Rhubarb & Custard

Hello friends and welcome back to another blog update from us here at the Industrial Diesel & Railway Preservation Group. Before we start I’ve not gone mad the title is supposed to be Rhubarb and Custard ……… all will become clear.

This Sunday saw the long awaited return to operation at Rocks by Rail and thus a return to operation for us also. A lot of preparation work had gone in to the reopening with many members working long days to get the museum ready. Clearing away years of accumulated clutter and putting in place a one way system to name but a few tasks.

Despite this everyone turned up in a jovial mood ready for the day. After unlocking and having the sacred brew up, the first job was to get the steamer pulled out and do some shunting with Betty. The days event was Driver for a fiver with the added bonus of steam shunting displays in the quarry so there was plenty to be moved before we got going.

After checking round the steamer Ashley and my self lit the fire and started getting it warmed up whilst Andy.S did the shunting with Betty assisted by Gary and Thomas.

With the shunt done and Betty parked in the platform ready for her days duties Thomas and Andy.S came over and assisted Ashley preparing the steam loco. Meanwhile I updated our A board that we have in the museum building with some new photos. I placed it next to 1382 to show what had changed with the ID&RPG over the last year. Part of this was us being joined buy the Imp group and so including photos of the Ruston 48ds and Ruston LPSE 554997 Eric Tonks.

“WOW WOW WOW HOLD ON A MOMENT”………. “What do you mean” “and Ruston LPSE 554997 Eric Tonks”

Ahh yes i forgot to mention.

THE ID&RPG IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE A 3rd LOCOMOTIVE ADDED TO ITS BOOKS!!! this being as i’m sure you realise by now Eric Tonks. The loco had been under the ownership of one of the rocks by rail members for a number of years but with him deciding it was time to sell the Ruston division of the ID&RPG have bought her. There will be more on this next time so keep checking in… anyway where were we….

Once STR was in steam and cleaned up Thomas went of and helped Ian moving some new seating down the nature trail whilst Ashley, Andy.S and my self oiled round, coaled up, moved off shed and headed for the quarry. The public started arriving at 10.am and before we new it the site was busy with the sound of life again. By this time the Ruston division had already arrived and moved the rail trolley over to the museum building loaded with the new cab for IMP. They got them selves set up with the task of the day to fit all the new panels that at this point are a rather fetching shades of both cream and red (or as I prefer Rhubarb and Custard)

The day seemed to be a success. There were smiling faces all round from both the public and volunteers. Betty preformed well all day and Sir Thomas Royden put on a fantastic show in the quarry pulling and pushing wagons up and down the grade. IMP was also a good attraction for the day as piece by piece she started to look more like a diesel shunter again.

As it always seems to the end of the day came around rather fast. STR was ashed out at topped back up with water, 1382 was fired up to put IMP back in the museum and shunted the yard back round ready for the track work to continue mid week. It was a late finish but everyone was still in a great mood and ready to do it all again next time.

That’s all we have for you this week but join us again in 2 weeks time or better still come and see us in action on the 30th (bank holiday Monday) at the quarry operating day at Rock by Rail. As always thank you for taking the time and interest in what we do and we will catch you next time.

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