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.

28th, 29th April 2018

It’s been a bumper weekend of work, with over 20 Wombles in attendance each day. In the Paddock the last sheet of roofing has been fixed into place and the grass has been cut again– it had grown 4” over the last week.
On the NER box van body the sides are now in their final grey topcoat, whilst the external face of the underframe is all in black gloss. At the south end the new underframe sections have been trimmed and bolted into place.
The Palvan refit has continued; with stores moved out and the metalwork spares moved in. The rotten ply end section has also been chopped out.
The VEA van has been tidied up and additional stores placed into it.
The GER van has been emptied, cleaned out, and the hardwood spares restacked; the ladders have also been hung on the walls.
The Warehouse has been cleared of stores and one of the workbenches has been removed.
The NER van on the Dock has had the steel strapping bolted back into place, now the new planks are in place.
The ‘kitchen’ tent has been erected over the Dock, to provide undercover materials storage whilst all this re-organisation takes place.
The ‘new’ springs for the van body have been cleaned down and dosed with oil to protect them; the ‘new’ buffer shanks have been cleaned down and given a coat of primer.
Several sheets of punched steel racking have been cleaned down and primed.
The grass has been cut around the Yard entrance, and the daffodils dead headed.
The entrance hall in the Volunteer Accommodation has been cleaned out and redecorated.
Weighbridge Teas have had another decent weekend – they had to go out for additional supplies today!

21st, 22nd April 2018

Well, normal service has resumed after last weekend’s split party. The final few small scrub fires have been had north of Platelayers, and the last of the logs have been recovered from site. Along this cleared section a lot of wild flowers are now coming into bloom, and will look good from the train and road.
At the Station the NER van body is now having its first top coat applied. Pre-loved springs (dated 1895!) and buffer shanks have been brought out of store, and a start has been made on cleaning them up ready for attaching. Opposite the Weighbridge and Yard Entrance, the grass has been trimmed back where it was encroaching onto the road. Talking of grass, all the ‘lawns’ have had their first cut of the season – which has smartened up the whole Station.
We have been supported by the Junior Volunteers today, who have continued making the replica box van body for eventual erection at Goathland. The rebuilt Palvan door has been fully bolted up and is now nearly ready for a final topcoat. On the NER van the final few loose boards have been screwed back into place, and this is now ready for a final top coat.
Weighbridge Teas had another good weekend, the excellent weather really bringing the visitors in (as well as the JVs who needed topping up with drinks and sustenance).

14th, 15th April 2018

It’s been a weekend of 2 location. The first party of Wombles travelled down to Henley on Thames to visit the honourable Sir William McAlpine’s residence – Fawley Hill, and his private railway. The second party kept the Station and Weighbridge Teas going.
At the former there is a 1 mile standard gauge railway with steam and diesel locos, plus a very extensive museum of railwayana. This site usually only opens on 4 days a year, but was specially opened for NYMR volunteers only this weekend. An excellent time was had by all, with numerous wagon and brake van rides. A lucky few even got a footplate ride and to drive a diesel shunter.
At the Station more timber has been prepared ready for use by the JVs; the cleaning gang have tackled the General Room boarding (making it look very smart), and painting of the NER van body has continued.
Weighbridge Teas had another good weekend, with a cross section of their goodies all selling well.

6th-8th April 2018

It’s finally stopped raining! During the week we continued with making and fitting replacement underframe timbers for the North Eastern van. The new headstock also sports paint, allowing us to bolt on the external steel support brackets this weekend – plus fitting the remaining bolts in the north end. A start has been made on painting the body into North Eastern grey livery.
The two mileposts have received their final paint schemes, with the lettering completed by using a very small paint brush. This has allowed the General Room to return to its normal smart state.
The paddock hut has received its replacement corrugated iron roof – hopefully this will last longer than the felt.
North of Platelayers, we have managed to get the last of the large scrub heaps burnt. We have also repaired the lineside fence where several timber rails were missing. Yes, we did use recycled rails; recovered from the major fence renewals last year. Most of the timber has now been cleared from site.
Weighbridge Teas had a much better weekend than last, with a steady stream of visitors wanting to sample their wares.
Our littlest Womble has now become an official volunteer; having had his induction into the Junior Volunteers.

29th, 30th March, 1st, 2nd April 2018

Well, what a wet Easter; it doesn’t seem to have stopped raining since Thursday evening. This put a halt to us trying to burn the last of the scrub along the lineside north of the Station. However it hasn’t stopped us at the Station, where we have marquee sheets over our two van projects. The S&T stores van has had the new exterior planking fitted on the north-west side. The final screwing into place and the fixing of the steel cross straps are still to be completed.
The North Eastern van body in our Yard has progressed really well over the last 4 days. Several rotten sections of underframe have been cut out; with new hardwood pieces manufactured, mortice and tenon joints prepared, and then the whole bolted into place. Inside the underframe several new timber sections have been fitted; the original pieces having been removed when the body was removed from its wheels.
Painting has continued, of 2 mileposts, several rail ends (again for sale on our cart), and some metal parts for the NER van body. New ply has been fitted to one of our scaffolding decks and given a top coat of paint to help preserve the woodwork.
The white washed platform edges and flower bed edgings have also been repainted, ready for the new season.
Weighbridge Teas had, not surprisingly, a very quiet weekend, the weather keeping all but the most die-hard walkers away from our Station.

