6th – 9th April 2012

Happy Easter! I hope you all had a good long weekend, even if the weather was not exactly nice. It didn’t stop us here although some project’s priorities were changed to keep us drier.
We had strong winds and snow during the week and this played havoc with the power lines which feed the area. Power was lost on Wednesday morning (around 2am) and was not restored until 20.30 on Thursday evening! Several poles had been snapped in half at the top of the hill and required replacement before the cables could be reinstated by Northern Electric. Fortunately it appears our freezers had survived without defrosting when we arrived on Thursday evening.
The snow also caused problems at Newtondale Halt, bringing down several trees across the access path. We were requested to go and clear it all up, so it was out with the chainsaws and strimmer to tidy the site. There was quite a lot of damage and it took us all day to cut down the rubbish, log the trunks and collect the brash into heaps, even with 3 chainsaws working at once. These heaps will be disposed of by the Junior Volunteers who are taking over ‘ownership’ of this station. They will also be sprucing up the approach path and carrying out repainting where and when necessary.
Close observers of the Camping Coach siding and head shunt will have noticed that the track is not exactly made up of long lengths of rail but it was all we had at the time. Well we now have some longer lengths from the crossing job that are scrap so we are swapping them around. We have recovered the short lengths and marked up where the longer ones will be inserted when a; the weather is more clement and b; we have a couple more bodies.
We have continued work on the level crossing, lifting and packing as the track and ballast settles. We hope to collect the remaining timber planks this week so we can complete the north end. Stephen has been cleaning down more scaffold clamps, removing rust and generally getting them ready for future use.
Michael has been modifying the bar so it will take 3 beer engines. This has included removing one shelf and adjusting two others and is a lot easier said than done!
Tony and Malcolm have been adjusting the kitchen cupboards in the Tea Hut so it can accept the new (to there) tall fridge rather than the old under counter example. They are also undertaking a quick repaint internally ready for the new season.
Weighbridge Teas have not been rushed off their feet this weekend due to the weather but they have done a steady trade in drinks, cake and ice cream and supplied our lunch and drinks via the train when we were at Newtondale Halt.

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