounted on the outside of it. This sounds easy, but there were 2 days hard work involved to get to this stage. Elsewhere on the wagon, a new window top frame been is being made to replace the existing, which is rotten.
On the Palvan, the warm weather has allowed the roof steelwork to receive a quick clean down and then primer, undercoat and topcoat has been applied. This should allow us to start replacing the timber roof panels next weekend (weather permitting!).
The General Room exterior has benefitted from a good scrub down and rinse clean, to remove the loco soot and the green mould which grows on it over time.
In the volunteer accommodation all the carpets have been given a major clean down and are now as good as new, thanks to one of our members bringing in a professional cleaner.
Weighbridge Teas had a good weekend with ice creams selling like hot cakes (which also sold). They are looking for more helpers, could you be those people? Come down any weekend for a chat and see what is involved.

1st, 2nd April 2017

Another 4 fires this weekend have finally cleared the last of the cut scrub, so far. The whole quarter mile section now looks very neat and tidy. There are still some more trees and scrub to cut, but these may now have to wait until this autumn’s clearance sessions. We were again supported by the Junior Volunteers, who collected and burned the cut scrub with us.
Back at the Station work has concentrated on the CCT, with another section of the top beam having to be cut out and replaced. We had hoped this section would be good enough without work but a close inspection has shown that not to be the case, with rot throughout its length once we removed the steel cover plate.
The east side top door beam has been replaced on the NER box van body, and the whole east side sanded down and given another coat of paint. The warm weather is encouraging the grass to grow, so it’s out with the ride on mower again to deal with it. The picnic tables are back in the paddock ready for use now the better weather is with us.
Weighbridge Teas have had an excellent week, with plenty of customers coming to see Royal Scot. Close observers would have noticed that the Weighbridge now sports a new server worktop, installed especially for the start of this season. You can also pay by card there now, with the installation of more modern technology at our Station! Cart sales have done well, with rail ends going like the proverbial hot cakes.

23rd-26th March 2017

We start this extended blog with a celebration, at Goathland. With the opening of the new shop there, an official ribbon cutting ceremony had been arranged on the Thursday evening to thank all those who had helped with its construction. Thus some Wombles were in attendance, as they had helped excavate the foundations last year. Another of ours is also the Railways Archivist, who was given the great honour of cutting the ribbon.
On Friday the Station was prepared ready to welcome back trains and visitors, including tidying up and getting out the teak benches. These have been cleaned down and given a couple of coats of teak oil to preserve them. On the CCT, further mouldings have been made for the interior and given a couple of coats of paint.
The glorious weather this weekend has enabled us to have a good burn up of the scrub up the line. Three good fires, each day, have got rid of quite a bit, but there is more to do. We have also, finally, cut down the last of the scrub there, completing the half mile section back to Platelayers crossing.
On the NER box van, one of the swing doors is undergoing repair and the drop down door steelwork has had a cut and shut repair where the metal worms have been busy. The whole body has also been jacked away from the fence, to allow repairs to the framing to begin on this side. Meanwhile filler has been applied in some of the old nail holes on the east side, giving a smooth finish to match the other 3 sides.
Weighbridge Teas had an excellent weekend with lots of visitors and the Junior Volunteers, who were helping us cut scrub and burn it all weekend. The Weighbridge is open every day Royal Scot is hauling trains this week, plus next weekend.
The introduction of the new EPOS tills in the Booking Office seems to have gone fairly smoothly, with a few more people trained in its use and 4 passengers served.

19th March 2017

Another good weekend of activities has been undertaken, it’s almost a shame that the trains start again next weekend.
The final few roof bolts have been fitted to the CCT, which has really pulled the boards tight onto the hoops. A further section of rotten timber has been discovered over an east side door. The top door runner and door have been removed to facilitate its renewal. The door runner was quite rusty on the rear, so this has been cleaned off and given a couple of coats of primer.
The NER van body west side upper doors have been lifted off, the hinge pins cleaned down and re-bushed before putting them back on. The drop down lower door steelwork has had welding repairs and been trial fitted so the bolts could be correctly located. This steelwork is now under cover and has benefitted from a couple of coats of primer. Pre-loved wood has been selected (Wombled) for the door and is drying out. Elsewhere on the van, more bolts have been fitted to the outside framing brackets.
In the Booking Office the new cupboard has been completed and installed. The EPOS equipment has been fitted and is ready for next weekends christening.
North of the Station, the level crossing rubber panels have been reinstalled at Platelayers crossing now that tamping there is complete. More stone will be applied to the road approaches to improve the level. A quarter of a mile beyond this, another good session (actually 2) has cleared a large amount of scrub, opening up the views. A couple of good fires next weekend should dispose of all this.
With the coming of Royal Scot next weekend, Weighbridge Teas will again be open to give all our visitors a warm welcome. They will be open every day that Royal Scot is running.

