Author Archive

7th August 2022

We have had a couple of dry days this week, but it’s been the exception to the rule.

The lettering and decal panels on the VEA have been completed and it looks very smart – even if I say so.  The shockvan has also been numbered and lettered on the yard side.  The NER van, 98799, has had the yard side door repaired, where rotten wood and rusty steel were no longer keeping it watertight.  The West side of the Palvan has been given a couple of coats of topcoat.

A new piece of fence has been constructed across the Dock to separate the toilet van entry from the working area.  The old entrance gate has been moved to this fence so we can still access the Dock.  The non-slip sheeting outside the toilet van has been lifted and moved further up the dock to make our working area safer.  New sheeting is due imminently to go in front of the van.

In the Yard the storage bags of sand have been joined by several dumpy bags of gravel, which have been donated to us.

A faulty light on the digger has been changed and new wiring run in.  Our two pairs of trestles have been serviced, wire wheeled clean, and a start made on giving them a coat of maroon paint.

It was one of our volunteers 60th birthday this week so we had a homemade celebratory buffet on Saturday evening for 30 odd Wombles and friends.  We moved a dozen picnic benches to the area opposite the cottage for the event and set them up under the bar tent roof.  Our JVs were on site today and were happy to help move them back to the paddock, using the PW trolley, two at a time.  We did have a bit of food left over as some guests failed to arrive so guess what was for tea break, lunch, and dinner today!

Weighbridge Teas had another good weekend and as a Special Offer, there was a free piece of quiche with every purchase on Sunday!!!

31st July 2022

Well, it seems to have done nothing but rain since the schools broke up for the holidays!

A start has been made on lettering the VEA (grey sides and yellow ends).  The east side of the BR standard planked van has had some ply wood patches fixed over the worst of the rotten parts.  These are a temporary fix until we can get round to replacing the whole side – we need the timber first!  The west side doors of the Palvan have had similar treatment and it has also been numbered and lettered on this side.

The south yard foot crossing has had the approach ash ramps repaired and widened to make it easier to cross with barrows, etc.

Inside the toilet Palvan the last of the wall and ceiling trims have been fitted, and the floor has been given a good clean down to return the lino back to its original standard.  The three cubicle doors have been painted in gloss in readiness for fitting.  This will happen once the electrics are completed – we await a sparkie now.

The setts outside the warehouse have been given a good weed – they never stop growing!

We have also been working at Newtondale Halt, the shelter there has been refelted as the roof was leaking in several places.  We used our scaffolding to access the roof (see below) and make a safe working platform.  Hopefully this will last for a few more years now.

We were joined by the Junior volunteers this week and they have been kept busy with us.  The tracks south of the Station have been weeded; the General Room has been cleaned inside and out; concrete lids for the signalling dept. have been cast using moulds they supplied; scaffolding has been loaded and unloaded from the dumper and finally two picnic benches have had rotten pieces replaced.  They had a BBQ on Thursday tea time and they set up our bar tent and moved 12 picnic benches to the land opposite the cottage for the event, before taking them back on the Friday afternoon.

Weighbridge Teas had another steady weekend, not bad considering the poor weather.  They also opened on the Monday, Thursday and Friday to support the Juniors and had quite a bit of trade between them and passing members of the public.

24th July 2022

A warm weekend with occasional light showers was the order of the day yesterday, after the very high temperatures earlier in the week.  Heavy rain spoilt the afternoon today, but at least it will help reduce the fire risk!

The tanker wagons have had their black gloss parts finished now, so all is done above sole bar level.  The VEA has had the paint touched up around the new grab handles and lock catches.

The toilet van is now connected to the mains drains, following a lot of awkward fitting under the floor so the plumbing is now complete and ready for use.  Inside further touching up continues, along with more boxing in of the pipework.  The two original doors for the van have been sanded down and the first coats of the new light grey gloss applied.

The roses are now ‘going over’ and the great cut back will have to start shortly.  Meanwhile, grass cutting and weeding continues.

Weighbridge Teas have had a relatively quiet weekend, even though it’s the first week of the English school holidays.  Hopefully next weekend will be a lot busier for them.

17th July 2022

Well, the hot weather continues – albeit it with a couple of heavy rain showers Friday tea time and early Sunday morning.

The ends of the blue milk tanker have had another undercoat, then a first top coat, whilst the black tanker has had a second black gloss to the lower barrel.

