12th, 13th June 2021

What glorious weather we are having at present -long may it continue!

The offside Palvan doors on the green van have been fitted and trimmed where required.  Fresh wood primer has been applied where we had to cut it to fit.  The west side doors of the disabled van have been removed (they were rotten) and the steel hinges have been wire wheeled clean and repainted. The first pair of new doors for this van have been assembled and painted up to first top coat.

The gardens are looking good, with the red poppies out at present.  New Painted Sage seedlings have been planted around the Weighbridge and we are looking forward to another stunning display this year.  The grass cutting continues…..

Weighbridge Teas had a busy day yesterday but today has been relatively quiet (perhaps everyone has been at the coast enjoying the sun?).

5th, 6th June 2021

The sun continues to, mostly, shine on Levisham.

The 8th and final Palvan door has been completed – hurrah!  They now just need fitting so a start has been made, with the first door being fitted to the Yard side of the green palvan.  We have also begun making the 8 doors for the toilet and shock vans; we are again using hardwood sleepers to make the framing.  The bauxite vans in the siding have had further numbering and lettering applied to them all.

The JVs have been busy at the Station again.  In the yard entrance the lineside speed board display area is being improved, with the weeds removed and new edging and stone chippings laid.  The new lineside fence, south of the Station, has had two strands of barbed wire fixed to it.

Weeding of the gardens has continued, with some new plants added this weekend.  The poppies are just beginning to flower, and they should put on a good display this year.  The grass is growing rapidly at the moment so weekly cutting is the order at present.  The long grass around the paddock and next to the roadside stream has also been strimmed down.

The ‘Whistle’ board at the south end of the Station has been cleaned down, primed, double undercoated, and given one coat of white top coat.  Further south, the ‘Trespass’ notice has been de-rusted, primed, and undercoated.

29th,-31st May 2021

Well, what a lovely hot weekend!

The GW mink van has had the old felt roof stripped off and a layer of thin ply fixed on top.  It is now ready for the canvas to be processed.  In the meantime the marquee canvas roof is keeping it dry.

The seventh Palvan door has been put together, with the mortices cut and everything glued together.  The ply was then masticed and screwed onto the back of it.  The door has been given another undercoat and two topcoats.  The 8th, and final, Palvan door is nearly ready for screwing and gluing together.

Three vans have had their running numbers painted onto them.  The toilet van has had more of the underframe given a coat of black gloss where it has already been undercoated.  A start has been made on the next set of 8 van doors – with the first two ‘blanks’ for the toilet van door uprights being cut out of a hardwood sleeper.

The Warehouse has been cleaned out and re-opened to the public.  The park benches have come out of store and have been well used already.  They were given a coat of teak oil to help preserve them.  The setts have been weeded and cleaned up.

The trailer for carrying the mini digger has been completed, along with the two ramps to get the digger up on to it.

The JVs have been busy all weekend, with notably the lineside fence completed south of the Station; the lineside fence between Platelayers and Kidstye made sheep proof; the steel fencing in the Yard covered with ply strips and then painted; and strimming undertaken around the Station.

Weighbridge Teas have had another busy Bank Holiday weekend with drinks, cakes and ice cream being very popular.

22nd, 23rd May 2021

Although there’s been no sun it has kept dry all weekend, which has helped us at the Station.

The toilet van has had the bodywork completed, with 2 coats of satin top coat applied all round.  This has allowed the sheets to come off apart from the one over the doors.  This sheet will have to remain until we get the new doors built and fitted.  The JVs have helped to wire wheel the underframe to remove the rusty areas, which was then given a coat of primer and part even received a coat of grey undercoat.

The GW Mink wagon has also had its sheeting removed and just a single sheet fitted over the roof.  Hopefully it won’t be too long before we can get the roof sheet replaced and the final sheet can be removed.

In the Yard, welding has continued on the new trailer for the digger.  The main work is now complete with just the steel ramps to make now.  The JVs have been busy ‘threading’ thin plywood strips through the metal security fencing to help screen the stores here.

