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, June A, Alan S, David D, David G, Dave MB, Dave Marsh, Cliff, Peter, Richard, 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, Mike Carvell, purchased the Scot from the Ballantine-Dykes family, took it away, rebuilt it and ran it in other locations near London for several years.
Sadly, 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..
12th May 2018
A good turnout, 14 people carried on with winter maintenance. Main areas of work were at the loading area, carriage shed appron, Old Oak turntable and signalling. A lot of work progressed but a damp finish stopped work early, thanks to June for the tea and cakes.
Heather washed the rolling stock (before it rained) then helped tidy the site, Old Oak signaller can now see their signals. Dave MB took up his usual role of leaf blowing and clearing the Spinney / tunnel area, no leaves left to clear, he will have to wait for the end of the year to continue his expertise. Dave then assisted the signalling team with fault rectification. The pictures above display Alan S showing his Darth Vader impersonations with plenty of onlookers. Also Dave M seems to have spotted something, but we do not know what!!! Picture on the left shows Mick demonstrating how to lean on a shovel whilst Dave M lays another mat for the vehicle area of the loading area. Dave was also first to test this area with his van as he unloaded his locomotive for a steam test.
Mick and Alan bought along a new water pump which needs to be plumbed in. The idea is that it is easily removable and can be detached and stored indoors after every running day. This will help ensure it lasts a long time. Robin and David D continued with the track assembly outside the new carriage shed. New fish plates were used to connect the small to the large rail sections. Track does protrude into the carriage shed but will need to be temporarily raised if the floor is to be painted. Robin can be seen with his favourite tool - the persuasion implement!!! Richard and Adrian managed to fix the point issues at Old Oak and now working correctly. At Spinney, Adrian and Dave MB worked on Spinney signal number one as this showed no indication. This was rectified by changing the plug connector however, the diverging junction indication is still proving problematic and will require further investigation next time when we test the railway. Richard also bonded some rails at Spinney. Tim started to work on the Old Oak turntable to accept the new line. Metal was marked for cutting and brick work was removed in readiness to re cement and fix next time. Bob erected some posts near the foot crossing between loco shed and Dingly, these will have the stop boards fitted in due course.
Cliff got Clan Line ready for a hydraulic test for next time and Dave M tested his locomotive but had to stop when the dome seal leaked - should be an easy fix.
Locomotive boiler testing and running to test the railway in readiness for the Charity day, preparation day.
21st April 2018
A good turn out in todays glorious weather, 15 friends turned up to carry on with winter maintenance or over running engineering works as we used to call it in the 1980's on the full size. Adrian e mailed to say he had car problems and could not make it. Jamie was also present, first time for a long time and comments were made about arriving on auto pilot or finding Spinney from memory. Cliff arrived but we delayed lunch as he was earlier than usual. Weather was very warm and we all worked up a thirst, thanks to June for the tea and cakes.
Lunch shows the friends gathered together and part of the discussion mooted around how individuals became friends of Spinney (their first visit, did not ask what made them stay) - very interesting. Heather and Dave MB continued to clear the site from fallen leaves and branches and tidy the railway. In the picture above, Dave MB is either seeing something he shouldn't, practicing flying into he sun, demonstrating a dance routine, we can only surmise!!!! Dave also helped me with resealing the spigots on the point machines at Old Oak point number 7, Spinney point number 7 and Baytree point number 4. Baytree point number 4 had wires disconnected and can only assume the connection box had been knocked and wires accidentally pulled out. Bob, David G and Alan A managed to work out which wire went where and now the point works. However, Old oak point machine for 7B points proved to be problematic and further work is required to get full point control. Alan A was looking into this and a power supply was thought to be an issue, a job for next time.
Peter has been working at home again and this time he has produced a sign for Spinney station, this is purely for driver information so that they know where they are!!! Peter brought along a friend, John (unpaid, coerced, tricked etc) who painted the platform edges after they had be previously pressure washed. Bob continued with installing the loco shed signal which involved running a new cable from the loco shed. Also discussed the need for point detection. This will be part of next meeting work.
