Our decorative fencing and gates at Blyford Lane (restoring the “1879 look”) are complete, and we have had many favourable comments from local residents. The team has now moved back to the trackbed, where there remains one last part of the original 1879 embankment in SRT ownership which is overgrown with nettles and brambles and has aged fallen alder trees draped over it. This area is being cleaned up, so we can return it to a neat grassed finish (for the team – wh0 worked in rain again – it’s back to the days of being covered with bramble scratches). This is also the section which was robbed out to provide field access, after the SR bridge was removed, so we will need to put back some fill to get it back to proper condition. The first bonfire of the season was, very appropriately, on November 5th – but no fireworks – the only entertainment was watching Robin’s hat being removed by overhanging briars for the third time (we are easily pleased). We found another two stumps of SR fence posts (yes, I know – not very exciting, really – but historic, nevertheless). In a couple of weeks, 70 tree saplings will arrive – so we can have some fun putting those in at the west end of our land.
So far, the access roadway we put in earlier in 2016 is standing up well, and greening up: it now looks as if it has been there for 100 years. Only the conditions of the depths of winter will prove whether it really gives us an all-weather, all-year, facility, but we are hopeful.
Back at the workshop, painting continues on the Motor Rail loco, while 6 metres of 80mm x 80mm heavy duty angle iron awaits cutting up – this will provide the main support for the ends of Wagon 41, for which we already have most of the timber. At the SOLD workshop in Lowestoft, a team affixed the couplings (straightened by Peggs of Aldeburgh) to Van 40: it’s amazing how many different ways there can be to assemble a coil spring, two spacers, two nuts, and three washers (all different) – and the loud “boing” when the whole thing sprang into place was a nice moment. The dragbox design is heavier than the original SR – but remarkably similar, considering that about 80 years separates them. There is obviously only one good way to do it.
Off-scene, we are in the final stages of organising the Annual Lunch and AGM – both on November 12th. This year we have an election for Trustees – we make constant efforts to preserve the democratic basis of the organisation. Paid-up members can just turn up at the AGM (14.00 at the Electric Picture Palace), but not the lunch, which is sold out – and if anyone else wants to be at the meeting, then all you have to do is join the SRT before then.
Another complaint has been received, from one of our neighbours, about this blog: we always take this very seriously. On investigation, we found that it concerned what someone thought we had said, rather than what we actually said.