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Preservation News

Keep up to date with all the news and blogs from around the railway!

Blogs prior to 2013 can be accessed directly on our archives:
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Loco Wednesday Gang – 13 August

A much-depleted Wednesday Gang gathered this week – the rest having offered a variety of excuses for their absence.  This had severe cake implications! We stared at the two rostered cakes provided by Martin and George, wondering just how we we...Read more

Wagon Group Report 12 August

Dave V reports from Tuesday at Medstead... good progress on the cattle van. Weather was kind, only a couple of small showers. Difficult to specify who exactly did what, but roughly speaking David E, John Abbott, Keith, John Banks and Paul concentra...Read more

Loco Seen Running on Miniature Railway!

Wednesday 6th August   Thanks to David Ford who arranged this working day Wednesday saw Ben Spraggen with his digger, Brian Lawes with his dumper, Martin Pratt and myself hard at work. We put some shuttering in place in the yard to contain...Read more

Need Your Cylinder Lagging Sir?

Wednesday 6th August, my first visit to Ropley in a month as I've been gallivanting around Europe for work and play these last three weeks; will anyone remember me; will I know where I left my toolbox; does anybody care?? At least the Sun is still ...Read more

Up Periscope!

Carriage Shop blog 5 August  Ahoy there shipmates! It’s been a while since Her Majesty’s Submarine "Carriage Shop” has been able to surface to exchange information with the outside world, and for that I must apologise. There is a U-boat out i...Read more

Miniature Railway Report 4 August

Following delivery of 20T of Ballast last week laying of the ballast along the route commenced Saturday 2nd of August. Just over 100m of the line has been covered plus the yard roads and point work have been laid. Very hard and tiring work in what ...Read more

Wagon Group Report 4 August

Tuesday up at Medstead were the contingent working on the cattle truck. They had a good day - sunny weather all day and a warm welcome to John Billington.   Splitting up into teams again: David Edwards and John Abbott progressed with the r...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang 30 July

I’m sitting here, writing this, surrounded by ancient PCs, encircling me, and looking like they might attach at any moment. Now I know how Michael Caine felt in "Zulu”.  Incidentally, I came across a signed photo of him in the Queen Vic in Hen...Read more

Building Department Get The Flue

28 July A long saga, not widely know out side of the ambit of signal staff at Ropley and the Building Department, has come to an end. For some considerable time the stove flue in the signal box has been giving trouble, both leaking water from arou...Read more

The Donut Gang Rides Out!

Signal Engineering Report 25 July The Signal Engineering team that work on Mondays are affectionately known as the "Donut Gang”.  Why?  Our little treat for the mid- morning cuppa is a scrumptious jam donut from the bakery in Four Marks...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang 23 July

Back to Ropley with a spring in my step and joy in my heart.  First the cakes (I know this is the important part!). We scoffed a magnificent sponge cake made by Simon, some jolly good fruit cake from Welsh Pete, and an engineering quality Lard...Read more

Nearly There... Again!

Signal Engineering Report 23 July We all know the old adage... you wait a long time for a bus, then two come along together. This has also happened to the MHR Signal Engineering Department. Just three weeks ago, after many years of work, the fin...Read more

Wagon Group Report 22 July

Tuesday up at Medstead saw a good contingent of workers on the cattle van and led to some good progress. A warm welcome to Chris Simons and not just from the hot weather...   David E with Chris and John Abbott made further progress on the ...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang 16 July

Back to Ropley for more fun and frustration – in this case, more of the latter than the former! After the usual pleasantries and cake-admiration we had a look at the list of jobs.  We don’t always finish the jobs on the list, but it was dul...Read more

Wagon Report 14 July

With David T away this week, there is no Toad work this week to report, and efforts on Tuesday were concentrated at Medstead on the cattle truck. When Dave V arrived there Bernie and his PW guys were well underway with shunt moves in the yard to ac...Read more

Building Department get their teeth into it

10 July At Ropley the slating of the new waiting room/canopy roof had been moving along nicely, with other jobs keeping pace on the structure as well. The fitting of the dragons teeth on the front of the canopy really starts to give the buildin...Read more

Preservation Blogs 2013

Here you will find all of the 2013 blogs from our volunteers around the railway. Read more

All Year Sunshine Guaranteed at Ropley

Wednesday 9th July; a beautiful Sunny day again though the wireless is warning of rain as we compete for space in the Ropley car-park whilst the eight o'clock news drones on about football... Apparently there is some World Cup Football going on and...Read more

Canadian Pacific - July Update

Since CP's boiler was lifted last month we have made good progress. The rear truck and front bogie are now out and moved to the front of the engine. This was done care of more help with Arlington’s overhead cranes, so we are able to start stripping...Read more

Wagon Group Report 8 July

Dave Taylor made an early start on Tuesday to work on the Toad, and acting on information received went to Ropley where the Toad had been towed... it being used as a brake for construction works to the up side platform shelter. Here he managed to t...Read more

Moving the Miniature Railway

Here is a brief overview of the weekend's activities to transfer the Miniature Railway's 40 foot Container:- Fri am                   Morley Slade disconnected the container supply power lead in...Read more

Ropley Phase 2 Signalling Commissioned

Signal Engineering Report - 5 July Further to my news item a couple of weeks ago, I can now confirm that Phase 2 of the Ropley signalling scheme was successfully commissioned on Thursday 3rd July. The signal box was signed off by the Atkins test t...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang – 2 July

Another meeting of the Ropley Cake Appreciation Society at the Ropley Home for the Bewildered.  This weeks meeting was well-attended – indeed so well-attended that there was hardly anywhere to sit at our customary tables in the mess.  Bra...Read more

Wagon Group Report 1 July

Last Saturday saw Tom and Dave R working at Alton on the crane runner and the north side rave and solebar are now in undercoat.   Tuesday saw David T and Roger at Alresford on the GW Toad, and between them they painted all the veranda...Read more

Bye Bye Bodmin

Ropley, Wednesday June 25th. Another beautiful Summer Day here at Ropley where it’s almost been too hot to work! Better be careful what we wish for though as the days are now getting shorter... It’s downhill to Xmas... God, what a depressing though...Read more

Building Department Get Slated!