North of the level crossing large amounts of brash have been burnt by the JVs.  They have also been working south of the Station, making a new short fence across the lineside ditch at an occupation crossing.  They have also finished moving the point rodding recovered by the S&T down the line and into store.

The dry weather has allowed us to get the grass cut, again; it hasn’t half grown a lot this week thanks to all the rain.

We have given all the windows on the Camping Coach a good clean and scraped off the loose paint on it.  The area around it has also been given a good weed.

15th, 16th May 2021

The trains have finally returned and to cap it all, it’s been dry all weekend.

Friday was the time for final checks; Weighbridge Teas had all their goodies delivered and ready for sale, the last of the Covid signs and posters went up, and the ‘Station Closed’ signs came down after 18 months.

Works have concentrated on the Toilet van this weekend, with several layers of filler applied to the last poor sections of ply on the sides.  The previously filled sites have been sanded down and more paint layers added.  Overall the rest of the van has received its second undercoat, a first top coat and both metal ends and one side has had its second ‘Olde Worlde’ (or late BR Bauxite) satin top coat applied.

The grass around the Station has been cut, with the edges strimmed by the Junior Volunteers.  They have also moved the picnic benches back into the paddock after the long winter slumber.  The benches were given a check over and loose planks have been screwed tight again.

In the Yard, the new manhole cover has been completed and the area around it levelled.  Work has continued on making the trailer for carrying the mini digger, with our resident welder fixing the twin axles into place.  The totally rotten planks from Newtondale Halt have been moved to our burning pile, north of the level crossing.

The JVs have been busy as well, moving two loads of point rodding down the line into store, burning the last of the scrub south of the Station near the new fencing, clearing the ditch culvert outlet opposite the signal box of excess shingle washed down over the winter, and last – but not least – changing 4 rotten sleepers in the sidings.

The windows on the General Room and Waiting Shelter have had a second clean following last weekend’s efforts and the edges of the glass have had excess paint scraped off them.  Inside the General Room the bench seating has been given a coat of brown paint to smarten it up.

The Weighbridge has been nicely busy all weekend with a steady trade from passing walkers and visitors to the Station.  More platform litter bins have come out of store and been placed into position.

8th, 9th May 2021

It rained all day Saturday but today has been lovely – dry and warm.

The Station is slowly coming back to life in readiness for the start of passenger services next weekend.  After 18 months use as a workshop the General Room has been cleared of materials.  The LEVISHAM entrance board has been refixed on its concrete posts at the Yard entrance and the notice board has been fixed to the front of the Gents. The Palvan framing and ply have been relocation to the woodwork shop.  The General Room was then dusted, vacuumed, washed, and the carpet lifted to reveal the varnished wooden floor.  The paint on the ceiling, walls, and woodwork has been touched up where required.  It now looks quite smart again and ready to welcome our passengers!

Both platforms have been swept clean and de weeded along the edges. The area around the level crossing has had similar titivation.

The large notice board in the Yard has had its “Welcome to Levisham Station” notice refixed to it.  As we are still in the throes of Covid 19, hand sanitiser points have been fitted at the entrance to each platform and near the Weighbridge.

Talking of the Weighbridge, they are looking forward to re-opening next weekend and welcoming back all their customers after such a long break.

On the toilet van, the first layer of filler has been gently sanded ready for a second top layer to be applied.  The east side has been wire wheeled clean and given a coat of primer, followed by half of it getting its first coat of drab undercoat.  Both ends have been given a second undercoat.  In readiness for replacing all four doors, measurements have been taken and drawings prepared to allow new hardwood framing to be cut out of a railway sleeper.  More tenons have been prepared on the Palvan horizontal framing beams, not many more to do now.

The ash in front of the container doors has been dug out and old rubber level crossing panels installed to provide a clean turning area for the digger.  Opposite this, near the fence, one of the drain chamber lids had caved in when a large loaded lorry drove over it.  This has been removed and a heavy cast iron road frame and cover installed in its place.

