21st-23rd June 2019

We were joined on Friday by a group from Network Rail in York, who came to help us for the day. The group was split into 2, and the first group went north to complete the far fence nailing job before moving closer to the Station to dismantle the next section of poor fencing. After lunch it was time to get the trolley out to bring the materials back. We could then build the new fence, adding another 9 posts worth of fence to that completed last week. The second group were tasked with painting. First up was our shock van alongside the dock. This needed its top coat finishing on the south end and east side. After this it was onto the Wagon Group’s shock van. A coat of undercoat was applied to the West side and then onto Freight Brown 1960’s bauxite top coat on the East side. In the afternoon the hot sun had dried the West side, enabling a first gloss to be applied as well. They all had a great time and we look forward to welcoming them again in the future. The dry day also meant we could get the mowers out and at last we have the grass down to a neat level all over the Station. All we now have to do is keep it in this state. The garden maintenance continues, and the planters just north of the level crossing have been weeded and planted with painted sage, grown from seed by one of our volunteers at home. The de-weeding of the Yard has also continued.  The insulation of the new shed continues, whilst the front roof edge has been made from recycled materials. It cleverly houses 2 lights, so we can access the sheds during darkness in the winter if necessary. Today we joined the Junior Volunteers on a special visit to Scunthorpe Steelworks. We had our own steam engine – Cranford – hauling 2 brake vans all around the site. They have around 90 miles (!) of internal railway and we managed around half of it. Thanks to Peter Barsby, of South Yorkshire Area Group, for organising this for us all. Weighbridge Teas were kept busy all weekend and were even in to support us on Friday as well.

15th, 16th June 2019

The fencing renewal scheme continues, with another 5 posts and associated rails installed.  The next set of posts have been placed in the dip tank ready for next weekend.

Back at the Station, the new shed has had the door locks fitted and further insulation panels installed on the inside.  Work to renew some of the litter bins has continued, making them more sturdy in the process.  The paddock hut front and side have been scraped down and given a couple of coats of green shed paint.  One of the water stop cocks was leaking from a split in the plastic housing, so has been replaced with a new stop tap.

All the grass has been cut, again – will it never stop growing!?!  The paddock edges have been strimmed to keep it all smart.  The gardeners have been in residence again, with work on the vegetable patches, the lineside planters and the platforms attended to.  In the Station Yard the long grass has been strimmed and the north edge comprehensively weeded to smarten the entrance area.

The 16T mineral wagon top coat of paint has been completed, as have the two white stripes at the north end.  These identify to operators which end the end opening door is.  On the Shock Van the west side metalwork clean down has been completed and it’s been given a couple of coats of primer.  Once this was dry it was time to give the whole side a coat of brown undercoat.  The east side has received two undercoats, the priming being completed last weekend.

Weighbridge Teas – now ‘As seen on TV!’ – had a relatively quiet weekend.  This did give them more time to sign autographs and pose for photographs though….

8 – 9th June 2019

 It’s a double issue this week, following our annual Womble fact finding tour (the cruel say holiday). We have been called out twice this weekend to deal with cows on the line. In both cases they were accessing the lineside via the river, so we ended up erecting pig wire fencing across two points to try and prevent this re-occurring.

We are continuing with the replacement of poor sections of fencing, this time closer to the Station. Fortunately, so far, no rocks or tree stumps have been found where we are trying to install fence posts, but there is more to do next weekend. The other new fence has been having all the second nails installed in each rail, with a few more still to do. We have also collected another 30 fence posts from the timber yard.

Meanwhile, back at the Station, the repainting of the 16T mineral wagon continues, with the wheelsets now in black gloss with white rims. The new steel section, which was welded into the side, has been sanded down and the paint process has commenced on this as well. The shock van steelwork framing on both sides has been wire wheeled down and given a coat of primer. The woodwork on the west side has had the paint burnt off the poor panels and been given a coat of wood primer.

The gardeners have been in residence, weeding, watering, and adding new seasonal plants to give us that extra burst of colour. General cleaning and tidying has also been on going.