25 June Some more news on the main project we have underway, the new Ropley waiting room. The roof boarding of the waiting room and canopy is now complete and we have laid on the felt material and fixed the battens, making it watertight at last. T...Read more

Wagon Group Report 24 June

A busy week, but some good weather for a change!   Tuesday saw David T and Adrian working at Alresford on the GW Toad. Time to tackle the south side timbers and see what horrors lie under the paint.  Adrian sanded down all the flaking...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang 18 June

I’m on the train! As I write about yesterdays fun and games at Ropley Junction, I’m heading for  the Yorkshire Wolds – home of hundreds of wind turbines, my daughter, and not much else.  I’m carefully checking the trains coming the other ...Read more

Wagon Group Report 16 June

Tom and Clive were at Alton on Monday for more derusting and painting of the crane runner... until about 2.30pm, when the grinder started playing up. They did, however, manage to get a majority of the "north" side solebar completed, with exception ...Read more

Nearly There!

Signal Engineering Report - 14 June After several years of hard work at Ropley following the move into the old Netley signal box, commissioning of the final stage of the Ropley signalling scheme is now in sight. All the mechanical work installin...Read more

Canadian Pacific Report June

Wednesday 11th June was a big day for CP. We arrived to discover that lifting the boiler had been brought forward to that day! Some hasty phone calls to bring in extra troops were successful. David Snow joined us with a video camera so no doubt the...Read more

Altitude sickness!

carriage Shop Blog 12 June The tired but happy crew of the good ship HMS Carriage shop are pleased to report that a major hurdle has been accomplished in the restoration of Bulleid brake third s4211 – it now has a canvas roof! For a number of wee...Read more

Ropley Toboggan Team in Secret Training

Wednesday 11th June; somewhat jet-lagged, even after 11 hours sleep after returning from Montreal yesterday, I arrived at Ropley this lovely Sunny morning; what a contrast to my last visit, two weeks ago, when it was like the middle of Winter! Not ...Read more

Wagon Group Report 9 June

Up at Medstead on Tuesday were Dave V, Dave E, Roger, John, and Joe. A fair bit of drizzle for most of the morning, but it was very hot in the afternoon. They made steady progress on both the metal and wood fronts of the cattle van. The warped floo...Read more

Building Department Miscellany

9 June A report just a little after the event, but the lamproom at Alton has now had its final gloss coats of paint and can be put in the ticked box as a complete job. Very good it looks too, especially with a smart School’s class Cheltenham ...Read more

Bushed After A Long Day

Loco Wednesday Gang – 4 June  After the usual preliminaries (Tea, Victoria Sponge and Coffee&Walnut Cake), we had a  quick review of "The List” and set off to our chosen tasks. I had some catching-up to do as I was away las...Read more

Keep Smiling; it’s Wednesday!

Wednesday May 28th. It’s only three and a bit weeks to mid-Summer day; can you believe that? Certainly today was like February, cold grey and drizzling all day. And that was just Petersfield’s tea! He again was on footplate duty but was seen sneaki...Read more

Wagon Group Report 27 May

Tuesday seems to be a regular "cattle van” day at Medstead, with Dave V, Brian, Adrian and Mick in attendance this week. Despite the showery forecast there was no trouble with rain, just a few drops around p.m.. They made steady progress dr...Read more

Sunshine and showers for Building Department

26 May   In my absence for a couple of weeks the various work streams ('business speak' that!) have been beavering away very nicely, no doubt helped by the spell of very dry, sunny and hot  weather we had; although re-hydration breaks...Read more

Thursday Gang Caught Napping

Wednesday May 21st; seems like an age since I've been here with all this paid work getting in the way, though last weeks four days in York for Channel 4 racing did allow me to get to visit the NRM on two consecutive afternoons so it wasn't all bad;...Read more

Wagon Group Report 20 May

Tuesday was a cattle van day at Medstead for Dave E, Dave V, Brian and Roger. They made steady progress and not bothered too much by the forecast showers, in fact it was quite sunny and warm for most of the time. David E has fitted the remaining fl...Read more

News From The Eastern Front

Carriage shop dispatches 20 May It’s been a while since my last carrier pigeon giving details of the ongoing battle against the Bulleid coach, up the yard in the "Ropley East” workshop. So here it is, hot off the press for your delectation…....Read more

More fun at Ropley Junction

Loco Wednesday Gang 14 May  Regular readers (are there such things?) will recall the exciting episode of the blog from last year when I set out on a quest to find the four expansion link brackets for 76017.  After a completely fruitless ...Read more

Wagon Group Report 13th May

Tuesday at Medstead saw work on the cattle van conversion, although as both Dave V and Brian had doctors appointments first, I suggested to John that he had a lie in. Dave and Brian subsequently arrived but then it appears that John overslept his l...Read more

Change at Ropley Junction!