In the toilet van, further finishing works to the walls and ceiling have been completed.  Cupboard doors have been fitted to all units and trims have been installed to cover the joints between the walls and the ceiling.  Under the van, a start has been made on installing the drainpipes; this is fiddly as three toilets and three sinks have to be connected together into one outlet pipe.

The S&T stores van, NER 98799, had developed a leak in the roof.  With the scaffolding now removed from the tank wagons, we were able to use it to get up to roof level on this van.  Examination showed that a roof plank had ‘sprung’, tearing the felt and allowing water in.  The felt has been cut back, the plank securely refixed, and the felt reinstated.  To ensure a good water-tight seal an additional length of felt was fixed over the patched part of the roof.

A new printer has been installed in the Booking Office and, surprise, surprise, it doesn’t fit in the old position!  A new rolling stand has been made for it, so it can be moved as required.

The roof on the small shed in the Yard has been finished and securely fixed into place, whilst on the container the paintwork on the doors has been touched up where necessary.

Weeding of the gardens and tracks continues, the roses are still a treat to see.

Weighbridge Teas did very well over the weekend with cold drinks and ice creams.  Strangely, hot drinks and pies were not in high demand?!

10th July 2022

Cor wot a scorcher!  It’s been a hot, hot weekend here at lovely Levisham.  All the roses are in flower and the platforms look a treat.  Weeding and grass cutting continues regardless.

The lower half of the black tank wagon barrel has been wire wheeled clean, primed where necessary, and given a coat of grey undercoat.  Both sides were then treated to a first coat of black gloss.  The lower half ends of the blue tank have also been wire wheeled, primed, and undercoated.  The wooden baulks on this tanker have been given a coat of bitumastic.

The woodwork van has been lettered ‘B771448’, ‘XP’, ‘WB 10’0”’ on both sides.

Inside the toilet van, the mop cupboard has had the door fixed in place and one of the doors below the baby change has been similarly fixed.  The lower panel, housing the plinth heater, has been made, painted and screwed on.  Further boxing in units have been made and painted, several times, to hide the plumbing to the sinks and toilets.  These now await fitting once they are dry.  The third and final sink has been fitted onto its housing in the middle toilet and masticed into place.  A start has been made on fitting capping strips around the joints between the walls and the ceiling panels – more to do next weekend.  An extractor fan has been fitted to the middle toilet as well, just in case!?!

The dock has been given a huge clean up outside the toilet van, in readiness for its new role as the public access route.

Tidying up inside the container has commenced now the main construction works on the exterior have been completed.  In readiness for the next construction job, several metal roof pieces have been prepared for the new small shed behind the fencing in the Yard.

With all this hot weather, we were asked to deal with a small lineside fire a mile south of the Station, caused by 80136.  It’s a long walk there and back.

Weighbridge Teas were kept busy supplying cold drinks and ice creams, along with teas and paninis.

3rd July 2022

We’ve had a mix of sunshine and showers this weekend.

On the milk tanker, the ‘EXPRESS DAIRY’ lettering on the East side has been completed in white, as has the ‘MILK FOR LONDON’ small lettering on the West side. The blue top coat on the lower half of the barrel has also been completed

Inside the toilet van, the architrave has been fixed in place and the baby change and mop store doors have been built and painted.  The centre cubicle sink unit has been made, with an access door for the plumbing.  This area is particularly awkward, working around the pipework and the toilet.

The VEA van (grey sides and yellow ends) has had the door grab handles and catch clips fitted to the 2 rebuilt doors.  The doors had to be partially run off their tracks to allow some of the bolts to be fitted from behind.

In the Yard, construction work on the container cladding continues, with the large doors finally fitted.  Weeding and tidying up of the yard and around the camping coach continues.

The Booking Office has been tidied and altered in readiness for a new, all singing, all dancing printer/scanner to be installed.  As with all modern equipment it is larger than the one we currently have, so some modifications and rewiring will be necessary once it arrives.

Inside the Gents, a new cistermiser has been installed to replace the old one which only managed 30 years of service.  A new toilet seat has also been fitted, the old one not lasting as long!

Weighbridge Teas had another steady weekend.  A new sales item – a soft Highland Cow toy – has arrived and sales are moo-ving !?! quickly.

26th June 2022

Another glorious weekend of sun, albeit a bit windy on Sunday.

The blue milk tanker has had its second coat of undercoat, followed by 2 topcoats, applied to both sides.  Following this today the west – public – side has had its ‘EXPRESS DAIRY’ lettering applied, the latter easy to say but harder to set out and paint.  We also had to cope with a minor shunt in between coats on Saturday as the Wagon Group’s Palvan was retrieved for movement onto Pickering.  This is to allow the brake gear to be overhauled, hopefully in time for the autumn gala.

