Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas 2010 (Part 2)

Father Christmas in his grotto
Having left my tripod behind on Sunday, another visit was in order to get some photographs before everything gets packed away for next year. Being a weekday it also affords the opportunity to catch up with some of the behind the scenes activity such as horse repairs and locomotive rebuilds.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Christmas 2010

Father Christmas
Well, where did the last year go to?

It doesn't seem that long since we last visited Father Christmas and here we are again. My car is having its MOT so we use grandma's, and as we arrive I realise I forgot to swap my tripod over - so long exposures to capture the Christmas lights are out of the window today. Fortunately I did bring my fast portrait lens and a ring flash so all is not lost.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Volunteering - One year on

I have now been a volunteer at Bressingham Steam Museum for one year, and thought it would be good to look back and reflect on my first year.

When the idea of writing a blog dawned on me that very first day whilst I was cleaning the cranks, I didn't think that I would have much to write about and that my entries would be limited to a handful given my time on site would be limited as my skills were more "back office".

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Gilding and major surgery on the Gallopers horses

Gilding is a costly business
Whilst the principle aim of today was to make a start on photographing the collection, it also happened to be the day that Yvette was in. Yvette is a volunteer whose particular skill is applying the gold leaf to the horses on the Gallopers.

Yes, they contain real gold.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Carl's big day and another Seymour date

A long time dream fulfilled
It was during my first day of trackwork back in February that I met Carl for the first time. I've seen him lots of times since, both when volunteering and as a visitor since he is a regular volunteer working as a guard on the three narrow gauge lines.
Recently Carl started his steam training in preparation for driving. This involves learning the principles of steam on the beam engine in the locomotive shed, and he could be found in there during this year's Thomas event.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

New locomotives and Steam in Miniature Weekend at Bressingham

Last year's winner hoping to take
the prize again
Today's visit coincided with Bressingham's 21st Steam in Miniature Weekend. This would be the second time round for me, so I knew roughly what to expect, except this time I would be writing a blog entry as well.

In fact we bought our family season ticket at last year's event and given the number of visits we managed in a year (at least sixteen, possibly as many as twenty) I have to rate it as excellent value.

Seymour returns - a date for your diary

Seymour - good to see he hasn't changed much!
Whilst at the Steam in Miniature event I fortuitously bumped into Seymour in the afternoon. This was the first time I'd seen him since the Ivor Day some three months ago.

I know that a few people would like to know when he visits Bressingham so they might be able to say hello and catch up. With this in mind I asked him if he'd mind me letting people know when he was next due to visit so that I could put it on my blog. Ever Seymour, he was happy to oblige and quite happy for me to take a photograph as well to publish with the news.

The date to put into your diary is Sunday 29th August.

Now of course I must say that this is not one hundred percent guaranteed, so please don't go cancelling your plans on my say so, but if you are a season ticket holder or have been meaning to visit, then the 29th might be a good choice.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Ian's big day

Ian on Rosenkavalier
Today was another day that wasn't intended as a blog entry - just a visit with number one son and grandma, but a couple of conversations later that's what it became.

Whilst having something to eat I noticed that today's Nursery Line driver was Robert, the same chap featured in the photograph that won some of the software that I will be using to bring the collection online over the next few months. After thanking him for taking part we got chatting and I learned that Bevan is awaiting final inspection from the Railway Inspectorate before coming into service. I don't know when this is scheduled to happen, but it can't be too long now. I also learned that there are some new narrow gauge locomotives soon to be arriving at Bressingham for passenger service, including a diesel. This should help to provide a better level of backup during maintenance and breakdown.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Bevan complete and awaiting inspection

Bevan waiting for inspection
Sitting in the locomotive shed is a completed Bevan. Everything has been finished and is awaiting final inspection for a boiler certificate and associated insurance paperwork. This I'm told is scheduled for w/c 12 July, so presumably if all is well, Bevan could be steaming out in the next few days.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Dad's Army Day

Walmington on Sea comes to Bressingham
This year marked the tenth anniversary of Dad's Army Day at Bressingham. Usually held each May, this year it was moved back to June to coincide with the unveiling of the statue of Captain Mainwaring in Thetford and the Dad's Army Day organised by Dad's Army Museum on Saturday 19th.

