17th November Pack away
Pack signals away and prepare locomotives for winter shut down. Thanks to June for the teas and cakes (see last picture).
All bar one signal have been disconnected washed and stored in either a signal box or engine shed. The loco exit signal has been left out as Bob is currently working on it. Left hand picture shows Peter either sitting comfortably or praying to the signal before disconnection and storage. Richard and Adrian moved an insulated block joint on the approach to Old Oak and detected a track circuit problem at Dingly. Right hand picture shows most of us having lunch and signals waiting to be placed in Baytree signal box. Not in picture were:- Richard Adrian and Cliff who just managed to get out of view of the camera. Bob e mailed to say he could not make it hope we see him before Christmas.
Mick steamed Kate for the last time this year and ran the locomotive up and down the loco siding before blowing it down and oiling for the winter. Mick removed the grate and the effects of this years running has meant some winter maintenance as can be seen in the right hand picture. Surprised the fire did not fall straight through or perhaps it did! Cliff tried to light a fire in Clan Line but was unsuccessful suggested he learn from scouts and rub sticks together. First picture was taken because it is so unusual to see David G attending to his locomotive in this case cleaning it records show that this has happened twice. Jamie worked on his locomotive and concentrated on pipework between locomotive and driving truck.
Other activities included leaf blowing by Dave M and Dave MB to tidy the site. During the railway clearance it was noted that on the loco yard exit road many sleepers were below ground level so the offending earth was dug away to allow the sleepers to breath to avoid rot. Discussions about ballast cleaning included use of a cement mixer and water supply. The picture on the left show Sophie who after many had left knocked the plate onto the floor and finished of the cakes - no dinner for Sophie.
Next meeting is the 1st December and will be the last one before Christmas.
3rd November Fish and chips and fireworks
A wooly hat day especially as the day progressed ran trains ending with fish and chips and fireworks. Cliff arrived early so we had an earlier lunch than usual however this did not mean we started running any earlier. The first train ran at 14.34 probably one of our worst start times can we try and get back to 13.00 start time next year?. We did not stop for tea as per usual as we planned to stop earlier in time for fish and chips. The default controller was unable to attend something to do with being in hospital some people go to great lengths to get out of being controller we wish you a speedy recovery. We therefore all appointed Jamie as he did a good job last time with the help from his son Henry. Thanks to June for the teas and cakes and Dave MB for the firework picture.
The end of the running season was marked in the usual tradition of fish and chips followed by fireworks which was very relaxing and entertaining a really nice end to the running summer season. Peter kindly bought the fireworks and another year of excellent fireworks. The rockets (except three) were very loud and a couple of wooden rocket sticks found their way back to us. Unfortunately my phone camera could not capture the colours but Dave MB sent me one of his pictures. Henry enjoyed the sparklers.
Six locomotives on track today were:- Scott line 73115 33029 Charlie Jesse Royal Scot 6109 and LMS 7163 however Jamie reported problems with LMS 7163 and retired early. Cliff had to make three repairs to Jesse mainly the drain cocks (know the feeling) before running. My L94 is still waiting to be re assembled following front end repair work to the smoke box weather been too cold and work been too demanding. The Spinney freight wagons had an outing today and can be seen in the picture below. They did play up a bit and I eventually found the cause was buffer locking. Alan S ran the Royal Scot as light engine as we did not have any passengers other than Annika and Henry.
S & T news
Bob e mailed to say he could not be able to attend today and signallers were:- Old Oak - Peter and Dave MD Spinney Adrian and Richard Baytree - Mick and Dingly - David D. David D seemed to be having a great time in Dingly which is not his normal signal box and very jovial good to see friends enjoying their time at the Spinney. Pictures show Peter and Dave MB operating Old Oak and exchanging the token. Adrian and Richard had to rectify a fault at Spinney and the telephones did not initially work because the power supply had not been turned on!
Next meeting is 17th November when we will put the signals away and start winter maintenance. Robin has e mailed a list of jobs which include continuation of the carriage shed project.
20th October Ingfield visit
A lovely sunny and warm day for October tidy site visit from Ingfield and thanks to June for the teas and cakes. After clearing the many leaves from the railway which is common to the whole country at this time of year Cliff arrived so we stopped for lunch. Default controller not present today so Jamie was controller aided by his son Henry and comments were passed how good Henry was - no mention about Jamies skills!!!! Running commenced slightly later than planned approx 14.00 and stopped for tea when most people had to leave.