Progress continued on the carriage shed project and today, under the guidance of Alan S, a levelling screed was laid on the floor, whilst Peter and Tom continued with the roof tiles, almost finished. Question now is, will the floor be painted or not and if so what colour? Robin and Nick continued with carriage shed track installation which involved rolling track and constructing, Peter also observed fixing sleepers to the new track. Picture above shows Robin with his magic skills as he produces something from his sleeve. Tom has also supplied water cut crossings for the carriage shed points and stainless steel fish plates where converting from large rail to small rail section. David D and Jamie continued to clean the old ballast, this time not using the pressure washer but sieving which was hard work. The reclaimed ballast was deposited on the unloading ramp line and carriage shed apron. Earth was also added to the vehicle area at the unloading ramp to try and raise the ground level so that the vehicles are level when at the new loading ramp. Nick also got involved with the water supply issues. Cliff steamed Clan line and checked the injectors worked after its overhaul, all OK.
7th April 2018
Eleven friends / workers, good weather and many projects worked on. Thanks to June for the tea and cakes and to Adrian for some of the pictures. Cliff arrived so we stopped for lunch. See pictures section for additional pictures.
Heather cleaned all the signal boxes, spiders evicted and a lot of rubbish was removed, especially from Old Oak where two cement bags (which have gone off and hardened) need to be removed. Heather also tidied the Old Oak area next to the carriage shed which now looks presentable and two more barrow loads of rubbish to dispose of. Dave MB did his usual and started tiding the site but later transferred his skills to helping to put the signals out along with Adrian. We had three point failures today so it was just as well we were not running. Spinney point number 7 (point for the branch), Baytree point number 4 (turn out for Baytree) and Old Oak point number 7 (run round point) all required attention and were removed from their site to repair. Thanks to Adrian who helped read the schematics correctly, identified the the electrics were good and that it was a mechanical issue. This was traced to the new spigot that the rod passes through when leaving the point machine box and the hole was enlarged. Bob also struggled and did not get as far as he expected with his installation of the new exit signal from the loco shed area. Running conduit and cables takes longer than you think and Bob has yet to wire in the required plunger (next time).
Dave M pruned the tree adjacent to the unloading ramp so that work could be undertaken and the ramp used. Alan S, Mick C and Dave M all worked towards installation of the new unloading ramp which was tested at the end of the day by Mick C loading his class 20 locomotive into his van. To improve the situation it was assessed that the ground needs raising where the vehicles stand so this will require more earth works. Alan S also tidied the area by removing the accumulated rubbish which included old concrete bases etc. This area now looks good for our visitors as this is what they see first. Good to start with a good impression.
Alan A and Peter continued to work on the carriage shed roof, every bit helps, soon have it finished - hopefully. Volunteers required to paint the carriage shed floor but no one stood forward (don't ask me - Heather can vouch for that). David D got very wet and had to use the car heater on the journey home to dry out. David D has pressure washed all the platforms, however we need to repaint the white edging lines, again don't ask me.
All the signals were put out today but the railway needs to be tested by running a locomotive round to finally check everything, block instruments etc. Cliff brought along his old smokebox, showing the extent of the corrosion that had occurred, it is amazing to wonder how it ever steamed with so many holes. Next time, Bob will continue to install the loco shed exit signal, site needs tiding up (not much left to tidy and the vehicle grassed area at the unloading ramp needs more earth works to make the area level. At the end of the day, Alan A applied paint to some of the signal frames, touching up any chipped areas.
24th March 2018 Extra meeting
Extra working day organised at the last minute and thanks to Alan A, Peter, Dave MB and Richard who managed to get there and make progress. The day started bright but dulled over ending with a few spots of rain at about 5pm. The pictures show the progress on the carriage shed roof project, as the top two rows were not in alignment, they were removed as they resembled an advert for Wavy Line Grocers (remember them?). By using a chalk line Alan and Peter were able to correct this and complete this side of the roof, 2 rows replaced plus 3 final rows. They then worked out the quantity of tiles needed to complete the job, roughly 5 packs of 14. A start on the rear roof has been made however, access here will be more difficult as we move up for various reasons.
Richard did some work on the Point Indicator near Spinney Box as mentioned before in the news, Dave MB did what Dave MB does best: Gardening. June as ever supplied copious amount of T, even providing towels for us to sit on at the garden bench, NO CLIFF, so it was Alan A. who declared lunch and thanks to Peter for providing me with news items.
17th March 2018
For the second time this year, (two in a row) the meeting was cancelled due to the weather. If it is not storms it is snow and the pictures show the inclement weather and I am sure most stayed at home where as I had to travel to Nottingham and back (right hand picture). Thankfully the trains kept running. The left hand picture shows Adrian's garden railway.