Loco Wednesday Gang – 7 May 2014 Following the usual pleasantries, Dave-2Jags made a plea for help with construction of the new "branch line” – the Ropley miniature railway.  Ben and his mini-backhoe had arrived on the site and were ready to ...Read more

Wagon Group Report 6 May

A lot of activity this week on the cattle van conversion at Medstead. Tuesday saw Steve Elliot, Mick, Adrian and John join David E for a productive day. First priority was removal of the running side cattle truck metalwork/roof pieces. They prepare...Read more

The Big Lift

Building Department Report 6 May  The big lift of the large timber components for the new waiting room at Ropley has finally  taken place, amongst mixed weather conditions. This was the next major step in the construction process an...Read more

P-Way Report January - March

Firstly to the 3 or 7 regular readers of these reports, a happy 2014 and I hope that the season of power cuts and floods was kind to you.   We were allowed time off over the festive period so we didn’t start again until Jan 6 but the wind ...Read more

Young Man, You Don’t Have to be Down

Loco Wednesday Gang – 30 April  After Dave’s last blog, I’m staying away from Shakespeare until at least St Crispins Day (October 15th) – the anniversary of Agincourt – whereon three of my ancestors joined the Earl of Arundel to engage in a...Read more

Urie Blog 30 April

I cannot believe that it’s almost 6 months since I last reported on our activities in the ULS – that old adage that time passes faster as you get older certainly appears to have a grip on me! The good news is that in those 6 months we have achieved...Read more

Wagon Group Report 28 April

Last Saturday saw Dave Ryding at Alton, where he has undercoated all the areas on the crane runner which had been derusted and were in were red oxide.   Joe was down at Alresford with the model railway PMV Alresford that day also, an...Read more

Building Department go back office

24 April Whilst the Days out with Thomas event was running we mainly restricted our operations to the ‘back office’ side of things, but managed to keep going with a number of jobs. These included the preparation of the gates for the crane dock pla...Read more

George clocks in at Ropley looking for fire breathing monster...

Wednesday 23rd April; Happy Birthday Bill. 450 years old and still going strong. Yes, today, St.Georges Day is also Shakespeare's Birthday (and death-day, as it happens) So to celebrate, a slightly twisted set of titles for the blog photos represen...Read more

Back from Darkest Africa

Ropley Loco Wednesday Gang – 16th April  A couple of weeks ago, Dave-the-scribe and I were off to different parts of the world and Dave-2Jags kindly stepped in as Deputy Under Assistant Scribe. In his blog, he reported that I was away in purs...Read more

Wagon Group Report 14 April

At Medstead on Tueday were David E, Dave V and Mick on the cattle truck conversion, with the first of the floor timbers being bolted down at the Alresford end, whilst at the other end there was a bit more derusting and priming in the corners. &nb...Read more

Buiding Department Report 10 April

At the workshop teams on successive days having been continuing with work on the roof timbers and roof trusses for the waiting shelter. The main trusses are large heavy pieces of kit, best part of a ton each, and have proved quite a challenge to co...Read more

A Lap Around The Block at Ropley

A cold bright Spring day greeted me on my return to Ropley after my travels last couple of weeks, where it was 30 odd degrees most of the time. So I was feeling the cold a bit but the warmth of my greeting at Ropley MPD this morning negated all tha...Read more

Wagon Group Report 8 April

Tuesday up at Medstead were David E, Dave V and John working on the cattle truck, with mainly more derusting, prim ing and undercoating of the under frame, and in particular after consultation with Ian Johnson the removal of flitch plates.  ...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang 2 April

Did you know that on this day in 1912 Titanic started its Sea Trials and that in 1917 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany; so what trials and tribulations will the Wednesday Gang encounter this week?  As our ...Read more

Wagon Group Report 1 April

Tuesday at Alresford saw David T, Mick, Steve and Clive working on the GW Toad brake van, continuing with the internal painting, which I believe was mainly undercoating.   Up at Medstead that day also were David E, Dave V and John working ...Read more

Uplifting Times for Building Department

Building Department Blog - 26 March Following the enjoyable and successful Spring Steam Gala the Ropley Waiting Room Gang set to by starting to erect the wooden wall panels onto the stub walls. We were ably assisted by some members of Ropley...Read more

I didn’t G-know it was going to be that kind of day!

Wednesday morning at Ropley again, but unlike the last few days, today was more like November than late March with frost and fog to greet us.  As our reader may have gathered from last week’s missive, Dave the Scribe is away playing with his f...Read more

Wagon Group Report 24 March

A busy week again on all fronts...   Monday saw Clive and Tom at Alton continuing with the derusting and priming the crane runner, and steadily working their way down our longest (length wise) restoration.   Tuesday up at Medstead...Read more

Carriage Shop Blog 24 March

What a few weeks! The highlight recently has obviously been the gala. It was a pleasure to speak to so many people who expressed such an interest in what we are doing here in the carriage shop. I’m sure anybody who has been in before will agree ...Read more

Medstead Matters March

Readers of the latest Mid Hants News magazine dated Winter 2013/2014 may have noticed several references to M&4M – • The editorial refers to "further good reason to visit Medstead, as plans to turn the upside parcels office into a small museu...Read more

A Wholesome Day In The Sheds

Wednesday 19th March. Spring is here and it’s almost the Spring Equinox, half way to Mid Summer Day. Now there is a thought to lift the spirits of the most grumpy of the Old Gits that are let out for their Wednesday get together at Ropley MPD each ...Read more

Canadian Pacific Report March

The last Canadian Pacific Report was dated August 2013. At that time we had just started removing cladding from the boiler and removed a few other components as part of the process of dismantling her to assess her condition. Since that time a small...Read more

Wagon Group Report 18 March

Apres the Gala a bit more back to normal this week.   Monday saw Clive and Tom at Alton derusting and priming the crane runner.   Tuesday up at Medstead were David E, Dave Vella, Roger, Mick, Joe and John working on the cattle van...Read more

Beware the Ides of March

Ropley Loco Wednesday Gang – 12 March OK, it was the first title that came to mind, and its pretty awful.  For those of you without a classical education like wot we have got – that means beware the 15th of March.  Infamy, Infamy, they...Read more

