Posted by: wrha | January 13, 2020

Saturday 11th January

A good number of volunteers braved atrocious conditions to be on site. Heavy rain and wind meant that there was a focus on inside work.

The team working in the class 26 were removing sections of corroded metalwork from around the door frame and replacing it with new material. There is still a large amount to do, but it is pulling this side of the cab back together well.

Further work was completed on the locking frame with most of the components cleaned and the frame partially reassembled. A start was also made on cleaning up the second section of the locking frame. Meanwhile John applied black top-coat to the two cover plates ready for when it goes back on the actual lever frame.

The other jobs around the site were put on hold as the weather remained miserable.

Posted by: wrha | January 6, 2020

Saturday 4th January

Hello and Happy New Year everyone.
A good turn out of volunteers, keen to start the new year with a bang. A number of different tasks were undertaken, with work progressing on most of the current projects.

In the morning while the weather was slightly better work was carried out on the level crossing gate post, cleaning off the rust and flaking paintwork.
Some work was carried out on both the bug and RB004 to ensure that they are both fit to run.

The team working on the class 26 had a busy day removing the insulating from the inside of the cab roof. This allowed access to the metal framing and new metalwork to be welded in place to help re-construct the door frames. This will go a long way towards making the cab more water-tight.

Further work was carried out on the new signal cabin to improve the weatherproofing and prepare for additional windows. These will help improve the line of sight for the signalman in the cabin. More work was also carried out on the locking frame which will hopefully be fitted to the signal frame in the next couple of weeks.

It is the start of what promises to be another exciting year, with a number of the current projects coming to fruition. If you are interesting in coming along to help, please come along you will always be made welcome.

Posted by: wrha | December 26, 2019

Saturday 21st December

A dry forecast for Saturday 21st prompted Alan and Jim to visit the site with the intentions of applying a coat of wood preservative to the new signal cabin before winter really sets in. Other small jobs, but none the less important, were also carried out including erecting a fence between the new signal cabin and reception hut. Silicone sealant and packing were added to the footings of the cabin to stop the ingress of water. The cabin was built with sleepers as a base but they are all slightly different thicknesses so still had to be properly sealed.
Chris arrived mid-morning and was engaged in weeding some of the track near the tunnel.
Arrangements had been made for a Christmas get together at Wetherspoon’s in Hawick, later in the afternoon. Nine of us enjoyed the “blether” and some tasty food.


Posted by: wrha | December 16, 2019

Saturday 14th December

A good turn out of volunteers for what will be last working Saturday of the year.

Work continued on the signal cabin and frame. Guttering was put up on the signal cabin which will hopefully help keep the rain out of the doorway. The old plastic sleeves on the levers were removed and the top of the levers buffed up. This makes the whole frame look much smarter.

The team working on the cab of the 26 continue to make progress. The air tanks were removed from the roof of the cab. This will allow access to some of the framework to restore areas affected by corrosion.

The exhibition coaches also received further attention with all the guttering cleared of the autumnal debris, which will hopefully help reduce the water ingress issues.

Overall a really good day with all the ongoing projects advancing a little.


Posted by: wrha | December 8, 2019

Saturday 7th December

A good turn out of volunteers saw numerous jobs undertaken across the site.

The team working on the 26 were out in force and continued to progress the repairs to the cab.
Baz was up with a new starter motor for the bug, that he had to import as there were none available over here. With the new starter fitted the bug was run up and given a quick outing to ensure everything was operating correctly.
The Ruston was also run up, as she had not been run for a while. This also allowed anti-freeze to be added to the cooling system ready for winter. Once started she was left to run for a while to ensure that the anti-freeze was well mixed into the coolant system.

The members on site got their first view of the new shed, which will act as the signal box with the recently fitted frame. With the frame protected from the weather, the job of the day was to fit electric lighting in the box. This was successfully completed and by the end of the day the light in new signal box shone out brightly on a very dreich afternoon.
Work on the interlocking mechanism also progressed and hopefully we will be able to fit this back on the frame fairly soon to allow the completion of this part of the project.
There is still still ground works to finish off around the signal box, but overall everyone is really pleased to see the excellent progress on one of the main projects we are currently undertaking.
Overall a very good day with a great deal achieved, despite the wet afternoon.

Posted by: wrha | December 2, 2019

Saturday 30th November

A bright clear day saw a good number of volunteers on site.