The pictures above show Graham Ian and Neil from Ingfield having a good time trundling around the railway. This was Graham's first visit to Spinney and he videoed the whole route as can be seen in the top left picture hands free I think they call it....... With not many of our locomotives running today meant that they had a good run on the railway and it is worth noting that they managed to get in steam before us.
Four locomotives on track today and were Scott Line Kate Karen and visiting Romulus. This group of pictures show Mick on the visiting Romulus and he thoroughly enjoyed the fact it had a tender and comfortable driving position. I wonder if he mentioned this to Alan S on the way home i.e. possible conversion of Kate or new locomotive?
Alan S also ran Karen and can be seen with Henry and Heather as passengers.
The picture on the left shows Henry driving Kate at Old Oak running round the coaches. He did a good job especially as he was watched by everyone and videoed by Jamie (Dad). The righthand picture shows Jamie and Dave M working on LMS 7163 to adjust the suspension. Jamie had bought new coil springs and fitted them but further work is still required to get the suspension right. It was mentioned that Jamie should receive an award for being the person to spend the most time under a locomotive. Scott Line can be seen in the pictures and was also used to get the stock out and put away at the end of the day as per usual.
S & T news
There were a few track circuit issues at the beginning of the day and a few broken bonds were discovered. However the signalling worked well during the day and reported incidents included the lens falling out of an Old Oak platform starting signal and a couple of spad's one report that the distant was off.
Dave MB was trainee signaller at Old Oak under the guidance of Richard. Dave did a very good job even when I teased him that I had not received the token and when collecting a token from Heather the loco safety valves lifted at exactly the same time as handing over the token which was a bit of a shock. Bob was in his usual place - Dingly whilst Adrian covered Spinney and Cliff operated Baytree.
The next meeting is booked for 3rd November please watch the e mails nearer the time just in case it is cancelled.
13th October Extra Running Day
After two consecutive running days being cancelled (see below) David G suggested this extra day. Only some could manage the date but a few stalwarts gathered and were rewarded with a day that was sunny and incredibly warm for October at 22°.
The select few were Alan A
and Jamie with son Henry.
Peter's back began to cause him some pain just before lunch so he left early. We missed him and we wish him well
Locos taking to the track were Dave Marsh's Caledonian Tank Cliff's 0-4-0 Jessie King Jack and the Electric driven by young Henry. The right hand picture shows the purpose of King Jack's outing as the object of Dave MB's education. Folk who don't own locos often get the odd drive but this time Dave had control of the loco for the whole afternoon which is the only way the learn how to manage a steam engine.
David D took control of Bob's domain at Dingly David G worked Bay Tree and Richard had the satisfaction of working Spinney with a power supply rejuvenated by the work of Alan A - no more signals stuck with insufficient volts to operate. Thank you Alan.
Incident of the Day - At lunch the wagging tail of Millie scattered Alan S's tea all over the boiler records he was preparing for Robin - not funny at the time but perhaps in retrospect we will all see the funny side?     It was of course davidsfault since he was feeding Millie with cake fragments at the time.
The final calamity of the day was David G not noticing a carriage missing as the cavalcade of stock was pushed to the tunnel thus this odd coach is now with the goods stock in the short tunnel. Next time's controller Jamie will do better!
For the second consecutive time David G was booked to be controller and again bad weather stopped play. Beginning to wonder if David G has been performing a rain dance to get out of being controller!! Will David G be controller next time?
Bad weather stopped play. After looking at the forecast on Friday it was decided to cancel the day due to the wind and rain better luck next time.
1st September Wedding special
A mass of pictures today as there was so much to record on this wedding special. Thanks to June for the advance notice of the road closure due to road work tea cakes and Alan for the BBQ. Whilst Bournemouth were enjoying an air show we had a DC3 fly over Spinney unfortunately no other planes of note so can hardly call it an air show.Many guests today and all seemed to have enjoyed their day watching and riding the trains. Robin was the default controller and made all things run smoothly so good he could do it again but unfortunately he cannot be present next time. Site was cleared David D cleared Spinney whilst Dave MB was spotted at Old Oak with the leaf blower. Thanks to all who tidied the railway and cleaned the rolling stock. With sunshine it was a brilliant day.