Wagon Group Report 11 March

A busy week preparing for the Gala...   Tuesday saw Dave Vella and Roger finishing off the milk tank in Bennetts siding, with fitting three curved metal strips to the tank ends and sanding off the rectangles around the "Unigate Creameries”...Read more

Cranes and Bolts and Planes

Building Department blog - 10 March The title is a little stretched adaptation after a song released in 1965 (Trains and boats and planes) by  Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, and others, some years before the Mid Hants line was closed but ...Read more

Spring (Gala) Cleaning Time at Ropley

Wednesday March 5th. As last week, a cold start to a lovely Spring Day welcomed us to Ropley. As you all know, it is the Spring Gala this weekend, so the emphasis today was always going to be on a bit of "Spring Cleaning” to impress our visitors. A...Read more

Wagon Group Report 3 March

Tuesday saw David Edwards, Clive, Brian and Dave Vella at Medstead, and as usual it was raining when they got there, so yet again they started the day with a tea break! Brian helped Dave V get the final two bolts onto the end blocks of the mil...Read more

Green Door, What’s That Secret You’re Keeping

Wednesday 26th February, Spring has Sprung, or so it would appear. Despite the frost on my windscreen when I left home this morning it was at least bright and sunny as I parked up at Ropley MPD, car-park, 08-00 this morning. Still a bit nippy but S...Read more

Carriage Shop Blog 25 February

Ticking things off is the aim of the game at the moment. We’ve had a few extra jobs recently that have meant that progress on the Bulleid coach isn’t quite as rapid as we would like, but they all need doing.  Gordon has now finished the p...Read more

Wagon Group Report 24 February

Tuesday saw David Edwards, David Taylor, Mick and Brian up at Medstead, accompanied by the rain – this restricting works to mainly trial fitting of the floorboards of the SR cattle van conversion.   Also up at Medstead that day Chris Powel...Read more

Building Department Aren't Fazed

Building Department Blog - 21 February With the timber arriving in phased batches, teams at the Medstead workshop have started to saw and construct the wall panels for the up platform waiting room for Ropley station. In order to move things alon...Read more

I’m a Lumberjack And I’m OK!

Ropley Loco Wednesday Gang – 19 February  It’s half-term and we’re open for business again – hooray!  It’s been quite a while since we watched trainloads of happy passengers rolling past the Ropley Home for the Bewildered!  The luck...Read more

Wagon Group Report 18 February

Monday saw Dave Vella, Roger and Dave Taylor at Alresford and so keen were they this team was repeated on Wednesday again also – although the weather on the latter day was a bit wild! Roger and Dave V made the last two end blocks for the milk tank ...Read more

Renewing Alresford Signal Wires - The Blue Riband Run

Wednesday 12 February – Signal Engineering Report When the Mid Hants Railway was born, there were only a couple of operational signals in use at Alresford. Over the years many more signals were installed, mainly at the London end of the station th...Read more

Weathering the Storms at Ropley

Wednesday 12th Feb; More rain, even higher winds forecast, roll on summer! Mind you, by July there will be a hose-pipe ban, don’t you just know it! It was actually not raining when we arrived to most of the car-park being shut off for future visito...Read more

Wagon Group Report 11 February

Tom and Clive were at Alton on Monday and making further progress with the crane runner derusting and priming...   On Tuesday at Alresford were Dave V, Roger and David T, and after a delayed start due to hailstone showers they got un...Read more

Building Department Experience Weather

Building Group Report 6 February Well, I won’t mention the weather (but just have done) but it has not helped us keeping to schedule on some of our on-going jobs. We have had to divert some of our energies-such as they are- onto maintenance jobs t...Read more

Disaster at Ropley, No Power for Tea-Urn

Wednesday 5th February. Still the dreadful weather continues as I was almost blown up Station Hill this morning with strong winds and lashing rain forecast for our regular Wednesday get together.. It was 08-00 as I turned in to our car park, but, w...Read more

Wagon Group Report 3 February

Down at Alresford on Tuesday were Dave’s V and T, Clive, Brian, Roger and Mick. The day started with sunshine and blue sky, but from lunchtime they had some heavy showers to contend with - including hailstones! Those working inside the Toad with th...Read more

Needles and Pinza

Ropley Loco Wednesday Gang – 29th January   If you listened to The Searchers back in 1964, they sang it as "Needles and Pins-Ah”.  All of that coincided with the Deltics roaring along the East Coast Main Line, and D9007 "Pinza” was a par...Read more

Wagon Group Report 27 January

Tom and Clive were at Alton again on Monday doing a bit more derusting and priming on the 10 ton crane runner, which Tom reckons is DS 57959.   Down at Alresford on Tuesday there were the three Dave’s and Roger and Mick. Good progress over...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang 22 January

Well, it’s been an eventful week. A few days ago I found I’d broken my toe – so that little piggy was definitely not going to market!  The medics advised not to engage in too much clambering, heavy lifting and long-distance wandering around un...Read more

Wagon Group Report 21 January

A busy week everywhere it seems... Tom and Clive were at Alton on Monday doing derusting and priming on one of the 10 ton crane runners, and the same day the green class 37 arrived bringing more work with van fit B 772824 and SR van S 47777 down fr...Read more

Carriage Shop Blog 15 January

Hello and happy New Year!  Things have been heating up in the carriage shop recently, or at least the potential to heat up is on the horizon, as Chris Yates has been installing the steam heating system to Bulleid coach s4211. It is an intere...Read more

Owls of Protest as Blog Writer Late For Work

Wednesday 15th January; today I was on the late shift as I had a furniture delivery to wait for at home and despite my best efforts, the chap was on my doorstep at 08-30, meaning I still managed to get to Ropley by 09-45 with tea-break all but fift...Read more

Wagon Group Report 13 January

Dave Edwards, Vella, Taylor and Roger were at Alresford on Tuesday. Bit of a patchy day weather wise I understand. Raining hard when they arrived, so they had their coffee break before work started! Once it stopped Dave E progressed with the last t...Read more

Rusty Rods Revived at Ropley

Wednesday 8th January; Happy New Year dear reader; I hope you are neither flooded out or blown away otherwise I’m just typing this for the cat... (who, incidentally, is sitting on my lap whilst I’m trying to write this; she’s 6 months old and an ab...Read more

Ladybirds on the Line

S & T Report - Monday 6 January 2014  A depleted S & T "Monday Gang” dragged themselves out of bed today on yet another wet and windy winters morning looking for moderate exercise to lose some of those pounds gained through over ...Read more

Building Group First Blog of the Year!