3rd May 2021

It’s raining so it must be a Bank Holiday!

We took delivery of the disabled toilet box van from Goathland last Monday afternoon.  Externally it’s in quite a state; all four doors are rotten and require replacement, whilst the rest of the body needs a clean and a repaint.  There is also rot in some of the ply panels, but we might get away with filler on those.  This weekend we made a start to smarten the van up before train services begin.  Both ends have been wire wheeled clean and 2 coats of metal primer applied where needed.  The west side metalwork received the same treatment, whilst the ply has been sanded down, primed and undercoated.  The small damaged ply sections have been covered in filler.

The recovered planks from Newtondale Halt have been sorted and the old bolts removed.  The good/re-useable planks have been stacked and sheeted over to keep them dry.  The wholly rotten ones have been placed to one side for disposal.

Work to modify the old trailer for use as a mini digger transporter continues, the axle position has been checked and the axle is ready for welding in its new position.

The two complete Palvan doors for the paint shop have had their inside faces given a coat of white under and top coats.

The three 12’ platform benches which needed repair or new seat planks last year, and were repainted during lockdown, have been fixed together and put back on the down platform.

The Weighbridge has been given a tidy up in advance of new food being delivered ready for re-opening on the 15th.  The till has been updated and programmed with the new price list for this year.

120 new fence rails were delivered on Friday afternoon and the JVs moved them up the line with the PW trolley on Saturday.  These are being used to help repair and strengthen the east side lineside fence from the 14 ¼MP northwards.  Work has concentrated around the 14 ½ MP this weekend, with around 100y completely rebuilt.

The park bench for Newtondale Halt has been given a second coat of teak oil and delivered by train back to site.  In exchange the damaged 12’ platform bench was returned to Levisham for repair and repaint on the southbound working today.

25th April 2021

Well, what a fortnight! 

As many of you will now be aware, we have had a major film company down here shooting the next big blockbuster.  None of the actual filming was at the Station, but either side as far as Newtondale Halt and Farwath.  The yard has however been full of trucks, cars, canteens and toilets; and the field next to the railway was used for three of their helicopters.  Shooting was successfully completed on Friday and most of the gear had gone that evening.  Quite a few visitors came on Saturday only to find it had all gone!

We did manage to get some work done last weekend and this though.  The roof on the container has been completed and a start made on boxing in the sides.  The plywood for the new Palvan doors has been under and top coated on both sides.  The park bench from Newtondale Halt has been brought back and given a good sand down.

At Newtondale Halt itself, the damaged deck planks which are not suitable for re-use there have been brought back to the Station.  We hope to use them to clad them container.  The steel frame for the Halt has had the top flanges wire wheeled clean and half of it painted (we ran out of time and paint for the other half).

The Tea Hut team were here this weekend to continue the sort out of the Cart stores and the Weighbridge.  The Waiting Shelter has been given a thorough wash down and clean out, returning it to its normal state following its use as a timber workshop this winter.

11th April 2021

It’s been a cold week with a bitter wind coming down the valley.  To top it all off we awoke to find 1” of snow covering everything.  It looked very pretty, but by lunchtime it had all melted.

Further test trains have run all week.

The last of the Palvan framing has been cut out of a hardwood sleeper, and a start made on making the tenons.  The timber blanks and new marine ply sheets have been given a coat of primer.

The JVs were out yesterday repairing more fencing north of bridge 17.  They got as far as Pitt Farm but a section surrounded by water had to be left until they can return in wellies.

In the Station Yard, the container has been moved from near the Camping Coach to its new site next to the shed in the yard.  This was made possible thanks to the location crew bringing a hi-ab down to the Station for their use.  Now the container is in its permanent site, the previously made roof sections have been brought out of store and a start made on fitting the pent (single slope) roof.  The snow prevented its completion today.

11th April 2021

Snow covers the station 11 April 2021
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