Ironically, Bob turned up (as he was in the area) but he does live the furthest away - dedication. Bob delivered a couple of rolls of ridge felt for the carriage shed, a small pile of short T shaped pieces of iron, for signals and stop boards, and some multi-core cables which he hopes will be useful for the new indicator/signal. A big thumbs up for Bob - dear Bob did endeavour to do a day but common sense prevailed. But a big Thank You to Bob for trying. Hope you got back OK. We owe you......
The next meeting is booked to be loco testing and signals out - weather permitting.
10th March 2018
Clan Line returned to the Spinney on the 10th March after a 30 year overhaul that was carried out by Dave Tucker (plus Peter his Dad) from Norfolk with approximately 400 hours of work. The work included a new smokebox, lubrication system, re-bushing and various other jobs to return it to its as built condition. One addition is the new cab doors which look really good. Finished with a complete repaint in Craftmaster paint (as the real one), correct express engine colour (expect a few comments about that). Cliff says he expects to run it a little less as David G's loco records show clan line has been the most used loco at the Spinney since 2011, with 53 appearances, (Kate 47; L94 46) - Cliff would like someone else to claim this position from here on. Thanks to Dave M, Dave's stepdad and Peter for their part in returning Clan Line.
3rd March 2018
Due to situation beyond our control, wrong type of snow and other stories, the meeting for today was cancelled along with full size practice. The railway along with the rest of the country was feeling the effects of Beast from the East (as the press called it) and storm Emma and was covered in snow. Active discussions via e mail have been flying around as to best practice for operating the lines to / from the engine shed. I expect a plan will be finalised by the time of the next meeting. Hopefully the weather will be suitable for painting the carriage shed floor.
Thanks to June and Alan for the pictures, more can be found in the pictures section.
17th February 2018
Sun shone but chilly at times, however this did not dampen the enthusiasm. Dave MB texted to say he was suffering from a bug and would not be able to make it, we wish him well. 70 birthday, new track, brick laying, landscaping and point installation all part of todays activities. Thanks to June for the tea and cakes.
Peter is the grand age of 70 and we all signed a card for him - Happy Birthday. All jobs today seemed to encounter issues which extended completion times. In the left hand picture above, Tom, Laurie and Dave M on his phone can be seen taking part in day one of the Fred West landscaping course. In fact they were removing earth from here to the access area at Old Oak to raise the ground level there (right hand picture shows the rebuilt area with Mick adding the finishing touches). Alan S has raised the edging on the Old Oak head shunt by one brick layer and after completion, witnessed a dog tread on it - You can imagine Alans reaction!!!
David D and Jamie set up a ballast cleaning process. David D brought along his jet washer and after getting a water supply and electrical feed (which was in demand) managed to jet wash spent ballast ready for use in the new carriage sidings. The ballast looks as good as new when washed in this manner. Cliff helped by shovelling this ballast into the new track. Robin has returned after a short break and able to supervise track installation at the new carriage sidings. Previous instructions only left in English so not understood by everyone!!! Robin and Nick continued to roll rail to match required radius and Nick also fitted a tie bar to a point. David G continued with spot re sleepering and assisting anyone who required an extra pair of hands.
The left hand picture shows the movement of the locomotive exit signal, after lunch we had a site meeting which was not held on site and therefore left a lot to peoples imagination and interpretation. Thankfully, later in the day a site meeting was held on site and an agreement was reached as to how trains will leave the depot - watch this space and track diagrams on the web site. Bob wired up the moved signal whilst Peter dug the trench for the extended cabling. Trench filled in by the time I got to the area. Right hand picture shows Richard, who started the day working on a Spinney signal but transferring his activities to Baytree Point number 4. Installation has proved problematic as the point motor would not work. Fault finding traced the fault to a burnt wire in a connection box adjacent to the point area. We now have an operational point regarding movement.
Continue with Old Oak access area, carriage shed track work and it is hoped, subject to weather to paint the new carriage shed floor.
3rd February 2018
Damp day, good turnout and a bit of progress. Robin and Bob e mailed to say they would not be present as did Cliff who was looking after Marion. Heather has also been off with the flu, there's a lot of it about, must be healthy working out in the damp and the cold!!!! Thanks to Dave MB and Adrian for their contributions and June for the tea and cakes.