At Alresford the London end foot crossing is now complete with the signal cables in the process of being moved across to the new routes to the side and out of the (wet) four foot (the space between the tracks). The new ducts and walkway still being...Read more

Wagon Group Report 6 January

Happy New Year to one and all!   After all the over indulgences of the past couple of weeks it was back to Alton on Thursday.  With a turnout including Clive, Joe, Mick, Paul, David T, Roger, Tom and myself there were clearly a lot of...Read more

P-Way Report October - December

Regular readers of these ramblings will remember that fish plate oiling featured heavily in the last quarter, and so October started. We have a new member of our Monday gang, Tony Lawrence and in spite of being indoctrinated into the "world of pway...Read more

Wagon Group Report 23 December

The three David’s... Taylor, Edwards and Vella (not sure they were bearing Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh) were at Alresford on Tuesday working on the Milk tank, aided and abetted by Roger. Steady progress was made. Roger did a dimensioned drawing fo...Read more

Carriage Shop Blog 18 December

As our minds turn to festivities, I thought there was just about time for one more update from the carriage shed! I should say, if there are any random letter P’s (or lack thereof) in this blog then it is down to the corresponding key on my keyboar...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang 18 December - This Wheels on Fire!

Back to the Ropley home for the bewildered – the self-help group for the over 65s!  First, let me say that the sub-title "This Wheel’s on Fire” is a small concession to humour Dave.  While I really liked the 1968 hit from Julie Driscoll, ...Read more

Wagon Group Report 15 December

Dave Vella and David Taylor were at Alresford on Tuesday with Milk tank W 2960. The former has constructed a mock up in cardboard of blocks to fit in the steel work at the ends of the tank. After angle grinding off nuts and bolts holding the old ti...Read more

Signs are Looking Good

The enamel advertising signs that we cleaned up recently, but not yet restored, have started to be put up in the Education Room/Viewing Gallery in the loco shed at Ropley. They certainly give a more colourful and interesting visual aspect to the ro...Read more

Rolling Down The Road

Ropley, Wednesday 11/12/13.  11/12/13? There must be a name for a date combination like that and my feeble brain cell is trying to work out when the next one will be; No good, I’ve just consumed a glass or two of vino with my cheese and biccie...Read more

Wagon Group Report 9 December

Tuesday saw Dave Vella and Dave Edwards meeting Gordon the carpenter and Ian Johnson at Ropley – the former to discuss the planned SR cattle van flooring ends (which are curved) and bits of timber for the milk tank ends, and the latter in respect o...Read more

Barnes Wallace Dud Found at Ropley

Wednesday December 4th; In three weeks time it will be Xmas day; what a depressing thought! Looking on the bright side though, the days will be starting to get longer again; being a Sun lover I hate travelling to work (or Ropley) and returning home...Read more

Wagon Group Report 2 December

Tuesday saw Dave Vella, Brian, Roger and Mick down at Alresford on the Milk tank W 2960. They had a good day today despite a few difficulties, with plenty of shunting movements going on. The Alresford Train Care BY gave a good run around when they ...Read more

J Arthur Ellis Tries a New Gong

Ropley MPD, Wednesday 27th November. It seems like an age since I was last here; it’s cold and grey and the days are shorter! It was in fact only 3 weeks ago, but I missed 3 weeks before that day too, so I have been a bit AWOL lately. Never mind, G...Read more

Carriage Shop Blog 26 November

It has been about two months since I wrote my last blog for the carriage shop. In that time rather a lot has gone back on to the Bulleid Brake that we are restoring.  We knew that the workshops would be open to the public as usual over th...Read more

Wagon Group Report 25 November

With the forecast for the week being rather cold, we decided to give working on the milk tank at Alresford a rest. This seemed to be quite a popular move with the aluminium tank polishers over the past few weeks, but no doubt they have keeping thei...Read more

Building Group Report 25 November

At Alresford we have now moved to the London end where the foot crossing there requires adapting to accommodate re-alignment of the signal cables and wires from the wet (very) six foot to the side of the tracks. Replacement of some  of the boa...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang 20 November

Last weeks blog followed a "moving around” theme – sometimes our days at the Ropley Home For The Bewildered lend themselves to having a theme.  If anything this weeks theme is mainly about the realm of fictional or mythical creatures. Firstly...Read more

Wagon Group Report 18 November

A beautiful crisp autumn day on Wednesday with the sunshine burning off the early morning frost as we headed down to Alresford for some more work on the milk tank W 2960. Dave Vella was already in attendance and collecting tools and power leads for...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang 13 November

All change at Ropley!  Today was a day for moving stuff about – in some cases without much of an overall effect, but necessary just the same. The first lot of "moving about” was done by Stewart and John up on the roof. We’re blessed with a ro...Read more

Wagon Group Report 11 November

Well the weather forecast for Tuesday said it would stop raining about 1000, but as we headed west to Alresford at the same time in a heavy down pour this looked a bit optimistic... However after a cup of coffee magically it stopped – thus allowing...Read more

