5th, 6th January 2019

A start has been made extending the fenced compound to include the new shed site north of the level crossing. Several fence posts have been installed and some of the rails nailed into place. Care had to be taken to keep clear of the S&T duct run, which follows the line of the fence. We have started this year’s lineside clearance with works near the 14¼ mile post. ‘Light’ clearance here has opened up a good view of the adjacent fields and hillside. Following this we moved south of the 14 mile post to continue the clearance started there last year. Again good views of the river have been revealed. As usual, there are quite a few logs to recover and the brash will be burnt once it has dried out a bit. The important thing is to get these trees out whilst no trains are about as when they fall they go over the tracks. We are again working within the PWays possession and were graced with one of their Engineering trains, which passed us this afternoon on its way to site for re-loading with more materials for disposal.

24th, 27th – 31st December, 1st, 2nd January 2019

We hope you have all had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As you can see from the date list above we have not been sitting idly around. On Christmas Eve we took a load of wagon spares down to the lineside store at the distant signal on a Pway trolley. This was arranged in Pway’s possession, as there was no time to do this during the Santa trains. After this we had to shunt the Pway train (they were loading sleepers up in Newtondale) before joining them for another trip up the line to help load another wagon full. Those with a poor back will be pleased to know that the crane did the lifting, all we had to do was fit the lifting chains each time. Following 2 days off (for Christmas!), it was back to work on the 27th. The lineside just north of the huts next to the level crossing has been levelled and the soil bank tidied up. This allowed a start to be made on re-instating the fence. As usual at this time of year, with the dark afternoons, it was out with the flood lights so we could keep on going. The gate, which has been sat there propped up for many years, has finally been hung on a new gate post (an old railway sleeper). The fence ‘steps’ down to match the level change in the ground. With the fence up and the ground levelled we could identify exactly where our new shed should be built. This is required to house our petrol-powered equipment and the ride on mower and flail; the latter 2 need re-housing following the loss of 1111 and the subsequent re-sorting of all our stores. This shed will be similar to the one next to it and will replicate a pair that were there back in LNER and BR days. Power will be required in the shed for lighting and a socket for the saw sharpener, so another duct run has been laid. We were supported by Alex of the Junior Volunteers who did a lot of the pick axing. A surplus armoured cable was recovered (which used to serve the old hut here) and has been laid in for the new hut. With the duct in we could mark out the site for the hut. Formwork has been made for the edges and a trench dug round to thicken the concrete base slab under the walls. Alex again came to the fore with his pickaxe. He made a fine sight, working as the train came in, whilst Stephen and I sat nearby keeping an eye on things from a safe distance!?! Weighbridge Teas were open for 3 days over the festive period, keeping our passing trade well fed and watered. They have now closed for a well-earned rest and will re-open for the February half term. A couple of rotten trees have been cut down at the entrance to the Station yard. Both were leaning over the road and one would have fallen onto the Weighbridge. The logs will keep the signal box in fuel for most of the season! On the 27th a group of Wombles got together for a Christmas dinner of 2 ducks with all the trimmings and 2 flaming Christmas puddings for afters. Our annual day off occurred on the 1st, with a trip on the DMU to Goathland followed by a stroll down to Darnholme, over the stepping stones and on to Water Ark to watch the trains pass. A picnic lunch followed, before a visit to Beck Hole and a walk along the old rail trail to Grosmont and a ride home. We finished with bonfire and fireworks back at the Station to cap off another successful year at Levisham. A quick tidy up of the fire site on the 2nd and the signalling through of the Pway train, off on their way to relay another section of our railway, completed our festive break.

22nd, 23rd December 2018

It’s nearly Christmas but we are still working at the Station. The CCT tidy up continues and the end is now in sight – the floor is also in sight! In the shock van, the workbench is now clear of stores, an old timber cupboard has been dismantled for firewood and a steel cabinet has been moved to the metalwork shop (for refurbishment prior to redeployment). The metalwork shop has been ‘christened’ with quite a lot of small steel pieces de-rusted, de-bolted, straightened and prepared for painting. Weighbridge Teas have continued to support the Santa operations, working in the Learning Centre at Pickering serving hot drinks and mince pies. They are returning to Levisham for the 27th-29th December and will be selling their usual wares from the Weighbridge. We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We will be in residence all week, continuing the works and watching the trains come through.

Brrr; no snow just blooming cold! The van re-organisation continues. The metalwork shop has had a major sort out. You can get to the bench now, and there is more than 1 square foot of floor to stand in. The paint shop/large ply store now houses all the latter. On the yard side of the van, some temporary ply has been fitted to the doors to hide the poor original underneath. These doors will need rebuilding next year when it’s a bit warmer. In the CCT further racking has been built, allowing more screws, drills, bolts, nails, etc. to be tidied up. Inside the Warehouse exhibition the fitting of signs and pictures continues. A frost heater has been plugged in to keep the worst of the damp off, now the whole building is insulated. The Weighbridge Teas team have been working again in the Learning Centre in Pickering, serving teas, coffees and mince pies to all the Santa visitors before they board the train to see the great man himself.

