Tag Archives: Harley

Sherwood 11 – The DJ’s Viewpoint

I was slightly surprised that my previous post to this one was back in July when I wrote about Hoggin’ The Beaver. Well, this one is about the same great bunch of people, Sherwood Chapter of the Harley Owners’ Group. This weekend was their annual rally, Sherwood 11. I have written here about a couple of rallies at Woodland Waters, the last one almost exactly two years ago. I was not involved in last year’s rally at all, but they moved into the heart of Sherwood Forest, and into the shadow of the luxurious Warners Hotel, Thoresby Hall.    

Chuffing Hog at Sherwood 11. We didn’t stay at Thoresby Hotel.

This year’s rally was held on the same site, and I was booked to provide the disco for the three nights of the event, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sue and I were invited to stay for the weekend, but after a great deal of thought and discussion, we decided to travel to and from home each day. This proved to be a good decision as I was able to get a good night’s sleep between each evening’s work. I think that this is a point well worth making, that being a DJ is a job that has to be taken seriously. It’s a shame that there are some DJs who don’t do this. 

I rather fear that some DJs at other Harley Rallies may fall into this category because I am always amazed to be told by lots of Sherwood Chapter members that my disco is very good. This weekend, I’m afraid that I couldn’t agree with them on at least two of the nights. Anyway, that analysis can come later. 

The site is stunning. Woodland Waters was a great setting, but Thoresby Park is a step forward. There’s much more space for a central rally area with the bar, a lot of trade stands, food outlets and a large arena, with a great focal area – a large brazier with a welcome fire. The site is almost surrounded by woodland, with the imposing face of Thoresby Hall close by across the field. There is a lot of room for the rally to grow as there is another large field beyond a line of trees that was almost unused all weekend. 

Even before we had arrived on Thursday afternoon, it was clear that the organisation of the rally had taken a leap forward from my previous experience. A set of very professionally made signs guided us into the venue. I commented to Sue that these were much better than day-glo cardboard signs. This impression was confirmed at the gate where we received a warm welcome and were fitted with our wristbands. The medieval-style black and orange tent at the gate, and its twin a few yards away are a step up from the gazebo of old. 

Sherwood 11 - Black and Orange Tents
Sherwood 11 – Black and Orange Tents

We drove across to the marquee, unloaded and started to set up the gear for the first night’s gig. The band, Crusade, arrived soon after us and we sorted out how we could share the limited space. The gig itself was not one of my best. I have always felt quite strongly that I should make the music I play fit in with the style of the band. Crusade is a rock band, so I played a lot of rock that night. Certainly it was good quality rock and I think most of the people there enjoyed the night. Someone who has never been to a Sherwood Chapter event would probably think, “Bikers – rock, what’s the problem?” For me the problem is that bikers can be as diverse as any other group of people. Certainly there are people whose musical taste goes from A to Z – AC/DC to ZZ Top – all rock. But a lot of Harley owners like other kinds of music, so I came away from Thursday night feeling that I’d let them down a bit.   

The complaints about noise from the hotel didn’t help either. We had set up the disco and the band with our PA systems pointing straight at the hotel, so the complaints were justified. When we were staying at Thoresby, we’d have been unhappy if there had been a bunch of noisy, hairy bikers just outside our bedroom window. I’m sure that the lesson has been learned. But I thought that Friday would redeem this. Friday and Saturday night were indoors, in the Riding Hall, Thoresby Park’s beautiful function venue, so there weren’t going to be problems with the hotel. Friday’s band was The Platforms. We first met these guys three or four years ago when the pub at the end of the Hoggin’ The Beaver ride out booked them to play while we were there. They were an out an out glam rock covers band with outrageous make-up to blend in with the Sweet, Bay City Rollers and Gary Glitter songs that they were playing. Absolutely 100% right for the average age of Harley owners. So they got booked for more Sherwood gigs, at rallies and a Christmas Party.   