Wheel Have These Fitted By The End Of The Day

Wednesday Loco Gang Report 6 November Remember remember the 6th of November? Well, not quite, but after being away to hot far flung places for the last 4 weeks (well 3 anyway, plus a not-so- hot trip to Nottingham on my birthday) It was a question...Read more

Sign Of The Times At The Building Department

Building Group Report 5 November We have been having some discussions with the Education and Interpretation Officer regarding the mounting of some of our historic enamel advertising signs on the upper walls of the Education Room and stairway in th...Read more

Wagon Group Report 4 November

Up at Alton on Wednesday "Tornado” departed to the Nene Valley Railway hauled by a couple of Devon and Cornwall class 31’s. The new build loco is seen passing the frames of our new build SR cattle van – although the former has a slightly higher pro...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang 30 October

Wot No Hurricane?  I’ve just returned from a trip "oop north” to visit our daughter and coincidentally to have a looksee at the six A4s in the NRM, including our old friend Bittern. So, I’m afraid I missed the MHR Gala and the alleged hurrican...Read more

Wagon Group Report 28 October

Well the weather forecast was pretty dire early this week, but we managed to dodge the worst of it by concentrating on Wednesday and Thursday.   Down at Alresford on Wednesday Dave Vella and Roger were progressing on with the cleaning o...Read more

And The Walls Go Tumbling Up

Building Dept Report 25 October At Ropley our contractors have made excellent progress with the first phase of the build of the new waiting room, with reasonable weather playing its part. The floor slab has been laid with drains and ducting incorp...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang Report 23 October

A very quick blog this week as I’m off to visit daughter in darkest Yorkshire, where I may just manage a visit to the NRM, and drop off the mag drill in Sheffield for refurbishing on the way.   Most all of the Wednesday gang were engaged...Read more

Boilershop Blog

Work on stripping down boiler 755 started almost as soon as it was lifted from the frames of 506 back in 2004. The work at the time was carried out by the ULS’s own volunteers, including removal of all tubes, longitudinal stays and roof stays/sling...Read more

Medstead Matters October

Welcome to the first in an occasional series of blogs from Medstead & Four Marks station. Routine Maintenance The station – and particularly the up platform – is exposed to the elements and keeping the paintwork up to scratch is an ongo...Read more

Wagon Group Report 21 October

Successfully dodging wet Wednesday this week, Tuesday saw Dave Edwards, Dave Vella and Roger continuing work on the milk tank at Alresford, with the former continuing on the timbers under the tank and the latter mainly experimenting with cleaning o...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang 16 October

Just back from a walk around Old Winchester Hill – I waved in the general direction of Ropley, but no-one waved back.  This was a last attempt at finding some sloes this year – it’s supposed to be a mast year for berries but no-one told the Bl...Read more

Branching Out

Signal Engineering Report 14th October   Last week, the Signal Engineering "Thursday Team” switched their working day to Friday to assist ‘the guvnor’ with the installation of the new chunky traction bonds at Alton (no, we are not electr...Read more

Wagon Group Report 14 October

This week has seen Dave Edwards, Dave Vella and David Taylor continuing work on the milk tank at Alresford, with the former on the timbers under the tank and the latter two continuing with black top coat painting under the under frame. Roger and Mi...Read more

P-Way Report July - September

These three months have almost exclusively been devoted to either sleeper replacement or fishplate oiling – both high up on our list of favourite jobs!.   July started off with us working at Alton replacing a large number of sleepers...Read more

Ropley Loco Wednesday Gang – 9 October

Dave is away in some far-away place watching the cars go round and round, so here I am again.  There must be some paint to watch drying on the TV as there were a few regulars missing this week.  So many, that when Frank read out his list,...Read more

Wagon Group Report 7 October

The weather has been a bit iffy in the past week, and a lot of activity was concentrated on Tuesday... Dave Vella, David Taylor and Roger were down at Alresford top coating black the steel work on the milk tank.   Up at Alton also on Tuesd...Read more

Ropley Report Part 2 - Boiler Shop

In case you’re wondering, I split this weeks blog into two as there are limitations in the web publishing system, and there were just too many pictures to fit into one article! After I’d taken a look at the 08 shunter, I had a very quick look arou...Read more

Ropley Loco Wednesday Gang – 2 October part 1

Mistaken in the belief that it was National Poetry Day (not the only calendar snafu this week), the day began with attempts at poetry recitals. As we know you lot like a bit of culture and all of the Wednesday Gang speak fluent latin (except me), h...Read more

Fill 'Er Up

2 October - Building Group Report The new water crane at Alresford has finally been ’opened’ in an inaugural fill up of a loco. The official opening of the valve was performed by Steve Crowther, Chairman of MHRPS and Station Master at Alresford,...Read more

Corner Pillars

Carriage Shop Blog 30 September During my work here, one of the things people most often ask about is how we make the curved timbers, which are the upright timbers of the carriage. Probably 90% of those that ask the question follow it up with "are...Read more

Wagon Group Report 30 September

Dave Edwards, Dave Vella, and Roger were all busy again on the milk tank on Tuesday at Alresford... with more timber repairs/renewals, a bit more derusting and undercoating being done underneath. This was followed up Wednesday by David Taylor,...Read more

Ropley Time Team Find Nothing

Ropley, Wednesday 25th September; a much welcome Indian Summer is continuing as we arrive in Ropley early-morning mist with promises (fulfilled) of another hot day to the extent that the sweatshirt I chose to wear (as you would, working outside at ...Read more

Wagon Group Report 24 September

With the weather wet on Tuesday and the Freight train migrating down to Alresford in advance of the Shareholders and Members day there were a good few congregating at Alresford this week on Wednesday. Dave Edwards, Dave Vella, Roger, Paul and Gerry...Read more

