This was the first time we had given an advance public invitation to the railway and we had no idea what to expect in terms of visitors. Apparently there were enough that those who might have counted gave up. The car park was full most of the time and it will have to be extended before the September event. We collected almost £200 in donations which we shall have no trouble spending. There was a full turnout of volunteers who were keen to demonstrate ongoing and completed projects and refreshments were available courtesy of Jen Clifford.
Apart from our own locomotives — the Simplex has been given a spruce up and now you can see it coming — we had a Clayton battery-electric on show; it had been collected from Alan Keef at Lea Lines on the Saturday. The mine was open and illuminated by a small generator. Thanks to Rob and John Needham for supplying some of the pictures.
This was the first time that ‘advertised’ trains had run at Clearwell Caves for very many years. Apart from our own Wingrove & Rogers battery-electric locomotive we had a visitor from a private railway near Gloucester in the form of a rather travel weary small Lister — sensible because the tracks at Clearwell are a bit rough after years of disuse.
The Lister arrived on Saturday afternoon and after unloading was taken on a proving run or two, as you can see from the picture, it wasn’t just the track that was a bit rough.
The Eimco Rocker Shovel had recently been recovered from inside where it had been stored for quite a few years and from time to time it was moved up and down. It will need new cables and probably air pipes before it returns to service.
On Sunday, the Clearwell Caves electric winch was in action moving tubs up and down, which were then run out into the open. The plan was to do this hourly but that proved optimistic, especially when the heavy traffic took its toll on the track. At which point the webmaster made his excuses and left.
Important lessons have been learned and everything should go much more smoothly in September. Thanks to Rob and John Needham for supplying the pictures.