In the Yard, the new large doors have been fitted to the side of the container.  The door furniture is still to be fitted, along with other minor fittings.

In the toilet van, fitting of the skirtings, architrave and boxing in of the pipework continues, so the end is definitely in sight.  The flagpole has had a good sand and a first coat of white gloss.

Weeding and tidying up of the roadside outside the cottage, plus the path to the cottage front door, continues, as does weeding of the platform beds.  The roses are coming out now so there should be a superb show for the next few weeks.  Grass cutting continues everywhere….

Weighbridge Teas have had a relatively quiet weekend, possibly due to the Armed Services event in Scarborough.  We did have a flypast of a Dakota today and the Red Arrows yesterday, who also obliged with red, white, and blue smoke as well!

19th June 2022

After a scorching hot Friday, the temperature has been kinder over the weekend

The Mex fuel oil tanker has had a second coat of black gloss applied, followed by the white lettering.  The top half is now looking rather smart.  The blue milk tanker has had the south end and both sides wire wheeled clean and spot primed where necessary.  The west side and south end received a coat of grey undercoat.  Blue gloss was applied to the south end as well.

On the bauxite Palvan the last of the door bolts have been fitted, following the installation of a wood wedge.  The van is now ready to go to Pickering for the brake gear to be overhauled.

The flag pole has been given a couple of coats of white undercoat.

Inside the toilet van, the first of the skirting boards has been trial fitted and prepared for gluing together.  All the walls and ceilings have been given a deep clean, so much so that the ceiling is now white again rather than grubby grey!

The new large door for the container is being prepared for installation, with a new back frame manufactured.  The rear of the new planks has been given a coat of primer to help preserve them.  The first half of the preloved shed has been erected behind the storage fencing in the yard.  More to follow….

Weeding along the platforms and in the Station Yard continues, as does grass cutting.

Weighbridge Teas had another good weekend, and the book cart had a delivery of a large box of railway books for sale on the cart.  There is now a good selection from the ‘Big Four’ companies plus, shock horror, a few diesel books…..

12th June 2022

It’s been another mainly dry and warm weekend, just the odd light shower to annoy us.

The Mex fuel oil tanker has had its first coat of black gloss applied all round and looks a lot smarter now.  A start has also been made on the milk tanker next to it – with the end wire wheeled clean, primed where necessary, and then under and top coated in blue.

The interior woodwork, architrave, etc., for the toilet van has been given a second top coat of grey gloss.  We should start installing it next weekend.  Inside, all the joints are now watertight so the pipework has been lagged.  The third and final sink has also been sited into position on its new wooden frame, and when we get new flexible pipes it will be plumbed in.

In the Yard, the storage area behind the fencing has been tidied up, levelled and some materials moved and restacked.  Hopefully the new additional Junior Volunteers storage shed should start being constructed next weekend.

Weeding of the platform beds continues, as does the grass cutting.

Weighbridge Teas were kept busy on Saturday, but Sunday was decidedly quiet this weekend.  Perhaps after all the celebrations last weekend people were taking a ‘breather’?

22nd May 2022

The sun continues to shine on the Station each weekend.

The woodwork and NER vans have both received their second top coats.  The metalwork taken off the VEA has been cleaned down and given a coat of primer.  There is just the lettering to re-do on the first two vans.

The first of the two tanker wagons has had the top half of the barrel wire wheeled, the bare metal patch primed and then it was all given a coat of grey undercoat.  The lower halves of the barrels are hopefully in a good enough condition and won’t need much, if any, work on them.

Inside the disabled toilet van, the incoming plumbing has been connected to the mains water supply.  A lot of time was then spent checking all the copper joints inside to make sure they were water-tight.  One or two were also found to be only hand tight, so they needed a good tightening up.

The paling cover strips have been completed on the container front.  The exhaust of the dumper has been repaired and welded.

Grass cutting and weeding continues around the whole Station.  Strimming and cutting has been undertaken along the lineside north of the level crossing to tidy up the cesses. The gardens continue to produce rhubarb at an astonishing rate!

A large batch of our Station Brief History booklets have been despatched for sale in all the railway shops.

Weighbridge Teas had another steady weekend. 

Get Well Soon to Malcolm and Michael, who have both been in hospital for minor ops this week.

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