As to our ‘fact finding tour’, this time it was down south near Portsmouth. Several standard and narrow gauge railways were visited. At all, the comment was “Oh, you’re from the NYMR, come on in, have you been on telly yet?”. To which the answer was “Yes, not yet, but we hope to be. Look out for some gents working at night on a retaining wall, that’s us”. It’s always good to visit elsewhere and compare what we do, how we do it, etc., to others. This usually reassures us that we are doing well, but there is always something new to learn.

Whilst some of us were away, Weighbridge Teas have been open each weekend and a steady clientele has continued to keep them on their toes. They even had time to apply another coat of paint to the tea hut exterior!

25th-27th May 2019

At long last, we have completed the latest phase of our fence renewal project.  In total it’s taken 80 new posts, 5 recycled posts, 200 new rails, 20 old rails, and 1200 nails, with a total cost of around £2,000.  We were helped on Saturday by the Junior Volunteers who fitted many of the rails for us, whilst we continued the slow process of installing fence posts.  Most of the scrap materials have been brought back to the Station; but there will need to be a final clear up to ensure we leave the site safe, clean and tidy.

Back at the Station, one side of the Wagon Group’s shock van has had the paint burnt off and primer and undercoat applied.  Over the last few weeks there has been a steady process of sweeping platforms, yard entrance, roadside edges, etc., of loose gravel and weeds, plus clearing the platform rainwater grid channels.  This helps keep the overall station looking smart and welcoming.  Another part of looking smart are the gardens.  These always need care and attention; removing the weeds that always seem to thrive, dead heading, and many other tasks.  The grass has all been cut again and, now the daffodils have died back, the grass area at the yard entrance has been cut and the picnic benches reinstated there.  Both ride on mowers have been given some care and maintenance to ensure their continued availability.

Work on the new shed has continued, with all four doors now hung.  The planking above them has been fitted and a start made on insulating the interior.

Weighbridge Teas were open all 3 days and a steady flow of visitors kept them on their toes.

18th, 19th May 2019

It’s been nice and warm this weekend, with just a few spots of rain.

After many weeks of waiting, the new shed now has its cladding fitted.  A couple of days of cutting and fitting around the roof joists provided us with nice tight joints.  Although the doors are not hung yet, they have been given the preservative ‘treatment’.

We had a good burn up on Saturday evening, getting rid of all the old rotten timber fencing we brought back last weekend.

Another batch of fence posts have come out of the preservative and been moved up to site.  Another 9 posts are now sitting in the drum for the same purpose.  Another trolley load of scrap fencing components was brought back as a return load.  Hopefully we will dispose of this next weekend.

The Lamp Room door and frame have been sanded down and repainted, where the paint was peeling.  The Tea Hut has been given a gentle sand down and repaint, smartening it up for the season.  The repainted notice board has been rehung on the Weighbridge and looks much smarter.

Weighbridge Teas had a steady weekend, although there was a rush for their Paninis during Sunday lunchtime!

11th, 12th May 2019

It has been a mixed work list this weekend.  The grass has been cut and the edges strimmed where we can (daffodils are still growing).  We have taken delivery of the cladding for the new shed, and this has been given a coat of traditional wood preserver.  Hopefully we will get these fitted next weekend.  A further 8 fence posts have been installed near the 13 mile post, and all 8 were a pig to do.  Large tree roots, rocks, and an old Whitby & Pickering stone sleeper block (!) had to be cleared before the posts could be installed.  A further 31 posts have been collected from the wood yard and are now drying and being treated, before they too are installed in their new positions.  125 fence rails have been delivered and these are now out on site ready for fitting, along with 25kg of 4” galvanised nails (that’s 1,926 nails!).

Back at the Station, the notice board on the end of the Weighbridge has been taken down for a scrape and repaint.  A dripping tap in the Gents has had a new washer fitted, whilst the entrance door has been given a coat of top coat.  The ride on mower has had a tyre inner tube repaired (twice!) and the fuel system has been given a clean out and a new fuel filter fitted.  It is now in working order and raring to go.