Peter has been working at home making station name boards using wood from his old kitchen cupboards and doors and has erected signs at all the stations and the results can be seen in the pictures. Just like any engineering project things did not always go to plan and adjustments had to be made but a good job done. How long before someone produces a vinyl with the letters re-adjusted just like the beginning of Fawlty Towers. Top right hand picture shows Peter with hand on head - this would make a good caption contest i.e. wrong name for wrong station!! however Peter did get that right. All stations now have new signs and Baytree fixed to the signal box.
I have included two group pictures as we could not get everyone together. In the left hand picture were:- Back row - L - R Mick June Alan Peter Cliff Front row were:- David G Tim Bob Dave MB Robin Adrian. Right hand picture shows:- Back row - L - R Andrew June Alan Mick Robin front row were:- David G Bob Peter David D Tim Cliff. Missing from the pictures were:- Nick Tom Richard Jamie Heather Dave M and Alan S. We will endeavour to try and get a group photo when we change from winter maintenance to summer running next year as we used to do in the past and hopefully capture everyone.
Plenty of passengers today and there were seven locomotives on track to give them a ride. Locomotives were:- L94 Scott line Eileen Grant Kate King Jack Jesse and Spinney electric no 1. Jesse suffered from blower issues and a catastrophic derailment with all wheels off. A case for full emergency detonator protection according to the main line rule book however with the help from Mick the train was re-railed. After tea we ran plenty of driver experiences allowing novices to drive steam and diesel locomotives all of whom enjoyed their time at the controls. Also the passengers were happy to wave as can be seen in the picture above.
Two cakes from the wedding in Malta were on display and considering the mileage they had done to the UK they were in good condition. Tradition has it that a cake is made for each witness and today we saw one of those and part of the main cake.
Cliff made the wedding headboard and this was to the usual very good standard depicting the Malta and UK flags as well as a picture from the wedding - a good job. Righthand picture shows Louise and Eric on King Jack at Baytree.
A photo album was available to view for those with clean hands - so not many of the drivers!!!!!
S & T news
Signal boxes were operated by:- Old Oak - David D Dingly Dell - Bob Baytree - Adrian and Spinney - Rob Richard and robin at times. Prior to the day Richard sorted out the fault with Spinney number 7 points whilst Bob corrected a fault with the loco departure road. During running Old Oak suffered electrical problems with circuit breakers tripping and reverting signals back to danger and sometimes in front of trains. Richard was called to the rescue and fixed the problem. Adrian can be seen explaining the logistics of signalling in Baytree signal box.
David G has volunteered to be controller next time so anything could happen. To clarify any confusion the next Spinney date will be 22nd September.
18th August Family and Friends day
Many Family and Friends visited the railway making it a very sociable day. Robin was the (Default) controller and thanks to Alan A and Jamie for the pictures and June for the tea and cakes. I had so many photographs it was difficult to decide which to include in the news or pictures section.
Warm day and a booked 36 visitors. Preparation began on the Friday when friends attended to clear the railway of debris after a request from June. By Saturday most of the clearing had been done. The water problem at Old Oak was rectified by blowing compressed air through the pipe work. Richard did his usual S&T checks and when Cliff arrived we stopped for lunch. The right hand picture shows a street party where Old Oak showed 'line blocked' due to lunch in progress. The left hand picture shows Mick feeling a little overwhelmed (apparently)!!!!
The pictures above show that the railway was mainly run by our visitors both in the signal boxes and driving the locomotives. Seven locomotives on track today and were:- L94. ScottLine Kate Karen LMS 7163 Scot 6109 and Spinney Electric No1 plenty of young (novice) drivers trying their hand at driving.
Bob unfortunately had a car problem which involved a trip back home with his car on the back of a lorry so was unable to man Dingly Dell signal box. His normal role was covered by Cliff then Peter. Robin covered Baytree David Daines at Old Oak and Richard Adrian and guests at Spinney.
Sarah (Mick's daughter) made a delicious chocolate cake worthy of a picture. Here she can be seen having the honour of cutting the cake at tea time David D has a contender!!
Robin was controller today and did such a good job he found it easier to nominate himself as controller for the Wedding special next time. So treated today as a practice run - well done Robin.