15th, 16th December 2018

8th, 9th December 2018

It’s been a much better weekend of weather with plenty of sun, albeit a cold breeze, today. The green Palvan doors have been chalked and then further adjusted, planed and chiselled so that they are nearly perfect now. The green has been touched up on the body where further mastic had been applied (over a month ago!) to ensure the weather stayed out. In the CCT, further shelving has been installed and screws and tools loaded onto them. The Warehouse interior works continues, with Perspex fitted over the top ventilators and boxed in. The stable doors at the front have had the hinges bushed, returning the doors back to square. The lower door has also had the bottom edge adjusted and lowered to suit the new floor level (whilst also keeping the draughts out). After nearly a year of use the frame tent on the dock has been dismantled – it is no longer needed as the materials stored under it have now gone into their new homes. The frame has gone back into store, although the sheeting has been disposed of as it had gone brittle and torn. We have a new one in store ready for the next time it is needed. We now have 2 Christmas trees decorated at the Station – Albert, the live tree opposite the signal box, has been decorated complete with orange star on the top. We have collected and brought back to the Station quite a few logs, cut down earlier in the year. These will now be chopped up to keep the signal box fire going (and saving us having to burn coal).

1st, 2nd December 2018

It’s been another wet weekend – the long hot summer seems a long time ago now.

Work has continued fitting out the vans; shelves have been erected, stores tidied and consolidated, and doors eased where they were not closing properly.

In the Warehouse the rest of the ceiling battens have been made and fitted – each one is just slightly different from the others, so it’s a very slow job. The upper ventilation vents have been covered in Perspex in readiness for its new role as an exhibition space.

In front of the cottage, the Christmas tree has been decorated with lights and baubles. The big ‘W’ is once again gracing the front wall of the cottages.

24th, 25th November 2018

Following the shunting on Tuesday, the positioning of the wagons is now slightly different. Consequently, all the stored wood was no longer under cover.  We have therefore taken it all out, and sorted it into size, and then restacked it back under the wagons.  It was a good time to get rid of some poor bits; which have been cut into small pieces ready for the signal box fire.

The vans have been checked following their movement to make sure the stores hadn’t shifted. Fortunately most were OK, and it didn’t take long to tidy up those that were not.  The shock van is now on the dock which has allowed the doors to be adjusted to fit correctly.  The off-side doors have also been treated and are now also a better fit.  Some more tweaking and a coat of paint or two will be required before they are finished.

In the Warehouse, the fake ceiling battens have been cut and fitted on the south slope – a simple sentence hiding a lot of fiddling about.

The tidying up of the gardens continues, as does the completion of the new compost heap containers.

20th November 2018

There was a mixture of emotions at Levisham today as, after a stay here of 45 years, NER coach No. 1111 left the Station for pastures new.

During this time it has been cared for by the Station Group, whilst being used as a store and workshop. Over the years, doors have been rehung (and sometimes changed), roof coverings replaced, panelling renewed, and numerous coats of paint applied.

Retrieving 1111 from its long-term residence was no easy matter, as all the vehicles in front of it had to be carefully shunted clear and then put back. As part of this exercise a careful plan was laid to re-sort the order of the vans, and even get two of them turned at Pickering using the turntable there.

All went well today and the opportunity was taken to photo 1111 next to the Levisham Running In boards and its sister NER coach No. 945.

1111 is now safely stored at Newbridge whilst it waits for a lorry to take it to its new home, and restoration, at Kirkby Stephen.

Thanks must be expressed to Kieran, Sam, and Dave, who came up from Pickering with the diesel to do the shunting and take the vehicles to and from Pickering.

17th, 18th November 2018

We’ve had a glorious weekend with the weather, but it’s certainly getting chilly in the evenings now.

1111 is all ready for its move and the vans in its way have been prepared for their part in the ‘big shunt’ this week.

The underframe of the green palvan has received a coat of black gloss. There is just a bit of touching up to do to complete this stage of the vans restoration.  The 3 mileposts have received further coats of paint, and are getting closer to going back out on site.

North of the Station, where we cut the trees down last winter, we have returned to cut the stumps lower (now the river level has dropped) and drill in lots and lots of stump killer plugs. These will hopefully prevent regrowth and reduce the risk of the retaining wall collapsing.

The stumps and brush cut down have been brought back to the Station and burnt on the fire (yes – it was still live after last being touched last week!).

Now the new compost bins have been completed the compost heap has been relocated to the other end of the garden in the Station Yard, where it will continue to provide compost for the Station gardens by “Wombling” all our plant waste!

 

10th, 11th November 2018

The weekend has gone up in smoke and flames, with the annual bonfire and fireworks display at the Station. A goodly amount of old timber collected over the last few months, together with a neighbour having a clear out, provided the fuel. A pleasant evening was had by all, sat around the fire (but not too close as it was too hot!).
On Friday and Saturday, we were graced by a selection of Velocipedes (human powered rail vehicles). They made a colourful sight at the Station, before they rode off into the distance. Weighbridge Teas were especially open for them (as well as serving passing visitors).
The East side of the green Palvan has benefitted from an undercoat on the underframe, but the weather prevented a top coat being applied on the Sunday. Both this, and the North Eastern van next to it, have been hand shunted around the yard in readiness for the extraction of 1111 in a weeks-time. In the softwood stores van further shelves have been fitted.
Another mile post has been delivered to us – Number 9. This has been cleaned down and given a couple of coats of primer. The other 2 posts in our care have received 2 coats of white gloss as part of their refurbishment.
The ziggurat has been cleared of old plants and the track items placed to one side. The coal hole has had a good clear out and a re-stack.

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Kieran draws the vans off the turntable 20Nov18The new siding stock display at Levisham 20nov18Stephen, Michael and Dave turn the vans at Pickering 20Nov18Drivers view from D2207 alongside Levisham Dock 20Nov18
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