23rd-25th March 2018

Well the work week is over and didn’t we do well! Since the last post the trench has been backfilled and the excess spoil removed and used to level the land alongside the Camping Coach, to improve maintenance access. The yard siding track has been re-laid and packed.
North of the level crossing the land beyond the storage hut has been fully levelled off and the boundary edge prepared ready for the reinstatement of the fence. The previously cut scrub for 200 yards south of the Station has been burnt in another large fire.
In the Paddock, the roof of the marquee shed has been prepared to receive new corrugated iron, the existing felt roof being worn out. Around the Station a lot of woodwork has been washed down, removing grime and algae ready for the new season.
The mile posts and rail ends have been treated to further coats of paint. We hope to have the rail ends on sale shortly on our sales cart. Weighbridge Teas are back open every weekend, having spent a couple of days earlier this week giving the Weighbridge a good spring clean. After 4 days off we will be back for the extended Easter break when works will continue.

19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd March 2018

We have had a good week, so far. The weather has been kind and we have got a lot done.
The under track crossing (UTX) has been covered in a concrete cap, and then backfilled with ash. A further duct has been dug in from this UTX to just beyond the point work. The land has been levelled following this work. Nearer the Station, the trench has been backfilled with the ash and the excess clay has been taken away. The ash and stone on the alignment of the yard siding have been cleared off, ready for the track to be relaid. North of the level crossing huts, the land has been levelled away from the track.
Further north, between the 15½ and 15¾ mile posts, a lot of scrub has been disposed of on 5 large bonfires. Once this area was cleared we returned southwards, to the 14¾ mile post, where a large amount of blackthorn scrub and willow has been dealt with. This work has revealed the access ramp to a very old level crossing – reputedly the first installed along the railway.
The Weighbridge Team have been in attendance, carrying out maintenance and deep cleaning ready for the start of the new season. The park benches have been given a clean down and a coat of teak oil.
Cleaning and painting of rail ends has continued in the General Room, along with work on repainting the ¼ mile post. The 7 mile post has also been wire wheeled clean and is ready for priming.

17th, 18th March 2018

Blimey, where did all this white stuff come from?! What a start to the work week. It was only 4 wheel drives at the top corner this morning so we set to, in a howling snow storm to dig out the drifting snow. We had just about finished when a tractor and snowplough turned up! It did the job though back down to the station. The road is now open again and safe for 2 wheel drive cars.
Even so, we have done very well work wise. First up was loading with a mini digger and fetching a couple of dump truck loads of spoil from Platelayers down to the Station to level some land. The track panel just off the north of the level crossing on the down (Grosmont) side has had several sleeper bays dug out ready to change 8 poor sleepers. The ‘new’ sleepers were delivered by Martyn from the Pway this afternoon by train.
Off the Up Platform a trench has been dug down to the yard siding to allow cable ducts to be laid. The ducts are in and most of the trench backfilled. Not surprisingly there is quite a bit of spoil to dispose of. The track access into the yard has been lifted to allow the trench to be dug through. Hopefully the trench will be completed down to the signals tomorrow.
Nearer the end of the loop an Under Track Crossing (UTX) has been excavated and, as it got dark tonight, the ducts were laid into position.
For the rest of the week, we have to finish all these jobs and a few others as well including a lot of scrub burning along the line. Can you help us this week please, we are here every day?

10th, 11th March 2018

After the snow last weekend, we have experienced rain and mist for most of this one. The headstock has been successfully fitted on the NER van body, together with the first underframe section.
We were joined by the Junior Volunteers this weekend. They have helped us clean down a lot of cut rail ends ready for priming. A couple more loads of soil/spoil have been loaded and delivered to the Station to complete the embankment works.
Along the lineside we have had 3 good fires today. They were all slow to start, due to the damp weather, but again we have burnt a goodly amount of scrub.
Weighbridge Teas, who have been in residence all week for the visit of Tornado, sold a wide variety of goodies – including ice creams even though not all the snow has melted!
Our Womble Work Week commences next Saturday, for a 9 day bash. We have to resleeper the track next to the level crossing for the PWay; excavate and lay a duct for the S&T from the end of the Up platform to the points south of the Station; burn scrub and collect logs from along the lineside; re-roof the paddock hut; replank the NER van alongside the dock; etc., etc. Could you come and help us – all labour gratefully received. The Weighbridge team will also be in attendance to keep us fed and watered.

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NER box van 75101 back on its wheels 1Jul18Pike, Michael, Stephen and Bob burn scrub at 6 signal 23Mar18Kevin and Elaine clean the end of the Weighbridge 25Mar18The gang take tea whilst Stephen works away 22Mar18
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