It was a very successful friends and family day with lots of people who enjoyed themselves along with plenty of trains. The day ended with many friends and guests sharing the days highlights and stories over a delicious BBQ. Congratulations to Alan and June on the birth of their first granddaughter.
28th July and a Welcome Break in a Hot Dry Summer
The previous News (14th July) reported a day so hot that little activity was attempted. The weather continued dry and very hot throughout the UK - temperatures of 30 degrees plus - up until this meeting. Since mid June we have had almost unbroken sun and no rain so that every bit of grass is brown so that folk were actually wanting it to end! Well the end came the previous day with odd torrential thunderstorms which we were spared. Today we enjoyed temperatures in the low twenties and pleasantly broken sunshine.
Visitors to the railway and Cliff was the controller. Thanks to Cliff and Peters friend Duncan for the pictures and text and thanks to June for the tea and cakes.
3 engines off shed before 14.00 following shed work to remove the boiler from the 8f. Much looking at it followed which if it equated to making it work would mean it will be re-installed next week. Sadly I fear much time and cash needs to flow before such an event.
Good number of friends Peters friend Duncan and three visitors from East Herts/Epping and Ongar area via Mick Collins with a narrow gauge 0-4-0 which ran well all afternoon. Also visiting with family was Gordon Clarke now 90 years + and known to Spinney railway folk twenty or more years ago. Enjoyed a long ride behind the Scot which he used to co-own with Mike Carvel. One of the engines off shed failed at Dingly (4127 D Marsh) with injector trouble (they did work but Dave cleaned them). Kate went on to produce some broad smiles from a lady learner (Peters daughter Laura) while the Scot did the bulk of the passenger carrying. Duncan later wrote an e mail stating how much he enjoyed all aspects of the railway in particular his time as an ‘assistant signalman’ was fascinating trying to make sense of all the bell codes flashing lights and different coloured levers in the signal box. Fortunately under Adrian’s patient instruction and watchful supervision didn’t cause a major railway disaster - or at least he is not aware that anything untoward happened! Duncan hadn’t realised just what is involved in running trains.
Richard repaired a dodgy track circuit at the Spinney and the controller set task of getting all the freight vehicles to Old Oak and back was 60% complete at tea time. The controller went home then Mick Collins took over for the put away and nominated Robin as controller (as I said last time - default controller) for the Friends and Family event next running time 18th August. Apart from track work it is what he does best!
Gordon Clarke was a regular at the railway back in the last century. In fact he and a colleague
purchased the Scot from the Ballantine-Dykes family
took it away
rebuilt it and ran it in other locations near London for several years.
Mike died and then Gordon became the sole owner.
When Gordon retired to Somerset there were few opportunities to run the locomotive and so he sold it to David Grant on the understanding that it would return to the SLR
By a happy chance David had just finished preparing the engine when Gordon and his family arrived so it was put into steam to give the visitors several trips round the Railway
On the left is a record of our efforts on the 8F.
Whilst the locomotive is sound mechanically we knew that the boiler was beyond repair thus a new one is required and a team led by Alan S managed to remove it.
The old boiler will become a pattern for a replacement whilst we have a new task of cleaning the chassis.
Great to see Alan and June enjoying their railway
Several photos from the day have been added to the pictures page
14th July 2018
A very hot day some running and Robin was controller by default although as it turned out there was not much to control. Plenty of chit chat and thanks to June for the tea cakes and refreshing squash. Also thanks to Cliff for kindly giving us a lift to and from the station.
David D and Heather walked the line and cleared the track from debris there was an abundance of pine cones on the line. Robin and Tim did a little more work on the 4th road connection to the Old Oak turntable which was used to store Spinney electric loco in the afternoon whilst others attended to the usual signal checks and locomotive preparations. The right hand picture shows the final gap to connect the extra line at Old Oak. If this was a heritage railway I expect the picture would be used in an advertisement for donations to buy a sleeper etc and connect the missing link.
A very slow moving day possibly due to the very hot weather. The first train of the day that left Dingly was the Spinney electric driven by Henry with Dad Jamie keeping a watchful eye and the train left at 15.18. If we get much later by the end of the year it will be dark and time to pack away. Dave M ran his standard 5 (73115) whilst Cliff ran his 0-4-0 Jesse. 73115 was used to tow Nicks class 2 as he wanted to check measurements in his van and new fixing method. Jamie has made some new banjo fixings for his loco but the bolt was not long enough so it is back to the drawing board. The right hand picture above shows how relaxing it was as even David D remained seated when collecting the token.