12th March 2017

We have all survived the Womble Work Week, and a lot has been achieved. Thanks to one of our volunteer’s contacts, we have taken delivery of a large amount of ply off cuts from a local firm. The ply is a mix of 1/8” through to ¼” thick and is ideal for several projects we have coming up.
This weekend the NER van body has had the roof edge planks replaced, as they were split and rotten. Some of the ‘new’ ply has been fixed over the top of the roof planks and a layer of roofing felt laid down on top. We have started the process of manufacturing the last few pieces of new hardwood timber required, with the ‘blanks’ prepared from an old ‘pre-loved’ sleeper.
More scrub, cut down last year where we are renewing the lineside fence, has been tidied up and burnt. Some scrap fencing was brought back to the station; the good pieces have gone into store, whilst the rest joined the pyre.
A new cupboard has been made and painted ready for installation in the Booking Office next weekend. This will help store the printer, paper and the EPOS retailing equipment.
The CCT is now all glossed on the inside after a couple of days of work. There is still a bit more work to do inside, including replacing another rotten door upright, but the end is definitely in sight. On the roof, the first of the ply cover sheets have been fixed into place.
We were joined by drivers from a main line company today for a photo shoot for a 2018 calendar. The calendar is in aid of one of the Cancer charities and followed the ‘Calendar Girls’ theme, although the drivers were all male. Look out for the Rail Rogues 2018 calendar on sale later this year!
Weighbridge Teas were again in residence to keep us supplied with tea on Saturday.
It’s now the end of the Womble Winter Work Week and we have achieved a lot. Thanks to all the volunteers, we achieved over 900 hours of labour – not bad for the smallest station of the railway!
We will continue next weekend…..

5th-10th March 2017

Well we’ve made it to Friday, and achieved quite a lot! Monday dawned bright and sunny and we welcomed the first of our Network Rail colleagues, who came to help us. The first task was quite simple, move a pear tree from against the Weighbridge to a sunnier site. Following this, it was down to the ditch to install the remaining 22 clay pipes. We continued the installation method trialled on Sunday, and all the pipes were in by lunchtime! Some of the ditch required further clearing of roots and growth towards the end of the pipe run, and beyond, to ensure the water runs away. After lunch it was time to get out the paint brush, with further undercoats applied inside the CCT. The ends and west side of the NER box van body were given a coat of black barn paint by a second gang. Following an afternoon tea break, the PW Engineering Train arrived ready for us to load all the stone (moved onto the platform over the weekend), together with tools, cement mixer, ladder etc. etc. All Aboard! for a ride to site to unload all the stone and materials.
Tuesday commenced the rebuilding of the washed out retaining wall, including collecting stone from the river where the flooding had carried it away. Good use was made of the PW digger and it’s driver Pete! Slightly south, the scrub burning continued with a large fire disposing of a goodly amount.
Wednesday continued the stone rebuilding, with driver Pete lowering the large stones into place with his digger. Quarter of a mile away, 3 fires allowed the disposal of a further large amount of cut scrub. A further section was cut down to ensure we leave the whole area neat and tidy. Work had to stop to allow a DB Cargo ballast train through our work site – it was off to drop ballast nearer the Station. A start (with a bit of redesign!) has been made on construction of a new cupboard to house the new till and computer in the Booking Office. It will also house the printer and include some storage space to tidy up the Office. More undercoat was also applied to the CCT.
Thursday was the best day of the week, weather wise, and the retaining wall is rising out of the ground very well. The last of the scrub was burnt and the site left neat and tidy. Back at the station, gloss paint was applied to the CCT and the SW planks were fixed into place on the NER van body.
Today, Friday, the rest of the new planks were fixed into place on the NER van body, all the screw holes filled, and the whole side and both ends given a second coat of barn paint. The East side, untouched so far, has been cleaned down and repainted as well. On the CCT, most of the loose roof boards have been bolted down – only 70 bolts left to fix! The last of the undercoat has been applied to the ceiling, now all it needs is a lot of glossing.
At The Grange foot crossing, the waterlogged path approach has had the side ditch recut to allow it to dry out. A rubber panelled foot crossing deck has been delivered from the Station, on a PW trolley pushed uphill for half a mile!
Weighbridge Teas have supported us all week, in-between giving the building a good spring clean and beginning work on a new counter.
Only 2 days left to go now on our Winter Work Week and there is still plenty to do, so do come down and join in!

4th, 5th March 2017

We have started out Winter Work Week extremely well. The lineside ditch south of the Station has had a further clean out, and the first 2 clay pipes installed. The rest should be installed tomorrow, all being well.
North of the Station, a further section of scrub has been cut down along the lineside as we steadily work back towards Levisham. More scrub has also been cut down alongside the river, ready for our rebuilding of the collapsed wall.
At the Station, the stores at the north end of the CCT have been removed to allow us to finish that end of the van. The ceiling has now been wire wheeled down and a coat of primer applied. The side walls have been sanded down and a bit of filler applied where there were one or two large holes. The NER van body west side has had new hardwood filler packers made and fitted. The existing frame has been given a coat of preservative and the first three new side planks trial fitted.
The gardeners have also been here to keep tidying up the gardens.
Weighbridge Teas have been in attendance for us over the weekend and we are looking forward to welcoming them over the rest of the week.
If you fancy joining us there is plenty to do this week, there is always a job for you!

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Stephen and Michael dig the Goathland shop foundations 11Jun16Lowmac 905009 and Brake Van B950077 await departure to Pickering 10Apr16New crossing deck at Platelayers with Stephen, Michael and Bob 2Mar15Michael, Bob and Debbie tend the fires near 14 mile post 29Feb16
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