I was quite excited at the prospect of being able to play a lot of sixties and seventies music to fit in with their fun, party style on the Friday. I always ask the band for their set list so that I can try to remember to avoid playing the songs that they are going to do. When I was given the Platforms set list on Friday night, my heart sank. Sure enough, the first set was pretty solid seventies glam rock, but they ended their first set with a nondescript heavy rock cover. Worse still, most of the second set leaned towards hard rock, so I couldn’t use my 30 minute interval set to do much more than thrash out more of the same.   

I can understand that a band wants to move on beyond playing the same set for ever, and maybe they had fallen into the trap that bikers = hard rock, but neither I, nor many of the crowd were very satisfied with Friday night. Frankly, the shortage of chairs in the room didn’t encourage people to stay (on either Friday or Saturday night).   

Saturday’s band was Bootleg Blondie. They are the only Blondie tribute band to have played at the home of Punk, CBGB’s club in New York and both the band and “Debbie Harris”, the lead singer were great. They put a lot of effort into their sound check, which paid off with a great sound in the room and underlined their experienced, professional approach. The first set was a fantastic flow of Blondie’s hits from “Denee” through to “Maria” and a show-stopping rendition of “Heart Of Glass” as their first set encore.   

Sherwood 11 - Bootleg Blondie on Stage
Sherwood 11 – Bootleg Blondie on Stage

   

But I felt almost embarrassed that, for most of that first set, the audience just sat there. Even the applause between songs was lacklustre. I didn’t play between the two sets as this is the time when awards are presented and thanks given. I realise that this is an important part of the weekend, but it may have gone on a little bit too long. I must give the organisers some credit for cutting down on the time that it takes to draw the raffle, but even that backfired because the mass exodus from the room as the band started the second set was dreadful. I feel partly responsible for this because I announced that the raffle prizes were on a table just outside the room. Doh! Bad idea.   

The band’s second set saw a little more dance-floor action to some great cover versions of eighties party classics such as “Enola Gay” and “Going Underground” and after they had finished, I played for another three quarters of an hour, which I believe to have been my best set of the whole weekend. Did I really play Dean Martin’s “Amore”?   

Whilst I was thanked profusely, my contribution to the rally was not as good as it should have been and I know that I can do better. I’ve already been told that I’ll be there next year, so I’ll do some planning between now and then.   

I’ll return for a moment to Saturday afternoon. This was one of my professional and personal highlights of the weekend. I provided a PA system on the field for the arena and other activities. This was to promote the Bike Show, to provide commentary for the games that turned into an international “It’s A Knockout” between a great bunch of HOG members from Belgium and a motley bunch of Englishmen (with an American as well.) This was enormous fun and afterwards, the comment was made that my commentary helped the audience to understand what was going on. However, the real high spot of the afternoon was the arrival of the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance helicopter which flew in to the empty field that I mentioned earlier.   

Sherwood 11 - The Air Ambulance
Sherwood 11 – The Air Ambulance

   

They came to accept a cheque from the Chapter’s fund-raising activities. Most people there were amazed when a cheque for £9,500 was handed over; a brilliant effort by the Sherwood Chapter and friends.   

For my perception of the rest of the rally, I return to my theme as we arrived. As an (almost) outsider looking in, I saw a superbly organised event with a great atmosphere. There have been something of an upheaval in Sherwood Chapter over the last few months and I believe that some of the issues that were bubbling when I left the chapter two years ago have now been resolved. I really hope that the dust finally settles because I saw a renewed Sherwood Chapter this weekend, one that is moving forward with a united commitee and good leadership. Indeed, Sue and I have been talking about rejoining the chapter when our economic situation improves.   

My thanks to everyone in Sherwood Chapter for making us feel so welcome.   

