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Santa Event 11th December

A cold day, with snow on the ground, did not deter our members from coming along and running Traction Engines & the railway and providing food from the BBQ & tea, coffee, soup and cakes from our Tea Room.

A number of steam and electric trains carried passengers to meet Santa and also for rides around our track while the miniature traction engines provided rides for visitors too.

The weather looked a bit grim until just before 11 when it cleared up and the sun shone through the trees

The running day started with Santa arriving by train & doing a couple of circuits of the track eventually dropping him at his Grotto. Santa waved at the families that had already arrived much to the delight of the children.

Visitor numbers were good despite the slow start to the day and did not subside until after 3:00 p.m., keeping us all busy.

All members were allocated roles to help the day run smoothly, which it did. However, as a result only a few photos were taken which is a shame because the cold weather certainly made the steam & snow on the site very atmospheric as can be seen in the photos below :

Annual Open Day 4th September

Our Open Day began with the usual preparations for running the trains & traction engines & ensuring everything was ready for the arrival of visitors. Gazebos were erected for the barbecue & for the Bus Pass Buskers who once again entertained us with their wit & music much to the delight of all present. The barbecue and tearoom were kept busy providing food & drink while the trains ran continuously all day with 2 steam locos & a petrol electric providing the traction. The miniature traction engines are proving to be very popular providing rides & also a close up of working steam models.

Overall the site was busy with many more exhibits on display in the museum & in the newly built open sheds together with a restored Ford & a Scammell & mid afternoon arrival of a full size Steam Roller. There were also a selection of restored motorbikes & cars on display alongside the waterwheels and hammers in the Forge.

We all enjoyed the day & sharing our hobbies with our visitors.

A big thank you to all members who worked so hard before the event & during the day to keep everything running smoothly, without your help these events would not be so successful. Let's look forward to doing the same at the Santa Event on 11th December.

Below a selection of photos taken on the day :


Locomotive Visitors at the Railway June July

We have had a number of different locos visiting the railway recently, which has added interest especially on Sunday afternoons when we are open to the public.

A Scamp has been completed and run around the track but has since gone to a new home.

A scratch built shunter using a petrol engine & hydrostatic transmission also visited recently having been completed and painted.

A Rio Grande two car loco has had a trial run following some re wiring but will need a lot of refurbishment during the closed season. It was originally built in 2000 but had been stored for several years & had various faults mostly due to water ingress in the electrics. Its a very powerful loco with 2 x 2kW motors driving 2 bogies on the leading car.

A class 35 Hymek visited late July owned by one of our young members. He is re-painting it and making improvements including the addition of twin tone horns.

Another shunter, also petrol hydraulic, had a trial run having been finished recently prior to painting. it has been given the nickname of K9, after the robot dog of Dr. Who fame, as the bonnet has an uncanny resemblance to the robot dog.

Katie has been having a refurbishment, replacing worn parts. She was built 24 years ago and is now owned by the third member since being built. It is a frequent runner on Sundays alongside Lewis and both of them are built to the Romulus design with personalised features which make them both unique. Katie is currently being cleaned up, brasswork polished and a fresh lick of paint.


Members Traction Engines in Old Glory Magazine

Members engines are featured in Old Glory magazine, Issue 389 July 2022 & Issue 390 August 2022. The articles cover the members background & how they built their engines well worth reading if you can get hold of these magazines.


Traction Engine Line Up April 2022

We had a request for an article to be published in a couple of magazines with a focus on miniature traction Engines. This was a follow up by the freelance journalist who recently published an article in Old Glory, Issue 387 May 2022, following the history of a traction engine built by our late founder member Brian Donn.

So on the day we had a good selection of members vehicles lined up and running around the site together with the miniature railway. We await the publishing of the future article. Meanwhile below are a few photos taken on the day :


River Don Flood 19th/20th February 2022

Well what can I say ? We all held our breath as first one then two then a third big storm blew in off the atlantic in quick succession bringing extremely high winds and torrential rain.

How high will the river get, will it breach the banks ?

Well on the weekend of Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th February we found out that the river was rising fast and by Sunday had already breached the riverbanks and was still rising and peaked into Monday morning.

The remedial work done to strengthen and stabilise the river bank by the upper loop had been successful in preventing the 90 degree bend in the river taking a short cut directly across the site, which it had done in 2007 prior to the bank strengthening work. Therefore, the upper part of the site did not suffer too badly but the strength of the flood was eveident in the aftermath as lots of ballast had been washed away further down the site. Other items were washed down the site and found far away from where they had been.

Thanks to a great effort by around 15 members we were able to restore the railway track to running order but it does need some ballast tamping and a thorough check for any damage. Large amounts of branches, and twigs had to be removed and the site still needs the sediment removing to get it back to normal.

The water levels were such that the carriage shed was part submerged as can be seen by the tide marks on the carriages in the photo below.

The engine shed had a tide mark about 6 inches above track level. 3 battery electric locos had therefore been immersed in water, not a good sign. However, after exposing the electronics to the air to dry we successfully managed to get all locos back to running condition. The class 20 needs a little further work as it was damaged during a test run where it hit a stone and derailed.

The signalling was also a concern but as we had changed over to sealed hall effect sensors all signalling worked ok except for the PIR which protects the tunnel entrance which seems to have had the power, 12V, cables severed.

The clubhouse mains power had been isolated on the sunday to minimise damage from the rising water. Fortunately the water level only just reached the clubhouse floor and had encroached about 6 feet inside. The clubhouse carpet was aired and the mains power dried, reconnected and tested. Power in the clubhouse, signalbox and carriage shed have all succssfully been restored.

Next job was check the compressor in the signal box. it was tested and after drying a little is now functional again.



For earlier news items please see the previous News Pages and the News archive which contains items up to November 2012