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Ropley Loco Weds Gang - 15 July 2020 - Oil Shed Pounds grafting here today (in my dreams)

Ropley; Wednesday 15th July; the "New Normal" is becoming the normal normal as a smaller but a no less enthusiastic numbers of both staff and volunteers set about a slightly delayed deep Spring clean around the yard and the sheds.. Mr Sibley is back for two days a week at the moment so the usual sarcasm was enjoyed at break times, though his shorts were nowhere near as lary as we've been used to seeing. And I think he had a tie on?

Last week's Wednesday gang made a start on sorting and cleaning out the Oil Shed and erecting a wooden frame around the large storage tanks we have prior to starting cladding them today. Russian John and Petersfield  chose to erect some new shelving in the oil shed using some brand new shelf brackets duly supplied by Mark, who didn't look best pleased when I told him I had a drawer full of the things at home which he could have had for nowt... No matter, we didn't argue when Mark produced a brand new 110 volt electric drill which we were told to look after or else! Can't think what he meant.. And, forewarned from last week, John had brought in some SHARP drill bits! Oh what joy.. (we're simple souls and easily pleased...)

Pilot Pete and I set about cladding the kero tanks with an assortment of new and not so new corrugated iron sheets. which we had to measure, cut to size, measure again and trim before fitting them on the support frame erected last week. What's it they say about "Measure twice, cut once"? Not quite so easy cutting corrugated stuff using a disc cutter but we got better as the day went on. We secured them with a minimum number of the screws that we could find in Troutbridge with a promise to Mark we'd sort some better ones for next week and use more of them. Lets hope there are no gales between now and then!

Petersfield had been firing over last weekend on the new revised timetable with new revised social distancing train seating and booking arrangements and he reported that there had seemed to be a bit of a carnival atmosphere about the railway with the Ropley pic-nic area being well enjoyed and many punters waving at the train from vantage points along the line as service resumed. A "management spokesman" (eh?) also confirmed satisfaction for the post Covid re-opening which is good news for all of us. With Summer holiday timetables starting next week, let's all hope that continues as the railway gets back on it's feet. 

Well, a fairly short blog this week folks (thank heavens for that I hear) as like everyone else I am still getting back into the swing of things. One piece of personal news I have to report though is that I am now officially RETIRED!!! Never thought I'd see the day to be honest as I had a wonderful 47 years "working" in television. But like everything else in this strange new world, times they are a'changing... so now, I am like every other Wednesday ganger able to please myself; as if I didn't anyway my wife might say...

Stay safe! 
Your Ropley Scribe.

Photo gallery

  • Petersfield pulling a pint

  • Can't see any volts in 'ere

  • Couldn't find another screw so I'll use my finger

  • Never mind the damn photo, get over here and fix this

  • Only another 5 to cut.

  • What a top job

  • Now to the side cladding

  • Blimey, where did that come from

  • Loads of work in the pit lane.