Ropley Loco Wednesday Gang – 18 September

Wot, No Puns?  Dave must have been desperate when he wrote last weeks blog – "Anyone herd about what’s going on at Ropley” – I ask you!  Frank is away on holiday so Matty's list this week was equally thin for blog-writing material.  ...Read more

Beyond The Fringe

17 September - Signal Engineering Report. Over the August Bank Holiday weekend and the week following, the Network Rail signal boxes at Farnham, Aldershot and Ash Vale were closed with control being transferred to a new panel in the Woki...Read more

Wagon Group Report 16 September

Three Dave’s down at Alresford on Tuesday... Edwards, Vella and Taylor working on the milk tank. The replacement timbers under the tank are progressing; a lot more undercoating has been done to the steel work; and thanks to Alresford Traincare effo...Read more

Canadian Pacific Report August

Slumbering at the far (airport) end of the Eastleigh Southern Region Railway Works Erecting/Boiler Shop Can Pac 35005 even without its tender is a magnificent sight. She was built not far from this spot in 1941 as a "spam can” and rebuilt to her pr...Read more

Carriage Shop Blog 12 September

If you walk in the carriage shop at the moment, you could be forgiven for thinking that something is missing – one end of the carriage!  The continued restoration of Bullied brake S4211 has seen the final section of the carriage framework dis...Read more

Anyone Herd About What’s Going on at Ropley Today?

Wednesday September 11th; Autumn is making it’s presence felt as the year races on toward Winter; what a gloomy start! I was in hot, Sunny Monza last week and I really am not enjoying having to find my fleeces again and moaning about the cold; she ...Read more

Wagon Group Report 9 September

A very hot this week, but lot’s of progress all over... Chris Powell and Malcolm Green on Monday all but completed the luggage door 5 to BY S 653 at Medstead - bar the cladding and droplight rail (the latter was worked on by Chris Darkin on Saturda...Read more

Wagon Group Report 2 September

On Tuesday on the milk tank had migrated back into the head shunt at Alresford, so no more luxury of watching trains from the cattle dock siding, or indeed short trips to the West Country buffet for refreshment.  The required timbers for under...Read more

An Exciting New Project

1 September - Building Group Report With the news that approval had been given for groundworks to start for a new waiting room and shelter on the up-platform at Ropley the Building Department and the Wednesday Gang at Ropley started to prepare the...Read more

U-Boat Attacked at Ropley

Back from my travels, a fine Sunny Morning greeted me and the rest of the Wednesday regulars with a few still AWOL on holidays... Petersfield was in about two hours before us today as he was on footplate duty on the Black Five which was hauling one...Read more

Wagon Group Report 27 August

A busy week at all locations...   Roger, Mick, David Taylor and David Edwards were at Alresford on Tuesday with a lot more derusting being done to the milk tank, and now moving on up to higher levels than the sole bar. The new timbers orde...Read more

75079 Update

Progress on the leading bogie is being made with most parts now removed, checked for wear and corrosion, and refurbished by Syd, Chris and Pete.  A lot of the bogie frame has been cleaned up by Mick removing decades of solidified grease and ru...Read more

Urie Blog June-July

Whilst the dry weather of late hasn't been particularly kind to the MHR (fire risk and consequent withdrawal of steam services), it's certainly been a big help to the ULS guys working on 499! Working out in the open, we’re very weather dependent so...Read more

Jigsaw Puzzle Blues (with apologies to Fleetwood Mac)

Loco Wednesday Gang 21 August  As Dave and Colin are away this week it is down to me to keep our reader up to date with this week’s goings on. I think I got the short straw as this week it was also my turn to provide a cake. Dave the Scr...Read more

Building Department Sett Fair

The setts that have been donated from the Kings Cross regeneration project have been delivered and laboriously bagged for storage. Having just completed this task we learnt, with a little trepidation about having to repeat the exercise, but gratefu...Read more

Wagon Group Report 19 August

With the Thomas event ongoing throughout the week, much effort has been put in manning the interactive model railway in PMV S 1995 in the cattle dock siding at Alresford, this being staffed by Wagon Group members, members of the Basingstoke and Dis...Read more

Ropley MPD announce: The Ropad!

Wednesday 14th August, it’s mid-way through Thomas week and so our regular car park is given over to a buggy park, first aid station and ticket office. So we either join the happy visitors in the car-park field half way up the hill and struggle up ...Read more

Wagon Group Report 13 August

Davids Edwards and Vella and Roger were at Alresford on Tuesday and the Milk tank has now appeared back in the cattle dock siding. The under frame below the solebar is now completely derusted, excepting where the brake cylinder is. David E has now ...Read more

Building Report July - Part 2

The Building Department have reached another milestone in its battle with the water tank at Alresford. Paul Grey, who has lead a lot of the work on the tank, was looking for any hostile forces still lurking over from War on the Line as the roof was...Read more

Loco Wednsday Gang 7 August

Back to our usual numbers this week, with repeat visits from new gangsters Ted, Keith and Tom, and a welcome return from Ollie. Straight to business. The cake crisis had deepened and when we arrived Stu announced that he had only brought a sponge ...Read more

Wagon Group Report 6 August

The milk tank has moved from the cattle dock siding at Alresford back down into the head shunt, though not quite as far as Itchen Abbas! Much more derusting and priming has been carried out on the under frame and there is just one more section here...Read more

Carriage Report July

Bulleid s4211 The restoration of Bulleid brake third s4211 has made some good steps forward since my last blog. The most noticeable difference is the exterior panels that have been put on by Ian Johnson, right up to the guard’s compartment. These...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang – 31 July

A smaller-than-usual gathering at the Ropley Home for the Bewildered and Engineering Excellence. Just as well, as there were only a few jobs on Franks list, and we’d finished most of them by lunch-time.  The running fleet are still grounded du...Read more

