NEWS 2019

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Refurbishment of the 1970s Colour Light Signals

The four-aspect colour light signals with banner signal are one of our longest-running demonstrations, having been operating since 2011. They have been repainted twice, and occasional repairs made to the wiring (particularly after being nibbled by rodents) or to the relay boards in each signal head.

These boards have proved more susceptible to climatic conditions than we expected and a couple have had to be replaced. In addition, we have found the carefully focused 5 watt car tail-lamp bulbs can only be viewed over a limited angle - and the plugs and sockets linking signals to the fixed wiring have also given problems.

So we are carrying out a major refurbishment - this will include:
1. new control system in a weather-proof Location Cabinet - the one that used to house our incoming mains supply;
2. complete re-wire using heavier duty wire to stop rodent damage;
3. new wires to run in flexible conduit from ducting to signals without plugs or sockets;
4. replacing the filament bulbs with LED lamps giving a wider angle of view.

Late February/early March saw work start on relocating the Location Cabinet:
Here a frame has been made to cast a concrete base for the location cabinet, and pipes added for the wiring between cabinet and the duct linking to the various signals.


Record number of visitors attend: The Sunday Open Afternoon on March 10th saw a new record set for the number of visitors attending a Sunday afternoon opening - 250 came, more than twice the previous record of 120 set in February 2018.



The unusual warm spell towards the end of the month encouraged a number of outdoor works, beside a display of early blossom:

                                     We were able to start again on preserving the fence and have replanted the 'T' sign.

Track work has taken place on the garden railway where fixed curves have replaced flexible track to improve running:


Courtesy of the Chiltern Model Railway Association, we were given space at their annual exhibition, now held at Stevenage Leisure Centre.

We had a good team on the stand, sold nearly £200 of bits and pieces,and spoke to hundreds of people over the two days of the show and gave out virtually all our remaining leaflets! (A reprint is being organised.)

Back at the box, the same weekend saw our first open afternoon of 2019 with some 75 visitors.