This weeks report by Dorset regular Graham Bendell
Initially not the warmest of days but it did improve slightly by the afternoon. Undeterred, our customers turned up in good numbers, unlike our volunteers who, it being Easter were less than usual. Nonetheless, much was achieved.
The big news this week was the return to service of Carriage No.17 which was was brought out into the daylight after several months out of traffic. Jim Pounds and Barry Cann carried out the repairs to the paintwork and the final coats of varnish. The bogies have also been checked over as part of the vehicles annual overhaul.
The finishing touches today included vacuuming seats and floors, cleaning windows, and polishing woodwork.
1. Dave Drayson vacuums the carpet in the 1st Class Coupe.
2. Barry Cann cleans the windows of the 1st Class compartment.
3. Barry Cann with his “labour of love” of the past six months. Grand-parenting duties prevented Jim Pounds from being there to see the finished job.
Running trains throughout the year and in all weathers takes it's toll on all our carriages which is why annual repairs and re-varnishing have to be carried out each year. Jim and Barry spent several days per week - the result speaks for itself.
With a marquee needing to be erected for the coming weekend, the re-sleepering gang were detailed to do this. The job started with collective memory-failure as no one could quite recall how it went together last time (all of 6 months ago!). Eventually things fell into place and by lunchtime it was up.
5. Graham Rust provides a steadying hand.
6. Roger Bye sorts out the walls and roof sheets.
7. The marquee erect and ready for the weekend.
8. Nigel “Green Paint” Spencer adopts a more relaxed pose for today’s painting job.
9. Plenty of room in the mess today.
10. Martyn Budd showed off a recent acquisition for our future signaling needs. This is a Sykes “Switch In, Switch Out” unit and will be required for when a passing loop is either “Switched In” or “Switched Out”
11. & 12. Regular young visitor to Woody Bay, Harry - suitably attired - was “helping” out Guard Bob Ayres today.
13. ISAAC pulls out with an afternoon train. Today’s crew was Driver Graham Varney and Fireman Andy Foster.
14. A friendly wave from Guard Bob Ayres as the last carriage leaves the station.
Meanwhile inside the station today.
15. A quiet moment in the shop, which was extremely busy for most of the day. Dave Evans and Tony Cross (behind the counter) put the world to rights whilst Mel Maddocks enjoys a cup of tea. To the right, Roger Bye tries successfully to be partially obscured!
16. & 17. Nigel Thompson priced up a recent large donation of books for the second hand book shelves whilst Erica Gilsenan and Irene Cross take a break after an exhausting day in the Tea Rooms.
18. At the end of the day, part of the re-sleepering gang discuss next week’s tricky sleeper extraction job.
Elsewhere, Trevor Buck and Don Newnam carried on with the preparation of a lever frame intended for future use.
Graham Rust was also on site today and provided the following photographs of the work he was involved in during the day.
19. Three new long sleepers were needed to replace life expired ones at under the points at Woody Bay. Isaac was used to marshal a PW train.
20. Fred the dog was keen to come along too.
21. Three long sleepers were picked up at Killington Lane.
22. On the way back to Woody Bay the opportunity was taken to collect lineside rubbish.
23. The P- Way train was shunted into the sidings allowing ISAAC to work the passenger service. Meanwhile the Thursday Gang move the picnic tables behind the Tea Room making room for a second marquee to be erected for the Easter weekend.
24. The marquee having just arrived from Rowley Farm in a trailer.
25. The gang busy themselves assembling the framework.
26. The finished marquee.
27. Keith, Roger and Graham took the opportunity to cut some new mesh to cover the Ash Pit outside the shed.
28. A trolley was used to collect the three new sleepers from the PW train by another two Daves. One sleeper has already been dropped off near the mess room and these two will be dropped off near the foot crossing between the two platforms.
A good day with many interested visitors. Carriage No. 17 was stabled near the path to the toilets and generated much interest and several questions from appreciative customers who were particularly keen to see the first class compartments, for which we opened the doors. This sort of interaction is very important and helps “spread the word”.
Words and photos 1 - 18 by Graham Bendell. Photos 19 - 28 by Graham Rust.