Building Report July

At Medstead more work on the 'new' dock crane has been going on apace. Dennis and others have been using a mixture of heat and brute force to free up some of the moving parts and the chain. Mixed success on some of this but indications show that ev...Read more

A Boring Day at Ropley

"We’re having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave, The temperature’s rising, It isn't surprising, We certainly can, Spam-Can...” (With grovelling apologies to Marilyn Monroe, Ella Fitzgerald, Irving Berlin and anyone else connected to "There’s No Busin...Read more

Carry on Bridge Building, Starring:

Wednesday 17th July; it’s 31 degrees; THIRTY-ONE?? We are accustomed to complaining about the weather usually meaning it’s cold, wet, or both so it is with utter amazement that I can start today's missive on such a Summery note. I seem to remember ...Read more

Wagon Group Report 16 July

John Dunkley from Alresford Traincare has been busy overhauling the seized brake on the Milk tank at Alresford and it is understood they have been dismantled and reassembled, and the hand brake operates normally now. The axle boxes have been remove...Read more

Vintage Carriage Report

S4211 It has been quite a while since there has been an update on this coach and during that time substantial progress has been made. Starting from inside the coach from the "town" end, the open saloon section floor has been bolted down, the fr...Read more

Empty Car Park Shock! Have they all gone to the sea-side?

Ropley, Wednesday 10th July; it seems like an age since I’ve been here; looking at my diary for Wednesdays normally says "Ropley”, "Ropley”, Ropley” But last 4 weeks have read "Royal Ascot”, Silverstone”, " Nurburgring” and, hurrah, "Ropley”! And w...Read more

Wagon Group Report 9 July

Another deja vous Tuesday at Alresford saw Dave Vella, and Tom continue derusting underneath the Milk tank. Dave Edwards also came along to excavate the remains of the horizontal timbers at the ends of the tank. It appears the tank is to be us...Read more

P-Way Report April - June

April started with our usual duties during Thomas week and the subsequent taking down of all the signage and banners at Ropley – all put away again until the summer. Our next activity, at Ropley again, was to effect some drainage work at the London...Read more

First Carriage and Wagon Shop Blog

Welcome to my first Carriage and Wagon Shop blog! First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Ali Steele, and I am the apprentice in the C&W shop. We have noticed of late that not much has been written about this end of Ropley for rat...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang – 3rd July 2013

Well, this has to be a first! It’s Thursday afternoon and I’m sitting by the River Kennet with fishing rod in one hand, and laptop on my lap.  It’s tough when your life is filled with idle whimsy – you just don’t get a minute to sit down and w...Read more

Fish Eye Views at Medstead

Tuesday 2 July - Wagon Group Report A dry and largely sunny week this week... Tuesday saw Dave Vella and Tom working again down at Alresford, continuing derusting underneath the Milk tank. Beneath the derusting "alien” outfit is I believe Dave...Read more

Crane Lands at Medstead Building Department

June - Building Department Report   Some of the bird spotters in the Department were a little disappointed to find that reports of a crane landing at Medstead turned out to be somewhat wide of the mark. In fact what had arrived was a dock ...Read more

Tropical Signal Engineering

Monday 1 July 2013 – Signal Engineering Report Why is it that most outside jobs coincide with the coldest days of the year (see previous update entitled Extreme Signal Engineering) whilst those jobs inside happen on one of the warmest days of th...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang – 26th June 2013

A short blog this week as we’re overtaking the review & upload process – and I’ve been busy with fishing and visiting the Bluebell Railway (it’s a tough life!).  Dave is still away with the brrmmming round in circles. Not many holes to re...Read more

Busy Days on the Wagons Front

Tuesday 25 June - Wagon Group Report   Tuesday was a busy day, with Dave Vella, and Tom working down at Alresford, continuing on the unenviable task of derusting underneath the Milk tank. It is however making good progress and coming along...Read more

Loco Wednesday Gang – 19th June 2013

No Dave this week – he’s away with the (other) posers at Ascot, followed by a couple of weeks of cars brrrming around in circles at Silverstone and Nurburgring. We’re all getting a bit type-cast, so for Painless and I, it was "more ‘oles”, for L...Read more

Rain and More Rain

Monday 17 June - Wagon Group Report  It seems with all the wonders of modern technology we still can’t forecast the weather very well...  Dave Vella, David Taylor, Roger and Tom were at Alresford on the Tuesday, derusting and priming o...Read more

Romsey or Bust

On Sunday 16th June 2013 a group of Watercress Rangers joined the Four Marks Scouts for a trip to the "Signal Box” at Romsey. We set off from Four Marks at 9.30am arriving at our destination an hour later. I am not sure what I was expecting to see...Read more

Urie Blog Feb-May

Those of you who have read my blogs over the past few years will be aware that I don’t routinely mention names. This time however, I’m going to break the rules – and dedicate this particular blog to my late father, Clive Pedley, who passed away rec...Read more

A Handy Bridge For Ropley

Wednesday 12th June; it’s cold, it’s wet. That probably means we’ll be working outside! The usual banter over our first cuppa at 08-00 was fuelled a bit more than usual by the discussions regarding the opening ceremony of the "Harry Potter” bridge,...Read more

Wagon Group Report 11 June

With good weather this week (for a change), much progress has been made...   On the western front in the head shunt at Alresford a lot of effort has been concentrated on derusting and priming milk tank W 2960, with Tom, Paul, Mick and Dave...Read more

Don't Fence Me In

Friday 7th June - Building Department Blog The wooden picket fence panels  and gates that we have been constructing and painting at Medstead workshop have now been installed around the work compound at Alresford. The old spiked fencing pa...Read more

45132 Update

It’s been a while since I’ve been down due to exams but there were five of us today. Dave spent the day cleaning and topping up the lead batteries used to power the peak. As you can see, these come in racks of 96 and haven’t been replaced for over ...Read more