26th and 27th August are the last of the Middy Line’s normal summer opening programme, but visitors will be able to see the progress the Middy has been making this season and the remarkable results the happy band of volunteers have achieved. It’s a real testament to the skills and dedication of the team.
On Sunday 26th at 12.30 there will be a ‘First Sod Cutting’ ceremony with guests from our appointed contractors TES and Colas. Visitors can see beginnings of the clearance work on the extension to Aspall Halt which will become the destination station in the future.
On a more thoughtful note on Monday 27th at 11.15 there will be a small service of dedication with the Vicar of Wetheringsett, the Reverend Julia Lill, for the new memorial to those members of Middy staff lost in World War 1. Eventually the memorial will also list names of volunteers who have passed away since the rebirth of the Middy in 1991.
In addition there will be two locos in steam running the passenger services double headed on both days and demonstrations of progress the Middy’s own locomotive, Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST no.1604, which will be run up and down the line to show the newly completed piston and coupling rods in action. Just the boiler to complete!
During both days there will also be entertainment from local musicians to help the weekend go with a swing. Between 12.00 and 4.00p.m. on Sunday 26th Kieran Fitzgerald and his band and on 27th Folk/accoustic skiffle duo Chris & Paddy.
Also on show is the latest addition to the Middy Collection courtesy of member/driver Lawrie Rose is the small diesel Ruston 48 previously owned by Sir William McAlpine. Lawrie was able to buy this loco from Sir William just weeks before he died. The importance of this loco to Middy fans is that a classmate was the only known diesel ever to run on MSLR metals and that was during the lifting of the line. We intend to use Lawrie’s 48 in the relaying of the extension in due course.
During 2018 several important vehicles have been restored including the TOAD brake van, which was used by Hornby as the basis of their soon to be released new model and the Dennis Mace lorry. Both will be on show during the weekend.