With Robin not present, he left instructions for the track gang to make some more track panels. The track gang comprised of David D, Peter and David G, did what they could but needed more guidance which hopefully will come next time. David G also continued with his spot re sleeping and was observed replacing sleepers at the tunnel exit and on the bridge over the Old Oak branch. Some off the sleepers were so rotten, they could be broken up by hand. Jamie used some of the cleaned ballast at the back of the new carriage shed to provide a base for the track at the front of the carriage shed. Alan S, Dave M and Mick C continued with the access area which is now at a stage to accept the loading mechanism. Alan S has started to make the stand which he bought along to mark where the securing brackets will need to be. I did offer to paint the metal work but this was turned down immediately by virtually everyone, I wonder why, I have some paint at home!! The ground area leading up to the access area will need more groundwork to level the approach, so that the road vehicles will be on the same plain.
Dave MB helped me install Baytree number 4 point which involved laying the underlay, fixing new sleepers and ballasting. Dave also ballasted areas where ballast was missing and the sleepers in fresh air. Baytree point number 4 was wired up by Richard and with the help of Adrian, started testing. Unfortunately the point machine has had to be disconnected and brought home as whilst the electrics worked, mechanically there was slack in the spring which prevented full travel of the point blade. This means the point machine requires to be completely dismantled and rebuilt. Right hand picture shows Jamie with his newly caught lunch. The wild life seemed a bit drowsy and was still where he left it when Jamie returned a couple of hours later.
Richard has removed the old point indicator at Spinney and replaced it with the indicator / signal as can be seen in the picture. The normal indication will be two horizontal red lights and when the route is set (Spinney number 8 lever) two white lights at 45 degrees will show providing the points are correctly set. Jamie started to dig a trench as requested by Bob but stopped, again, will be seeking guidance next time.
We all left by around 4 pm and just before a heavy down pour. We were lucky with the weather, it was damp but not heavy rain. Unfortunately my van got stuck on the grass and had to be pushed off the grass. I left it on the level crossing on the branch line knowing that there were no trains running and I would be able to get going again. Obviously this would not happen normally and Adrian took a picture of a white van blocking a level crossing (in pictures section) to prove otherwise, something to do with main line level crossing incidents.
June has e mailed us with a change to the running dates, please check the alterations.
20th January 2018
A pretty dull day but a good turnout saw track work, destructive testing and plenty of banter to keep everyone going. Mick had an excuse that he was on holiday, Adrian also e mailed to explain his absence and finally Cliff who could not make it and that we should nominate someone else to call lunch - this honour fell to Robin. I am writing this with a pint of Jamie's home made beer, which is very nice. Thanks to June for the teas and cakes. Unfortunately I had to leave early as we went up to London for the London Lumiere - can anyone identify the illuminated station above?
Richard started the day with wiring a new connection to Baytree point number 4 which I will complete ready for installation at the next meeting. Alan A continued to plane sleepers and included sleepers for the refurbished point. Two track gangs today, David G and Dave MB spot re-sleepered between Spinney signal box and the level crossing, whilst Robin, Peter and David D continued with making rails for the carriage shed as can be seen in the picture. Also at Old Oak, Alan S worked at the loading area, laying four more slabs and grinding away the excess concrete from the adjacent wall. Bob continued on his own to install a new cable, which can just be seen in the picture. The picture shows Bob digging to access the tube that runs under the footpath. This will allow the signal to be moved for the new operating layout and next time a trench needs digging to bury the cable from the foot crossing to the new location - any volunteers!!! During the week there were strong winds which bought down trees across the country. Spinney's trees remained upright but the railway was covered with many fallen branches, which were cleared away by Jamie and Dave MB.
Alan S had to use the disc cutter so we asked Robin and David D to move their cars as they were in the firing line for the grit and dust. This is when David D undertook destructive testing of Robin's tool box by driving over it. The results are very favourable as the box suffered only a slight mark and is still useable. All taken in good faith and provided great banter and humour.
Who ate all the cakes? The dogs had a late Christmas present when the plate of cakes was left on the ground! It is believed the plate was licked clean by the end.
6th January 2018
The first meeting of the year attended by seven friends, Alan S, Peter, Robin, Nick, David D, Bob and Cliff. Unfortunately Mick called in sick, apparently Richard is in hospital after Flu (we wish them well) and I had to take Scott to Nottingham. The picture above shows a light from London and with the London Lumiere coming up (18th - 21st January) I thought we would add some colour. Thanks go to Peter and Bob for their contributions to make this report and thanks to June for 3 tea outings.