New locomotive Bevan roaring ahead

Bevan really is coming on well
Progress on Bevan seems to be moving along quite rapidly, and it's interesting to see just how far things have come on in the last six weeks. Once completed and operational, a lot of interesting things are hidden from general view so it's great to be able to get a look at what is underneath.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Bressingham Online Collection and the Royal Coaches

Another project that I have volunteered for is to help get Bressingham's exhibit collection online. As an Information Management consultant my day to day job involves dealing with information retrieval, content management, website coding and design, so this is something that is right up my street.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Ivor Day (Part 2)

Ivor has steam up
With my early start, and my other half at home looking after baby, it fell upon grandma to bring number one son along around lunchtime. He is a Thomas fan through and through, so meeting Ivor would be a new experience. By the time I caught up with them he had already had a ride behind Ivor and was as excited about the trains as ever. What is it with little boys and trains?

Ivor Day - Behind the Scenes (Part 1)

Ivor's boiler being filled
This weekend Ivor the Engine paid his third visit to Bressingham, and I had an early start so that I could include some of what happens behind the scenes as the drivers prepare the locomotives for the day.
As with any day, there is lots going on and I have tried to capture a flavour of what's happening.
Due to its length, this posting has been split into two parts.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Lots going on and a new locomotive

John, today's Garden Line guard
Today did not start as a blog day, it was just a visit with number one son and grandma as mum is in hospital having given birth to number two son on Tuesday. I wonder if in the next eighteen months or so he will have a similar fascination with trains and cars. I'm sure that if his older brother has anything to do with it he will!

However, things happen and I started chatting to a couple of people. As a result I have several updates worthy of posting.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Teddy Bear Family Day at Bressingham

Meeting a large teddy bear
As each special event comes round at Bressingham, I am trying to attend as many as possible so that I can share some of what happens. Since I come with my family it gives me the opportunity to enjoy myself as well so that I can hopefully be more objective in my reporting.

Today's weather forecast threatened heavy showers, and as we arrived at 11:00 it had just started to rain. I always feel a little downhearted when going to any event when the weather is inclement. Anyone organising an outdoor event works incredibly hard to bring things together, and nothing must dash their spirits more than a rainy day. Just because it's not sunny and dry doesn't mean that any less effort has put into the planning and organisation beforehand.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Gallopers assembly timelapse sequence

As soon as I had decided to become a Bressingham Volunteer ideas started racing through my mind.  One of those was to produce a timelapse video when the Gallopers were being assembled following their winter overhaul.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

A family visit to Bressingham at Easter

Seeking out Seymour
After following all of the activity surrounding the 2010 season opening it was nice to be able to enjoy a day with the family this Easter. Our first port of call was the Gallopers where we sought out Seymour especially. I'm not sure if a three and a half year old quite understood fully when I explained the significance, but he grasped "man on horses" and was happy enough. Oddly enough one of his middle name is Seymour, taken from my late step father's middle name, so maybe it's a portent!

It's always great to see the Gallopers running as they were intended - on steam. Somehow it's just not the same when they're on electric, maybe it's the near silence with which they turn that takes some of the fun away.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Au revoir Seymour, not good bye

Cake decoration captures Seymour's character perfectly
After sixteen years of working at Bressingham, today was Seymour's last official day at work as he retires. A gathering of staff and volunteers in the afternoon presented him with a specially designed cake and a Corgi model of a carousel similar to Bressingham's in recognition of his long and valued service to Bressingham.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

More trackwork and Gallopers are coming along well

Toby on the 2ft gauge
Ever the glutton for punishment, I put myself into the frame for another day of trackwork before the maintenance season ends and Bressingham opens its doors to the public again on 27th March. The other motive was to get a behind the scenes glimpse at The Gallopers as they are reassembled following their overhaul and inspection.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Trackwork and Gallopers update

Track maintenance
Today's visit was to help do some work on the track. When the main season finishes at the end of October there is a five month window to do any track maintenance before things open again fully towards the end of March. Obviously this work needs planning around the Christmas and February half-term opening as some trains do run for these events.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Photoshoot for Christmas 2010 marketing

Bressingham's Snow Queen (taken on previous visit)
After my first Christmas visit I knew that I could achieve some much better images with the use of flash lighting. In my mind's eye I pictured the Snow Queen in her sleigh with the background washed in blue light to give the image a cold tone. Given the very low light levels inside it would be virtually impossible to shoot the Snow Queen without the use of flash. The image here was taken on that visit and was the sort of style that I wanted to achieve today.