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Work in Progress: 26th April


Roadworks TriangleSunny spells, a biting wind, and at least one heavy shower!

This week's report comes from Dorset based volunteer Graham Bendell

After a long period of absence, your reporter returned to Woody Bay and was promptly given the task of preparing this blog, by your regular reporter, Nigel Thompson.

A very good turnout of volunteers (I counted 25 at lunchtime), were allocated various tasks for the day, including the continuation of replacement sleepers, the painting of ISAAC’s boiler cladding, and signalling work at Rowley Moor.

The regular stalwarts of Woody Bay were, as usual, busy selling and catering to our visitors.Today's passenger loadings were reasonable considering the weather!

1. Fireman Dave Hallett and Driver Graham Bridge chat with new volunteer John, from Dorset. A member of the L&BR Trust for 3 or 4 years, John has previously volunteered on the Swanage Railway and is a civil engineer by profession.

2. In the paint shop, Barrie Cann applies masking tape to one of ISAAC’s” boiler cladding bands prior to painting the white edge lining.

3. LYN awaits the Spring Gala.

4. Graham Varney, suitably dressed against the cold wind, relaxes by the lever frame, having brought the works train down to KIllington Lane...

5. ... with a good strength Thursday Gang and their equipment. Some of the gang carried out the very messy job of fishplate greasing, others continued the endless task of sleeper replacement and ...

6. ... others realigned and re-braced one of the concrete accommodation-crossing gateposts.

7. The regular appearance of AXE on passenger trains today gave the gang the welcome opportunity for short breaks from the very physical work!

8. Well done Dave Pratt! – Volunteer Dave recently walked the “Macmillan Way West” (102 miles) from Castle Cary to Barnstaple and has collected over £1500 in sponsorship in support of Macmillan Cancer Support (Registered charity in England and Wales (no. 261017). If any of you would like to help swell that superb total please send contributions to Dave Pratt (Macmillan Way West) Walk, c/o Woody Bay Station, Martinhoe Cross, Parracombe, BARNSTAPLE, EX31 4RA. Several of the volunteers already have.

9. Tony Cross sells another 2 of the very popular Peco 009 L&B carriages. He only had one of No.7 carriage left at close of play. More are on order!

10. AXE about to leave Woody Bay. Driver Graham Bridge watches guard Bob Ayres, who is just about to wave his green flag.

11. Two complete signals in store at Rowley Moor. Don Newnham is in the background.

12. Dick Gunn props up a brush as he surveys the tidied store.

13. Tea-time with plenty of comings and goings. Erica and Irene looked after us well, as usual!

14. Barrie Cann removes masking tape from the boiler cladding band he painted earlier in the day to reveal a perfect job.

15. The most physically demanding job fell to Nick Slade who (watched by John Uphill) operates a manual valve-face planer for most of the day. Nick and John were refacing ISAAC's valve faces, to give a steam-tight joint. Thank goodness not all of the volunteers are of a “certain age”.

After a day of what was hard graft for many - in a mixture of weather - a lot was achieved.

Words and photos 1-3, & 8-15 Graham Bendell. Photos 4,5,6 and 7 Roger Bye

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