Cliff continued with his usual job of blowing a lot of leaves and wheelbarrowing them to an area beyond the bonfire. In recognition of his MBE, Cliff provided Jam Doughnuts which June heated up, Bob can be seen eating the last one!
David D disappeared between the tunnels to continue with the moss clearance, later assisted by Peter. Four trucks filled with vegetation, only to be told by Alan S that Cliff (MBE) had arrived, so we stopped for lunch. After lunch, the 4 filled trucks were taken down to Old Oak together with 2 x Cromer coaches. The contents of the trucks were emptied onto the bonfire and the cromer used to test the new track work at the carriage shed.
As power was not needed at Old Oak, at least to start with, Bob finally got its mains feed separated from Dingly Dell's. This was finished in a bit of a rush when it was decided to test a coach over the first point laid into the carriage shed. The haste however proved to be not needed as when Bob reported that power was available he found that access had been achieved by mechanically disconnecting the point motors. After restoring the drive and checking the action of the points, Bob returned to Dingly Dell to work on the changes to the signals required there when the carriage shed is operational and the temporary buffer stops are removed. Bob concentrated on the external cable runs as they can't be done off site in the warm and dry. having surveyed the run and acquired the materials for the job it was a bit close to packing up time to start digging out the trench. Perhaps some of the younger, fitter friends, who are not heavily involved in other projects, will be available next time the weather is suitable for digging.
I have made a start on the Baytree number 4 point machine and is currently waiting for me to get some new bolts / screws and make the new fixing at the front where the rod slides. The new fitting will have to wait until I get hold of the rubber sleeve at the next meeting.
Alan A produced c100 sleepers over Christmas, whilst he was still mobile and will keep us going for a while. This allowed Robin and Nick to continue with points/track to carriage shed. These were then tested by running the Cromer coaches over them to make sure they were fit for use. A minor adjustment to one point was required to alleviate buffer locking, a pair of Cromer cvoaches will only able to be housed if they don’t come straight from the branch line, this is due to the double curve or may be we shunt all stock via the reception road before shunting into the shed.
Alan S and Peter started to clear the area for the new loading bay and the results can be seen in the picture. Alan A walked down after lunch to say hello, recovering from his recent operation.
With light fading, all departed around 4pm.
16th December 2017
Today was the last meeting for 2017 and started with ice on the cars but warmed up to be comfortable. Only four friends at the usual start time but gradually increased up to lunch time. Cliff was slightly put out as Dave MB was last to arrive and took the honour of the call for lunch 'Dave MB arrived so we stopped for lunch'.
Dave D was humbly assisted by Jamie and between them they did a stirling job of removing all the moss from the walls between the two tunnels. This will be sprayed with a moss killer in the New Year. Meanwhile, Millie and Sophie had a go using their tails.
Cliff and Dave MB tidied the railway and whilst Cliff is blowing the debris away, Dave can be seen collecting branches to make a Christmas tree for his kids, however, later he said he was collecting fuel for good King Wenceslas.
The pictures above show progress on the carriage shed project, whilst Alan A was perched on a ladder fixing felt tiles to the roof edge, which involved a lot of cutting to an unusual angle, the rest of the team are busy building track and a point as can be seen above. We need over one hundred sleepers and additionally longer ones for the points.
I have removed the point machine from Baytree point number 4 to take home and re build - and yes it WILL have some yellow parts. The whole point machine will be rebuilt using stainless bolts and repainted. I also removed the sleepers and built up the ground level to accommodate the refurbished point machine.
Many thanks to June for the tea and cakes, which included festive warm mince pies. David D provided his usual home made biscuits which had stuck together and disappeared like hot cakes. We wish everyone a happy festive break and a Happy New Year.
The moss from the walls needs to be removed from the track bed so hopefully we can muster up a group to scoop the leaves and moss into wheelbarrows or wagon to transport to the bonfire.
2nd December 2017
Finish cleaning signals and remove leaves from the line, remove moss from embankment walls and majority of work around the carriage shed. 14 friends attended today which was a good turnout.
As can be seen in the pictures above, David G and Richard continued and finished cleaning all the signals before putting them away for the winter months, a job well done. Righthand picture shows David D who has picked a solitary job of scraping all the moss from the walls near the tunnels. David's efforts can be seen by the light coloured wall area. There is a lot more to do especially between the two tunnels. Apologies of absence received from Jamie and Cliff. As Cliff was not attending, I was nominated to call time for lunch, just in case we missed it.
