Established 1983

Latest News Page July/August 2012

End of another era 2000--2012

End of another era for Remus. (left) The first day it was steamed and operating on the tracks at Thorne May Bank Holiday Monday 2000.  The last day it operated on the tracks at Thorne in steam 2nd June 2012.

Remus and the Sandtoft Miniature Railway rises from the ashes.   

The steam locomotive Remus served at Sandtoft from 1985 until the closure of the railway in May 2000. IRemus was then transferred to the Thorne Memorial Park Miniature Railway operated by the Doncaster & District Model Engineering Society Ltd on the May Bank Holiday Monday 2000. The locomotive operated here until about 2010. Regrettably after the death of one of the founder members of the D&DMESL maintenance became a problem. Facilities to maintain the locomotive were not adequate resulting in difficulties to repair the locomotive. In 2012 a re-tubed boiler was returned and fitted but without proper facilities it became apparent that the locomotive was never going to operate again at Thorne. It was decided on the 4th July by the majority of members re-locate the locomotive and any other SMR rolling stock loaned to the D&DMESL. The carriages were relocated on the 5th July along with the locomotive Mufuta to another operating railway.       

Remus's boiler being prepared for re-tubing at the boiler maker H. Holt on 11 March 2012. Help from the Thorne Motor company to fit a part to the boiler. Not easy in the dark, damp and cramped conditions that was classed as rolling stock storage area and workshop. Thanks to the efforts of Harold Dyson (the locomotives builder) Thorne Motor Company, James Jordan & David the locomotive operated again for the first time under steam for a test on the 2nd June 2012. Sadly this was to be the last time that the locomotive was to operate under steam at Thorne. 

On Monday 9th July 2012 the locomotive was removed from Thorne by the same trailer that removed it from Sandtoft in May 2000. Probably Remus's last moments in Thorne. In the view on the right unless it returns as a visiting locomotive, looking towards the Thorne Memorial Park for the last time and the bridge that for many years overlooked its journeys around the railway tracks in the park. 

(Left) Myself with some of the rail from the former layout at the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft being removed from its storage location, probably just in time judging by the angle of the leaning garage. (Right) Jordan and James with some more lengths of rail ready for loading.

(Left) The locomotive in its new storage location where work can now get underway to get into full running condition again. (Right) No that is not Remus alongside Mufuta at the Wortley Top forge but hopefully later this year that may well be Remus operating alongside Mufuta as visitors to the railway. Sadly both these locomotives were not going to be at the 2012 Summer Festival Event.

Mufuta on the tracks for the very last time at Thorne. The body is lifted ready for transportation to its new temporary location along with the two SMR coaches. SMR 1 on its new tracks where already it is carrying passengers again.

Train Services back at Thorne Memorial Park

Sunday 22 July 2012 The trains were once again carrying passengers. After years of myself and with the odd brief help from other members they now have the task of carrying out the work that I sweated over for many hours for 12 years, now that I have left (along with seven other long standing members) of the Doncaster & District Model Engineering Society Ltd. I have been informed that they are going to have re-launch of the railway and society including at a members meetings in a near by hotel, this took place on the 29th August 2012. I wish them every success I hope they have more success than when a group of members took over the running of the sweet and tea stall from myself and my wife.
The public were also being entertained in wonderful summer sunshine to delights of the Hatfield Main Brass Band. For a full list of the brass band concerts click here  (No more concerts now until 2012) Please note that certain photographs have been pixelated. Lego-affixation!

Summer Festival in Thorne Memorial Park 28th/29th July 2012

After months and weeks of rain the weather changed about a week and a half before the weekend event on the 28th and 29th of July 2012 (Sat and Sunday). Left we see the train waiting to depart from the miniature railway station. Two of the former eight members who resigned from the D&DMESL try their hand at "Hook a Duck" . The event was somewhat low key, many of the stage artist had cancelled anticipating that the event was going to be cancelled. During the last few days I have many reports that visitors were not happy with railway. Train fares, lack of steam locomotives, no model tent and the scruffy state of the tracks. Perhaps by the 2013 the event will bounce back to its former self as will the railway which I am pleased things are now looking better. +.
For more photographs of the event please visit my Facebook page. Click here visit Facebook Album
"Summer Festival in Thorne Memorial Park 2012" Please note that certain photographs have had the railway society members pixelated. Lego men I believe! Please note as regards photography in Thorne Memorial Park it is a Public Park, the railway operates in the public area. There are obviously restrictions as regards photographing the interior of the railway shed, the building belongs to Thorne Moorends Town Council. For health and safety reasons, access is restricted. 

What was missing from the 2013 Event

Many attractions were missing from this years Summer Festival event, singers, dancers and some charity stalls due to the weeks and weeks of bad weather. It was known that before the weather problems that the Model Aircraft Group probably would not  be able to attend the event. Also there would be no Model Engineering Tent due to lack of members willing to put up the marquees after some alleged less than complimentary remarks from one of the model exhibitors.

Also it appears that there was a noticeable lack of steam locomotives which visitors seem to have complained about. As for the state of the tracks I was missing! After twelve years of cutting the grass it was becoming a one man band. Without the constant attention to the grass and keeping the weeds off the tracks they soon become overgrown as visitors saw at this years event. 

For more photographs of the event please visit my Facebook page. Click here visit the Facebook Album
"Summer Festival in Thorne Memorial Park 2012"

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