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Friday, 26 April 2013

We've Found the Weekly Budget

So far, the major dating evidence for our hut has come in the form of remnants of the Christmas 1878 issue of The Weekly Budget, revealed for us by paper conservator Stephen Allen,   We do in fact have what appear to be three pages of the newspaper but we decided not to go any further in exposing the contents as the paper was so fragile.

We were bound to wonder what was so interesting about the contents that somebody had stuck the paper to the hut wall.

We had a visit this week from London solicitor Edward Album.   Edward had done some astute legal work when the line was threatened with closure - resulting in BR having to re-start the closure process not once but twice!   This bought precious time and drew attention to the cause.   Edward was the recipient of the now famous letter from Michael Portillo saying that BR had been refused permission to close the line.

The Weekly Budget fragments intrigued Edward.   He took details and promised to make enquiries at the British Library - where he is a member.   The very next day he e-mailed to say that the Colindale Library in London, where the British Library's newspaper collection is held, does indeed have the Christmas 1878 double issue of the Weekly Budget!   Edward has generously agreed to go to the Colindale, see the Weekly Budget and, if possible obtain a copy.

Another discovery.
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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

You Wait for Ages then Three Come Along at Once

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My internet appeal for a wagon has indeed paid off.   Here is the latest of three wagons that have been offered to us and, despite appearances it is really just what we wanted.   It is a private owner coal wagon, presently on the Strathspey Railway at Aviemore.   The body is in quite a state but the ironwork is all there.

Not only that, it is free to a good home.   It is just the sort of wagon that would have delivered coal to Settle coal yard, by the water tower, in Midland Railway days.
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Monday, 8 April 2013

Summer Wine Gang Revealed

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Several postings on this Blog have mentioned the Last of the Summer Wine Gang at Settle's preserved signal box.   The picture would not win any awards but you get the idea.   Several of them ex railway men they convene every Saturday, come rain or shine to reminisce and put the world to rights.   That stove on the left gets some hammer.

The figure in the maroon jumper is Dr Bill (WR) Mitchell - national treasure and for many years editor of The Dalesman.   His amazing archive of Dales life - and of the Settle-Carlisle line -  is being preserved for posterity, thanks to a dedicated team of archivists and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
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Buffers moved by Old Buffers

  Spring sprung over the weekend, briefly one suspects, but long enough for some heroic track work to be done at the water tower.   In preparation for the troublesome truck's arrival we needed to move the immensely heavy buffers sideways about 6 feet and backwards seven feet.

No problem if you have a crane but tricky if man-handling old-style.  We (me and the Summer Wine Gang from the signal box) made it.

Here we are, knackered but unbowed posing in front of the moved track and  buffers.

Left to right are Robin Benzie, Mike Pryal, me, Robin Corbett and Bob Swallow.

No method statements, risk assessments or i-pads were harmed during this operation.

Click image to enlarge - but it is not recommended
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