Ride Safe,
Dave   

Advertisements

Hoggin’ The Beaver

It’s more than 18 months since I ended my involvement with Sherwood Chapter of the Harley Owners Group and posted an explanation here on this blog. At the time, I was quite clear that this was final.

However, life is never quite so cut and dried, so this weekend, we loaded up the disco gear and went to play for the Chapter Director, Pete and Partner Sam’s long-running weekend in the Vale of Belvoir (in which “Belvoir is pronounced “Beaver”). With HOG being either the Harley Owners Group, or a nickname for the bikes themselves, we arrive at Hoggin’ The Beaver.

I have to admit that when I was asked to do the disco for the Saturday night, I was a little apprehensive about how I would be recieved. I really should not have worried.

There have been a number of changes in the time that I’ve been away from the politics of the organisation. In particular, the people who were behind my departure have themselves moved on, leaving behind a far better atmosphere.

It felt really good to be greeted so warmly by so many people that we used to ride with and meet at the monthly chapter meetings. I really did feel that I was among friends.

Yes, there were some people who, I am sure, consciously blanked us and others who did nothing untoward, but just saw us as “the disco”, but I was very touched by the number of warm handshakes from the blokes and hugs from the women who took the trouble to come over and say “hi”.

So we arrived at the Dirty Duck at Woolsthorpe and started setting up the equipment. Just as we were finishing, the band arrived and we struck up a good working relationship straight away – something that doesn’t always happen between a band and a disco. If I get to work with the Nathan Wall Band again in the future, I will be very happy.

We shared the space on the stage between us and even reached an agreement that the band would use my sound system for their vocals to save them setting up their own speakers in front of mine.

Having done a number of gigs for the chapter that always involve bands, I really must stress how great these guys were. They set up smoothly and efficiently, their soundcheck was quick and to the point and I was able to start the disco bang on time. We had to come up a little jiggery-pokery with cables and plugs to make the change-over from disco to band work, but this was OK

I was delighted that a couple of people were straight on the dance floor, even before the band’s first set. Thanks, Jane and friend.

The band were also happy to give me a set list that was mostly indie rock, but inculded a few sixities classics. This is always an enormous help as I know what not to play and can try to lead in to the band’s sets with tracks that complement, rather than clash with their music.

As soon as they started playing, I realised that they were a cut above the average. I really enjoyed their first set and when I got back onto the stage, they left me a fairly full dance floor to sustain.

After about half an hour of me, it was presentation time and I was gobsmacked when Pete called Sue an I forward to present us with an engraved tankard in recognition of our support for the event. That really put the icing on the cake for me in making feel that I was still part of something that I had walked away from.

There were a number of other presentations, including to the winners of the bike show. Then it was time for one of the highlights of Hoggin’ The Beaver, Yi-Aye Man’s charity auction. Jeff had a new glamorous assistant this year who was an imporvement on her predecessor, although keeping the auction shorter than previous years also helped to make it effective.

The auction must have raised well over 100 pounds and was followed by the raffle with loads of prizes (alough none wo by Sue who had splashed out on a fistful of tickets.

After a quick tune or two from me, it was time for the band’s second set which was as good as their firstand as the evening went on and the alcoholic beverages started to hit the spot, the dance floor was quickly packed.

After they had played for over an hour, and been called to do a couple of extra, unplanned encore songs, I was given free reign. Musical highlights for me were Led Zep;s “Rock and Roll” and Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”. The sound in that small function room was really good and I loved the whole vibe.

I didn’t even let one very drunk idiot spoil things; he objected loudly when I started to play a Smiths track, so I dumped it and hit another track instead. Although I am still wondering what Morrissey had done to upset him.

By 1am, it was becoming clear that the weekend had taken its toll as people started wandering off to bed and by about quarter past one, I wound it down with a pile of bodies on the front of stage (Pete, Sam, Beasty and one or two others) and I finished with a most unlikely biker anthem – Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World”.

