19th-22nd April 2019

Well, what a wonderful Easter weekend of weather – wall to wall sun. This has allowed us to have dinner outside every evening. The main project this weekend was the renewal of the west side ply panels on the brown Palvan. This had got beyond the repaint stage, but it was 60 years old! All the bolts were cut out, which allowed the ply to be knocked out. With the old ply clear, a start could be made knocking off the scale and wire wheeling clean all the steelwork. The rusted bolts could also be banged out of the frame. Whilst this was going on, recycled ply was being cut to size and painted. With the steelwork clean, it was time to give it a full repaint. Once everything was painted – the hot sun helping to dry each coat faster than planned – we could look at putting the ply back into place. The van now looks a lot better and is secure once more! There are still a few more bolts to fit (they are being delivered on Tuesday) before the final top coat of paint is applied. A second van, our shock van, has had the west and south ends repainted and the holes in the ply (it had a hard life) have been covered over. One door required renewal of the ply (it had delaminated), but again it is now ready to fit. One of the door hinges had a seized pin, so this has been cut off and the hinge barrels are now being drilled out. The paint shop van storage cupboards have had a re-sort, and the shelves relabelled. This should ensure we can find the correct paint at the correct time. The stained picnic bench has been given a final sand and stain. It is now awaiting delivery to Grosmont. All our other benches here have been given a check over and loose bolts and screws tightened up. A couple needed more major work; with poor planks exchanged for new ones. These are now all out in the paddock and being enjoyed by our visitors. The S&T have been installing fibre cable at the station. This needed one of the Trespass Guards lifting, which promptly fell apart. Consequently this has been rebuilt, with a mix of original and recycled materials. North of the Station, a check of the lineside fence revealed several rails missing (plus the known gaps). The good rails have been refixed but several more had to be fetched from our store to restore the fence to its full purpose. The known gaps have been temporarily plugged with blue and red mesh fencing, until we can get out there and install the new fence posts and rails. Near Platelayers another 700 tree stump plugs have been drilled into the stumps. Several have been reduced in height at the same time to make a tidier finish. We are not finished there yet, but the end is in sight! Weighbridge Teas had a very good 4 days with ice creams, not surprisingly, top of the pops. Easter cakes and other fare were still popular however. They are also trialling a new range of Paninis. If you’d like to sample their wares come and visit them any weekend the trains are running, and bank holidays too.

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