The Branch Line Society

Guest



Silverleaf Poplar Light Railway
Sunday 30th August 2020

Report by Duncan Finch


For the first Society fixture in five months, 12 participants assembled for a prompt 10am start at this fairly new private 2ft gauge line. Situated in the village of Old Leake, it is just northeast of Boston in rural Lincolnshire. Tea, coffee and lovely homemade cakes were available before we set out, in three groups of four, everyone with their face coverings, to ride the length of the 'normal' running line. This is from the main front yard of the owner's house out into the adjacent field. Power was provided by green liveried Simplex 'Jane'.

Enough Rails have been acquired to extend past the end of line (no stop block, just a red flag) to the perimeter of the field they own and create a run round loop. There are plans for a further extension back in the opposite direction to turn the railway into an 'L' shaped layout of about half a mile. Once everyone had ridden, a change of motive power was effected and our members were treated to a second return trip behind Alan Keef L2 'Jeffrey' and a surprisingly nippy battery powered red loco.

Now for the really interesting (BLS) bits! With the aid of two white riding vehicles and the battery loco, the headshunt down one side of the house was covered to the end of line. Then came a complex series of moves to clear a fair few wagons (some previously undisturbed for a long time) from the three sharply curving sidings off the main run! All in all a bit of a shunting puzzle but the end result was that everyone managed to scratch all three sidings with overlap. More moves then released the two adjacent lines into the shed (completely of course). These are accessed via a wagon turntable so only one person-rider could be used. Those so inclined indulged in full 360O 'spinnage' (Popeye‽).

Once all the stock had been returned to its rightful place (easy with 12 keen helpers) it was time to tackle the last remaining track, into the main shed. Another job for the battery engine and executed in true BLS Style with heads bowed (not in deference to royalty or the Fixtures Secretary but due to the rather low beams…!). All told it had been a great morning in fine weather and a lovely location. From your correspondent's point of view (and I am sure, everyone else's), it was just great to be back together doing what we all enjoy doing after the longest hiatus in our Society fixtures in recent years.

Many thanks to our very friendly hosts (who clearly enjoyed the visit as much as the participants, and would be happy for a repeat), also to Gary Lonsdale for all the arrangements. Half the group made for Stamford to see the fine Grade II listed Stamford East station building exterior before having a return trip to Peterborough to do the temporary alignment for construction of the Werrington diveunder.


The wagon turntable is evident as is Kev Adlam (left).
[© Pat Morley 2020]





[© Pat Morley 2020





[© Pat Morley 2020





[© Pat Morley 2020




Our very socially distanced member Alan Sheppard waits patiently for a trip; the 'house' end of line is to the left.
[© Kev Adlam 2020]




The country or field end of the line - there is track there honestly; showing route of the next extension to the left.
[© Kev Adlam 2020]





[© Kev Adlam 2020]





[© Kev Adlam 2020]





[© Kev Adlam 2020]





[© Kev Adlam 2020]

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