It was great to be asked to do Hoggin’ The Beaver and now I know that I can look forward to my next outsing for this bunch of reprobates when we spend three nights working at the Sherwood Chapter’s Rally at Thoresby Park in September.

It also looks like we’ll be back at the Hoggin’ The Beaver next year. I can’t wait.

Ride Safe
Dave

Heritage Softail Service and Tyre

The other day I came out of work after a late meeting to be greeted by the the Harley-Davidson sitting there with a flat back tyre.  One of my colleagues tried to look on the bright side by reassuring me that it was only flat at the bottom, but I think this was just trying to make me feel better.

However, I wasn’t really worried, except for the fact that this would delay me getting home for my dinner. After a phone call to the lovely people at the RAC, I settled down for a wait. I didn’t have too long to wait before one their bright orange vans arrived, quickly located the problem, which was a hole in the tyre and proceeded to make a temporary repair.

I had been asked a couple of times whether this was a tubed or a tubeless tyre and I neither knew the answer nor realised that the question would prove to be significant.

It seems that temporary repairs are only for tubeless tyres.

After some searching, the RAC man announced his verdict. It had a tube.

This meant that I could not ride it home, even though the temporary repair was holding up. I would have to wait for a truck to come and take me home.

He also announced that I needed a new back tyre as the tread was on the very edge of being legal.

I settled back down in the office at work and eventually the truck arrived. We manoeuvred the bike onto the back of the hi-tech sliding tipping flat bed and the driver proceeded to strap the bike down. After this was done, we finally set off for home with me in the truck.

Apart from getting no dinner until about 11pm, things were OK. Our RAC membership had covered the costs of both of my rescuers and the bike was safely put away at home.

The next step was a phone call to Robin Hood.

No not that one; the Harley Davidson dealership in Nottingham.

They would come and collect the bike, fit a new tyre and carry out the service that was also due.

The ball park price that we were given during that phone call was a bit of shock. We are looking at about £700.

Oh well, nothing is cheap on a Harley.

The shop van turned up this morning and as I write this, the bike is in their tender care. At some point the phone will ring and my Visa card will go pale.

But the bike will be back on the road.

There is some debate going on in our household at the moment about whether we are going to keep the bike. With my job being almost an hour away from home, a car is a necessity, especially for next winter. My heart wants to keep the bike and walk to work if the weather is too bad to ride, but the well-hidden sensible bit of me realises that walking to Swadlincote from Nottingham is not an option.

Anyway, whether the bike stays or leaves, it needs to be roadworthy.

Discontent in Sherwood Chapter

Although we are no longer members of Sherwood Chapter of the Harley Owners Group, we keep an ear to the ground about what’s going on there.

It is not entirely unrelated to what we are hearing that I have decided to remove the password protection from this post about my reasons for resigning from the committee and for not renewing my membership of the chapter. As I now have no connection with them – and almost six months water is under the bridge, I no longer feel bound by my agreement to remove this post from view.

If you’re a chapter member, would you like to comment on what is going on there at the moment?

Ride Safe
Dave

An Easter Family Visit – Part 4

So, we’re up to Part 4 of this epic adventure, but if you’re just joining us, it all starts here.

In fact, it’s taking much longer than I expected to finish this story, but tere is a spell of great weather and we’d far rather be out riding the Harley-Davidson than sitting in front of a computer. However, with part 4, we reach a real highlight of our visit by Maria and Cecilie, the Danish branch of our family.  I have also been beaten to this part of the tale by Cecilie, who has already posted a lot of great pictures of her English trip over on Facebook.

Anyway, the first three parts of this adventure have taken us through most of the weekend, and as we have reached Easter Sunday, it was to be their last day with us before returning home. But before we could think of loading up the car and delivering them home, there were two important things to complete. The first was to take Cecilie out for a ride aboard the Harley. In Part 3, I posted a picture of Cecilie sitting on the bike on our drive, but she really wanted to get out on the road. I was only too pleased to show off oblige.

