Having reviewed the current situation and the requirements for opening the museum, we have decided to remain closed for the remainder of the year. Our outdoor working parties will continue, and we will provide our regular updates on progress.
Hopefully, the situation will improve, allowing us to reopen in April 2021.
The yard received a major spring(?) clean this week, with the various scrap materials from the relaying work removed. The remaining sleepers were fitted on the main line, ready for the rails to be replaced.
New tabs were welded to the point blades of the turnout for the line which is planned to be laid into the car park area near the farm shed. This now requires a tie bar and hand point lever fitting.
Our volunteers have had a week’s break, so the photographs come from our archive.
In the early 1990s, we had a small working foundry on site, and the photos show the casting of some rally souvenir badges in aluminium. The foundry, complete with its pit furnace, is still here, though has not been used for many years, and currently provides useful storage.
As it is the hay-making season, there is also a photo of one of our vintage Nuffield tractors working in the field next to the museum towing a haybob, which is used to stir up the cut hay to help drying.
Delighted to report that after many years, the yard point is finally connected to the signal box. The box was erected in 1990, and two of the points transferred from hand levers to the box. The yard point remained on a throw-over lever, which always seemed to get in the way of road vehicle movements. Relaying the yard has allowed us to run the point rod under the main line to make the connection. Just need to remember to go to the box to change the point!
Elsewhere, painting of the second carriage is underway, with a another coat of brown for the metalwork.
The track gang completed re-ballasting the newly sleepered section and have removed the rails and are working on the the second length.
Several jobs are currently underway. The S&T department continued with the yard pointwork, manufacturing a new fitting to connect with the lever in the box. Also the material was sourced for a number of new cranks that are required.
In the workshop, the John Deere Model B tractor is undergoing a refresh of some of the green paintwork.
The track gang have moved on to renewing the sleepers on a section of track relaid about 30 years ago. The first length is having some of its sleepers replaced, and the second length will be lifted out for a complete replacement. The bonus picture shows the Simplex Motor Rail and train at approximately the same location in 1989, just prior to the curve being relaid. As part of the relay, the track was realigned to ease the curve, and now runs where the trailer is.