We have been assisting the Wagon Group again, with undercoat and top coat applied to the body of the mineral wagon.  They have supplied new metal channel and plate, to allow our welder to cut and fit replacement sections into place.  They have been doing the unpleasant job of wire wheeling the wheelsets and axles under the wagon.  They also gave these a coat of primer.

A ticket stock check has been undertaken in the Booking Office, to see how much stock we need for the season. This is not an exciting job, but very necessary!

Weighbridge Teas have had plenty of visitors again with a wide variety of good flying off their shelves.  Inside the tea hut a start has been made on a tidy up and repaint.

4th-6th May 2019

All the High Fire Risk signs are out, so of course it’s been a wet weekend!

The main project has been the lineside fence renewal.  We installed 43 posts over the 3 days and have now run out of posts (more are on order!).  Installation should be straight forward, but buried old fence rails and post stumps, tree roots (some quite large), brambles, and standing water have made this a challenging job at times.  At present we have just fitted 2 rails, top and middle, with netlon fencing to keep it sheep proof.  The other rails will be installed by the JVs and Families who are joining us in a fortnight.

Back at the Station, one side and end of the 16T mineral wagon have been wire wheeled clean.  The side was primed but the damp weather today put a stop on applying paint to the end.  The other side and end have been given their first coat of off white undercoat.  The roadside approaches have been cleared back, where the grass was growing onto the road.

The Tea Hut display table has been replaced, as the original one was going rotten.  A new hanging solution has been created to support the table.  A new picnic bench has been delivered to Grosmont.

Weighbridge Teas did fairly well considering the weather, with hot drinks being the norm.  Ice creams were still selling to the hardy visitors though.

23rd – 28th April 2019

The weather finally broke in the middle of the week and since then we have had typical April showers.  The Wombles have been in attendance all week, making the most of the Easter break.

The fine weather did allow us to complete both bolting up the Palvan, and the paint job on it during the week.  The shock van also received several coats of paint, but is now awaiting delivery of another tin of top coat to finish the job.  The recalcitrant door hinge on the van has had the seized hinge pin squeezed out and new brass bushes made.  This has allowed the door to be rehung this weekend.

Talking of doors, the Ladies Room entrance door has been taken down, given a thorough sand and repaint, and then rehung.  The lower internal walls of the Ladies and the General Rooms have been given their second coat of brown paint.

North of the Station, we have recommenced the lineside fencing renewal project.  We managed to install 15 posts and the top and middle rails have been fixed in place.  We hope the Junior Volunteers will help finish the job.  In the same location, broom and gorse are encroaching onto the track; whilst our senior team were doing the fence, the younger team tackled the prickly problem.

We’ve also had an open forum meeting at the Station, which was well attended.

The Pickering Wagon Group have been here this weekend, checking over the freight train in readiness for its run out next weekend.  They have also commenced the cleaning down and priming of the BR steel open wagon.  Some weld repairs will be needed where the rot has got through but overall, it’s not in too bad condition.

Weighbridge Teas are now getting into regular weekend opening and are looking forward to next weekend’s 3 day Bank Holiday.

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.

13th, 14th April 2019

It’s been a relatively dry weekend albeit with a cold wind.

With the delivery of more tree stump plugs (1000!) we have been back on the lineside, cutting the tree stumps nice and low and then drilling the tops to insert the plugs.  At last we have finished those between the 14½ and 14¾ mile posts, so we have returned to the Platelayers riverside to continue the same there. The timber fence at the top of the embankment has had the odd fence rail renewed and others reattached.

The logs are finally off the lineside, having been transferred to the Station Yard.  Many trips with the dumper were required to do this. 

At the Station a new picnic bench has been made, whilst the materials for a second has been sanded down and stained (to give a different look).  The grass has had another cut but fortunately, with the cool weather, it’s not growing too fast – yet.  The gardens have continued receiving TLC.

The shock van (the second van in the siding) has had the station side and south end cleaned down and primed.  The side has also had 2 undercoats and its first top coat applied.

Weighbridge Teas have had another good weekend, with hot chocolate and ice creams selling well.

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