Cecilie and Chuffing Hog Are About To Venture Out Onto The Roads of Nottinghamshire

Cecilie and Chuffing Hog Are About To Venture Out Onto The Roads of Nottinghamshire

 We set out Northwards from Nottingham, around the Hucknall Bypass and out on the dual carriageway towards Annesley. Bearing left at the north end of the dual carriageway, we rode out towards Junction 27 of the M1 and across towards Selston. Following this road down through Moorgreen and Watnall, we then came through Nuthall and via the A610 roundabout, along Lowmoor Road back towards home.

For me, it wasn’t the most exciting ride of all time and didn’t really last very long, but Cecilie had developed the “biker grin” by the time we got back. She was a really good pillion, keeping very good balance and she seemed to relax as the ride went on, even letting go of her grip on my waist for a while. She responded well to the taps that we exchanged to check that everything was OK.

Although the conversation between Cecilie and her mum was in Danish, I feel sure that Cecilie said something like, “I want one” when we got back.

After the ride, we hopped into the car to collect Sue’s mum, Mercy, so that she would be able to say goodbye to  the ladies. Some of this was done over lunch, but we had agreed to pop into Sue’s sister, Lesley’s, as it was only a few yards off our route to Stansted airport, so we spent some enjoyable time there, with yet more home-made cake before leaving Mercy behind with Lesley and family and heading off southwards on the A1.

Sue's sister, Lesley, with Jack, Sophie and Lauren pictured at our house over Easter 2009

Sue's sister, Lesley, with Jack, Sophie and Lauren pictured at our house over Easter 2009

Airport farewells are never easy, but were eased a little with some more shopping, although this didn’t actually go much beyond looking on this occasion.

Once Maria and Cecilie had finally passed out of sight though the security check and off into the departure lounge, Sue and I headed back to the short-stay car-park and made our way back northwards.

However, we had arranged to stay overnight at a Travelodge near Peterborough. This was not the best maintained Travelodge room that we had ever seen, but we were both so tired that we collapsed into bed and stayed there for the next 13 hours. The following morning, Sue decided to “have words” about the poor state of the bathroom, in particular, and as a result, we were refunded the money that we had paid. Even as a freebie, though, the experience was not great.

We had vaguely planned to visit a heritage railway on the Monday, but I managed to leave my jacket, with my wallet, money and Heritage Rail pass at home. We therefore headed for home, but set the Satnav to find the shortest route, rather than the quickest one. This took us across country, leaving the A1 behind and going past Rutland Water and through Oakham and Melton.

We reached Melton Mobray cattle market sometime mid morning and Sue persuaded me to decided to stop and take a look. I have to confess that I wasn’t all that keen, but I am glad we did. We found lots of really good CDs for 50 p each and Sue picked up a pendant set in silver, along with a book or two. We spent a very enjoyable couple of hours there before tucking into ur sandwiches and finishing the journey back to Nottingham.

It was a great way to end a packed, but extremely enjoyable Easter weekend.

It had been two years since we last saw Maria and Cecilie when we went over to Denmark. I really hope we don’t leave it as long before we get to spend some more time together.

Ride Safe
Dave

An Easter Family Visit – Part 3

It’s already a week since the events that I am recording in this series of blog posts and, at last we reach Saturday’s adventures of our Danish family’s visit. If you’ve just stumbled across this, you are perfectly welcome to read this post first, but I suggest that the best place to start this adventure is at the beginning.

Saturday morning dawned just as grey and overcast as the previous couple of days had done, but Sue was determined that she was going to Wollaton Park,where there was a Mind, Body and Spirit show over the Easter Weekend. Originally, I had planned to go along with Sue, Maria, Cecilia and Sue’s mum and Sue had arranged to meet a friend and fellow hippie, Maggie. In the end, I decided not to go and to stay at home and sort out the music for that evening’s disco for a wedding at Lakeside.

