4th January 2015

We hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Here we are freezing our proverbials off – we started this morning at -5ºC outside and finished at the same temperature. It might have got up to 0ºC at lunchtime!
This week we have been plodding away on the brake van, cleaning steelwork down and priming it (on the 2 days it wasn’t freezing), cutting out rotten woodwork and measuring up for new. Most of the new framing has been made and then primed and undercoated in the General Room (in the evenings) where it is warm.
Stephen has been working hard in our workshop, working his way through all the donated tools, sorting them and putting them into their correct places. The latter is easier said than done, as he has been altering a lot of the racking and storage shelves at the same time. This means the rest of us can now no longer find where anything is! Sometimes we have taken a tool out and come back later to put it away to find Stephen has moved its storage box so we can’t find it!
This weekend we have begun the digging out of all the ash ballast around the south end loop points. The PWay team can then deliver new stone ballast and lift and tamp the points to the same height as the plain line just beyond (which was renewed last year). We have to dig out the ballast on both tracks up to the signals nearer the station. Today it was all frozen solid so it was out with the pickaxes to break it up. There are a few more weekends work up there before we have finished. Depending upon the PWay resources elsewhere, we may have to unload the new ballast from plate wagons for them. Please feel free to come down and help us any Saturday or Sunday.
All the Christmas decorations from both inside and out have come down and been tidied away for another year – it will be dark next weekend in comparison. The real Christmas tree has been flat packed for easy transport, if anyone wants it!?!
With problems with the train service yesterday (a possession meant that trains could not get to Pickering) we were asked to staff the booking office, and Weighbridge Teas were asked to come in especially and open the Weighbridge for the extra visitors coming to Levisham. They did an excellent job yesterday and today and their wares were gratefully received by our visitors. They even sold some ice creams!! They reopen for normal service at weekends during the February half term week.

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