With Nigel Thompson away this week, Roger Bye has once again come to our rescue and put together today's report.
1. This week the marquee, resplendent with its new floor, was a hive of activity. Dave and Ali reinstalled the decorative lighting; Malcolm and Dave assisted Don and Mary with applying preservative to the new planters for the platform and Dave set about repairing some of the picnic tables. Meanwhile down at Rowley Farm, Don and Trevor continued their work on signal construction.
2. With the cupboard, fridge and freezer re-installed and levelled - courtesy of Graham Varney - Catering Manager Judy Williams sets up the serving area ready for the new season.
3. In the Tea Rooms, Dave Evans and Jim Price re-affixed the fittings that had been removed to facilitate the recent repainting...
4. ...and next door, two of the electrical Daves discuss the telephone/IT/electrical work that they were about to undertake. The shop now boasts LED lighting!
5. In the shed, the third electrical Dave was busy installing new LED lighting in the inspection pit.
6. Jim Pounds and 7. Barrie Cann were working on Carriage No.17 in the paint shop as usual. But a big step forward this week is that they were now putting paint on, and not taking it off!
8. In the workshop, John Uphill had dismantled and modified PILTON’s torque converter. This vaned disc rotates submerged in oil with a second similar one facing it. As the engine turns one disc, the vanes stir up the oil which causes the second disc to rotate in sympathy and transfers the power from the engine to the drive shafts. Not something you often see!
Also in the shed John and Nick Slade carried out repairs to AXE's regulator valve following reports of steam leakage.
9. The ball valve regulator, seen partially closed, attaches to a short pipe projecting from ...
10. ... the mounting plate. As can be seen, the joint between the pipe and plate has cracked.
11. Here is the valve refitted in the dome and the repaired pipe-to-plate joint. Another engineering issue dealt with!
12. Several works trains ran today.
13. One job was to collect the timber cattle grids from the recently re-laid crossings.
14. The timber rails were removed from the rotten timber supports and the rails stacked for refurbishment and re-use. The rotten timber was then reloaded for transfer and disposal.
15. The path running from the Lynton end of the platform, along the fence, towards the engine shed is a popular location from which visitors can view engine operations. To keep this in good condition another works train brought a load of asphalt planings which were then moved by barrow and spread by hand. Nice to see the sunshine!
16. The preservative on the new platform planters was barely dry before the (rarely photographed!) team of Don and Mary were hard at work filling them up!
17. One of the planters has been located at the end of the loading dock ...
18. ... and one either side of the platform entrance gate. The redundant flower tubs in the background have done good service, but are now past their best.
Watch out for great flower displays at Woody Bay Station throughout the year!
Words and photos by Roger Bye