The main job of the day was to connect up the signal to the lever frame. This was achieved by shortening one of the wire runs and fixing a bottle screw in the line to allow further adjustment. Then it was testing the run and seeing the signal bounce up into the raised position. It was a good reward for the team that have put in so much work to get the frame to this point.
The interlocking mechanism was retrieved from one of the containers along with it’s covers. These will be the last part of the frame to be restored. There are no plans to use the interlocking mechanism, but it is going to be restored to working order before we fix it to the frame. It is an interesting exercise to see how the mechanism works and how we will be able to repair it.

Further work was done inside the cab of the 26, although there is still a huge amount to do before this area is safe to use.

Elsewhere work continues on the Fowler down in Darley Dale. The bodywork has been removed, as has the power unit. There are a few hurdles to clear now before the new power unit can go in. We are still hopeful that we will see her back at some point next year.

Posted by: wrha | November 24, 2019

Saturday 23rd November

A number of volunteers were on site with the aim of progressing some of the current projects before setting off to the AGM at Hermitage.

The team working on the signal frame completed the assembly of the levers and the end plates, so completing the basic assembly of the signal frame. There is still some work to do to allow the top covers to be reattached, but the frame is once again a working item. The pulleys were fixed in place below the frame and the wire for the signal lever run connected up. This will require some adjustment next weekend to allow the correct tension to be established to operate the signal, but overall the job is advancing very well.

The repairs inside the buffet coach also saw further work. With some of the flooring replaced. Further areas of possible water ingression were identified that will be investigated further.

The afternoon saw the AGM at Hermitage village hall. We were made most welcome with tea coffee and cakes. A good turn out saw a positive meeting with Matt Stoddon standing down as Chairman and Chris Donnelly taking over in the role. Matt is to continue as editor of the society magazine and newsletter. Matt’s hard work and effort to support the association were appreciated and support offered to Chris in his new role.


Posted by: wrha | November 17, 2019

Saturday 16th November

A good turn out of volunteers saw a lots of projects progressed.

The team working on the signal frame were out in the damp weather re-assembling the frame. It is a fairly tricky job with each part needing slight adjustments as they are assembled to ensure correct operation. By the end of the day most of the frame was assembled with just a couple of elements to install next weekend to complete the re-assembly. The team was joined by new volunteer Mike who seemed to enjoy his day working on the signal frame.

Rod and Davie were in the cab of the 26 carrying out further work on the floor and the structural steelwork. George was applying another coat white paint to the gate posts which are now looking very good.

In the buffet coach Ian carried out further work to identify were the water is ingressing and causing damage. The area of damaged flooring has been removed and will be repaired over the next few weeks. Tom had a good clear out in the office container and it is looking much better at one end, although the other end needs some sorting out.

A good day overall dispite the somewhat poor weather. Next weekend is the AGM at Hermitage Village Hall on Saturday at 14:00.

Posted by: wrha | November 14, 2019

Saturday 9th November

With the weather beginning to cool down and night frosts setting in, the order of the day was to finish checking over the cooling systems of the locos, etc. and prepare them for winter. Antifreeze was added to ‘Pluto’ and allowed to circulate. All stock now has antifreeze in the cooling systems and on the next visit, a check of the strength will be made to ensure we have adequate protection.

During the summer it was apparent that a ‘ soft spot ‘ had developed in the floor of the buffet coach so Ian arrived to investigate. With the floor covering lifted there was an area of rot that has to be repaired. On checking the outside of the coach to find the cause we found the roof drainage channel was blocked with leaves and moss and the channel itself had a join that was allowing rain water to spill into the coach. The channel was cleaned out and a check of the roof showed that it was in good condition although the paint was cracked and flaking. Roofing paint has already been purchased so that will be applied in the next few weeks.

Ian also brought the cleaned and enamelled station bench ends so we can now build a new station bench and have it in place for next season.

A second coat of white paint was applied to the top half of the level crossing gate support pillars. As we are all getting older, bending to lower levels is becoming a problem so the bottom half of the pillars will have to come up to our level and be painted when the trestles are returned to the shed.

Posted by: wrha | October 29, 2019

Saturday 26th October

A lovely autumn day saw a good number of volunteers on site.

The first task of the day was a stock shunt to reposition the stock in the siding for ease of access to various vehicles which will be recieving attention through the winter. This saw all the stock except the Mk1 workshop coach removed from the siding and re-ordered.

Work continued on the signal frame with more coats of paint being applied. A number of the levers are now resplendant in red and white. Further coats will be applied over the next few weeks, then the frame can be re-assembled and commissioned.

The level crossing gate posts had their final coat of primer applied and now await white top coat to finish. The other two post were retreived from storage down by the container and work started on stripping these back so they can be painted once the first two are completed.

Work is also ongoing in the exhibition coach were this years exhibition is being taken down, ready for a refresh for the new season.

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