Cliff will be controller next time and I wonder what time the first train will be! Any bets?
23rd June 2018 Charity day
Charity day for the Godalming and Villages Lions. Planning of the day by Robin who was controller and another site tidy up. Thanks to June Louise and Eric for the tea and cakes on a warm day and for the BBQ.
Usual tidying up with Dave MB spotted with a garden bag and Cliff on the blower again. Mick fitted a new vacuum reservoir (provided by Nick) to a cromer coach followed by testing using his handy hand pump (which was a point of amusement at the BBQ). At the Old Oak turntable the metal work has been extended and all holes are drilled and tapped in readiness for the rails to be fitted. All the coaches were washed (with the help from Peter) and Mick can be seen acting as a carriage washing machine.
Robin e mailed us all with his plan and list of jobs and included a contingency. Just like all plans it did not get off to a good start as either locomotives were not ready or in the wrong place. However the guests were impressed with the railway and were kept busy and probably did not notice the mass panic to get things up and running well done Robin for getting the service going. I was able to take many photos with the help from Heather and Dave MB to show the atmosphere of the day. Most of the guests arrived at Baytree station which meant that empty trains could be seen at Dingly and Old Oak but this soon changed. Trains ran from Old Oak twice around through Spinney and back to Old Oak or started and finished at Dingly Dell. First BBQ of the running season picture shows a good turnout and all relaxing with a few funny stories being told.
Nine locomotives on track today and were:- L94 Scott Line Charlie 33029 LMS 7163 Eileen Grant Kate Royal Scot 6109 King Jack and Spinney electric number 1 the most we have had running at one time for a long time. The Old Oak trains were double headed by L97 + 33029 and LMS 7163 + Eileen grant until LMS 7163 suffered damage and Eileen Grant went solo with one coach. Two derailments Scot Line being the first locomotive to move hit some ballast whilst LMS 7163 hit some ballast at the Old Oak 7 points causing damage to the locomotive as the drain cocks became detached. David G was kind enough to offer the signallers a chance to drive which was much appreciated.
The pictures above show we ran more than the usual amount of driver experience trains with King Jack Scott Line and Kate performing these duties. All the drivers enjoyed themselves.
S & T news
Richard and Adrian tested all the signalling prior to running the trains. Signal boxes operated by Robin at Dingly Cliff at Baytree Adrian and Richard at Spinney and and Peter at Old Oak. The Lions charity stood at the front gate and marshalled the cars in and assisted with the parking arrangements however somehow they managed to move a gate thus placing the protecting signal for the trains back to danger I spent a long time at the level crossing. The sun and heat seems to have had a part to play with quite a few signals sticking or being slow to react. There was one SPaD unfortunately it was my fault I was trying to get a picture of Alan S on Royal Scot at Spinney for the news and did not apply the brake in time and Nick had an engine past the signal Ops! Picture above show Peter and Jamie relaxing whilst waiting for a train (showing the pace of life at Old Oak) whilst Cliff looks on for a train to arrive.
Make a note of the date - 14th July and run some more trains.
9th June 2018
Testing the railway helper from Cockcrow and the first running day of the year. Thanks to June for the tea and cakes as she was busy with Andrew preparing a new base for a shed.
Left hand picture shows a new 5 plank wagon built by Robin and Nick. Excellent finish and this wagon is a test bed for more wagons that they have in the pipeline we look forward to filling the carriage shed with them. Right hand picture shows Rob who visited us today and is a Cockcrow member and Mick overhauling the Cromer coaches. The wheel bearings were oiled and the vacuum brakes tested. Frayed tubing was discovered and replaced however a reservoir connection broke and Nick has taken this home to repair. Kate and L94 tested the coach brakes in the afternoon. I have made a new metal edge for the extra line at the Old Oak turntable which was fixed into place holes drilled to secure the new track before undoing it all as it needs to be taken home for painting possibly yellow. Another ants nest was found in the loco shed area under one of the traverser slide plates. When disturbed the ants were observed scurrying around moving their eggs.