Carriage shed project
The majority of todays activities centred around the new carriage shed. Peter worked on the roofing felt, aided and abetted by his glamorous assistant, Laurie who worked like a Trojan. Robin and Nick worked on installing a point which Robin constructed at home, or Nick did or both did, they could not agree - what's the point sprung to mind. The turn table and adjacent area was cleared of leaves and rubble sorted for rubbish or for re-use. Many bricks were saved for re-use and stored by Old Oak signal box. It is intended to use these when the new unloading ramp is built. The carriage shed interior was cleared of non useful items and the floor swept. David G has volunteered to paint the floor next time. Decision on colour has yet to be made and we only have one half inch paint brush!!!! The area around the carriage shed is now clear of rubbish and has been levelled to accept new track and a water system.
Thanks to June for the teas and good to see warm mince pies on the plate, very festive.
18th November 2017 Pack away day
Reduced turnout due to one thing and another, however we wish Alan S a full recovery as he is still suffering from his fall last time. Attendees were Alan A, Bob, David D, Jamie, Richard, Dave MB, Peter and June as usual supplied Tea & cakes.
Alan A. and Peter continued with the carriage shed roof, fixing 15 more panels before “ALAN” declared lunch at 13:00; more panels will have to be purchased as there are not enough at present to complete the roof. (We may have done more after lunch but it started to rain + Alan A is having trouble with his other knee which he should have an operation on this side of Christmas).
Bob, David D, Richard & Jamie dismantled the signals and after lunch these were stored as usual. Richard corrected signal SY1, not showing green, it does now. Apparently this has never been reported by any drivers except Cliff, who by the way arrived after lunch had been declared! Cliff helped with the signal putting away. Bob worked in Baytree, the result of which is that Dingly / Old Oak are no longer daisy chained to Baytree. (In time Old Oak will no longer be daisy chained to Dingly). Dave MB did a LOT of leaf blowing, collecting and depositing on the bonfire.
Two locomotives ventured out today Clan Line & 7163, however neither was in steam. Tank engine 7163 came out for a final clean & tubing ahead of its storage over the Winter. Unfortunately Clan Line was just in the way. Two drain cock pipes were removed from 7163 because they were found to be squashed & pinched & have not been working very well. We all left by 15:30
Thanks to Peter, Jamie and Dave MB for the news contributions as both David G and I were away.
4th November 2017 End of running season
Damp start, ran a few locomotives, fish and chips ending with fireworks.
This time of year, many leaves to clear from the line using the blowers and wheel barrows. Heather scraped the ballast from the top of the sleepers in the Old Oak area to allow them to breath and dry out a bit. Alan S fixed a few more tiles to the carriage shed roof but had to stop when he had an unfortunate accident and fell from the ladder which moved. We wish him a a speedy recovery and not too many bruises. The trailing point when leaving Dingly Dell which was a cause for concern last meeting, was investigated and found to be obstructed by ballast. Once the offending ballast was removed, the point provided fault free running today.
After running, we had the traditional end of running season fish and chips followed by fireworks. This year we volunteered Peter to buy the fireworks as his efforts last year were excellent and this year proved to be just as good. We had fewer fireworks but the quality was much better, brighter, louder bangs and more spectacular, a good social gathering. Thanks to June and family for the many teas and cakes, especially as I forgot my rolls for lunch.
Five locomotive ventured out today and were Spinney Electric, Clan Line, Kate, LMS 7163 and King Jack. The Spinney electric was used prior to running to lay rail adhesion, Dave MB drove whilst I leant over the back of a driving truck. King Jack was last to steam but did make it out before it got dark. Clan Line decided it wanted to split a set of points at Dingly Dell and had to be lifted to be re-railed. We must get a proper re railing device or use wood and leverage as none of us are getting any younger and I can feel my back complaining. Both Henry and Annika were observed driving at Old Oak. Mick blew Kate down for the winter whilst Jamie looked at jobs required on LMS 7163 and has taken the grate home to remake in stainless.
S & T
Signal boxes controlled by:- Dingley - Bob, Baytree - Adrian, Spinney - Richard and Old Oak - Peter then David D. No problems reported today. The illuminated signals looked good in the dark.
Pack up the signals and start winter maintenance.