This was our first run of the year due to over running engineering works and we are a little out of touch in starting the railway as the first train (Royal Scot 6109) did not run until 14.40 then we all stopped for tea at 16.30 obviously over worked and after tea we packed up. Six locomotives on track today and were L94 Scott line Royal Scot Kate Charlie 33029 LMS7163 and Spinney electric made a brief outing and was used for shunting in the loco shed area. L94 and Kate tested the Cromer coaches with working vacuum brakes and these worked very well. One coach could do with a minor adjustment. LMS7163 was last to steam after Jamie had fitted his new grate and other pipework loco steamed very well.
S & T news
Richard began the day testing all the signal boxes and ensured all were working. Richard reported that a couple of micro switches became an issue at Spinney but these were easily fixed. Baytree number 4 point needed attention and Bob and David G set about fixing it and resetting the detection which worked better when the point machine was actually connected to the point. Bob operated Dingly Rob - Baytree Richard and Robin shared time in Spinney whilst Old Oak box was closed and was operated under the one engine in steam rule and drivers were issued the large token to denote the fact. Picture shows Spinney number 10 signal which is used for running around a train at Spinney station. This is the first time I have seen and used this signal as it is rarely used.
We will need to improve our start time for the Charity day or we start with a rail replacement bus service. Bob is unable to be present so we will need signallers.
26th May 2018
Forecast showed rainy start but this did not happen sunshine throughout and very warm. Main areas of work were tidying the railway installation of the water pump carriage shed turntable and presentation. A lot of work continued thanks to June for the tea and cakes and cold drinks as it was especially hot in the sun we needed a cool drink.
Louise and Eric recently married and we presented the happy couple with a John Lewis / Waitrose gift card and a card signed by us we wish them a happy future. We did suggest spending the money on a piece of metal to start building a loco but we think something for the house will take top priority. Alan S and Mick have been working at home to assemble the portable water pump the idea is that the device can be placed in the water line by uncoupling the water pipe and attaching the pump. At the end of the day it can be disconnected and placed indoors and in a safe environment - it will need adding to the controllers check list (job anyone). This was installed and Mick can be seen supporting his trusted shovel whilst David G looks deep in thought as he holds the door open - two supervisors one worker I am sure we need more supervisors to meet regulations!!!! I also noted the yellow handle maybe the colour is catching on. David MB found an excuse to get the blower out and threaten more leaves dare they land on the railway. Cliff also had a blast and the railway is now free of debris for running trains. Bob investigated why Baytree number one signal was not working and this eventually turned out to be an infestation of ants and their eggs. When Bob tried to fit the signal connector he found hundreds of ants scarpering with their eggs. However they have caused a lot of damage to the post nearly eating it away this will need investigating and possible renewal.
Throughout the day Alan A Peter and Andrew were observed working on the carriage shed roof. Another three and a half lines have been added today which is quite an achievement especially working on a slope. Approximately another seven rows to complete the side however we have run out of roof felt tiles and more will need to be ordered. I cemented bricks back into the Old Oak turntable and cut the metal tube to the correct angle. This will be taken home and welded. I will also paint it to match existing metal work I do have some yellow paint left!!!! Robin and David D continued with the track work into the carriage shed. This is painstakingly slow as it is mainly all point work (as David D knees will agree) however progress looks good. The water supply at Old Oak turntable is very poor and we need to pressurise the system to remove debris. The mobile compressor could not be found so we will need to think of another plan possible put mains pressure up the pipe!! Peter was also observed painting the white lines on Old Oak platform - did his friend John miss these see previous news.
Today was planned to be a day for testing the locomotives and the railway. Steam tests were successfully completed and L94 was in steam by 16.20 and moved around Old Oak. Eileen Grant steamed and traversed from the loco shed to Dingly and back. Scott Line locomotive travelled the furthest pulling all the coaches round to Baytree for cleaning and examining. When I steamed L94 I initially struggled to get a fire going and comments were made about making a video link to Heather who could not be present as her Father was ill. Modern technology not required and I successfully got L94 into steam. However for the forth coming charity day we will need to be up and running a lot earlier than 16.30!!! We have one more practice day before the event we need to test the railway.
Continue with carriage shed track work and attach metalwork to turntable brickwork. Carriage shed roof if we have more tiles and practice running trains..