A good morning’s peace and quiet was just what I needed to get the music sorted out and be ready for the evening’s work. However, I was very pleased when Sue phoned to say that they were on their way to Maggie’s house where tea and cake were waiting for us. I hopped on the Harley and rode across Nottingham to join them.

Sarah, Maggie, Maria and Cecilia at Maggie's house

Sarah, Maggie, Maria and Cecilie at Maggie's house

Maggie’s very talented daughter, Sarah, entertained us with some great guitar playing, including a great version of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”.  

 Maggie had made some fantastic homemade cakes and biscuits and I, of course, contrived to sample as many of them as I could without allowing the “hog” part of my on-line identity to cross too far into into real life.

With the cakes consumed and the music appreciated, it was time to head back home where both Maria and Cecilia had their first look at the Heritage Softail. Although it really could have done with a clean (and, a week later, certainly needs one now) they were both impressed with it size and the amount of Harley-Davidson chrome that it carries. Both of the women sat aboard it, although by the time Sue had rushed off to get the camera, Maria had become a little camera shy and only this picture of a grinning biker-babe Cecilie was captured for posterity.

Biker Babe Cecilie aboard the Heritage Softail. (That is Chuffing Hog's arm hanging on the bike!)

Biker Babe Cecilie aboard the Heritage Softail. (That is Chuffing Hog's arm hanging on the bike!)

Wow, she certainly looks the part!

There’s no doubt that Cecilie enjoyed her moment on the Harley, even though it was on its stand on our drive with me fussing over it (and her) safety. But things got better – much better – on the Sunday ( and in Part 4 of this epic)

Ride Safe
Dave

Ride To Shackerstone

Sunday afternoon saw Sue and I partaking of two of our favourite pleasures. (Steady on, this is a respectable blog. Anyway, at our age, we don’t do THAT sort of thing.)

We took a trip out on the Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail that just happened to take us to a heritage railway that isn’t too far away from us in Leicestershire.

The Shackerstone Railwayis also known as the Battlefield Line because its southern terminus at Shenton is adjacent to the Bosworth Battlefield.

The Battle of Bosworth was fought on August 22nd1485. Henry Tudor had marched with his force from Milford Haven in Wales where he had landed with about 2000 men. The Battle of Bosworth is one of England’s defining battles as it ended the reign of Richard III and led to Henry Tudor becoming Henry VII, the first of the Tudor monarchs, a dynasty that lasted to 1603 and included the reign of two of England’s most famous monarchs – Henry VIII andhis daughter Elizabeth I.

From: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/battle_of_bosworth.htm

Our route took in some familiar roads as we headed south on the M1 and west on the A42. After a stop at McDonalds at Ashby for a coffee and Deli of the Day, which was bacon & chicken, we continued along the A42 and then dived south into the wilds of darkest Leicestershire. After some winding and narrow lanes, we finally arrived at the very sharp turn onto the old railway trackbed which was very reminiscent of the approach to Peak Rail‘s Rowsley South station.

However, this junction was littered withloose stones that made negotiating the turn on two wheels a somewhat hairy experience. Somehow we got roundwithout ending up on our sides with a bike on top of us and as we went down the roadway, it occurred to me that the surface itself was in much better condition than the deeply potholed track at Rowsley.

Shackerstone station is in a strange location. I couldn’t work out how it could ever have had any access in the days when the railway would have been using the existing access road because the old Station House occupies the area where I would have expected a road to come in and the Ashby Canal is also just a few feet away from the station’s main entrance. Our arrival was perfectly timed to see the tail lamp of the train disappear under the station footbridge and off towards Shenton. This gave us plenty of time to look around before the next departure.

The station building itself has been beautifully preserved and restored by the Shackerstone Railway Society and we recieved a warm welcome from the volunteer in the ticket office who had to go and ask what to do with our Heritage Rail pass.

The beautifully restored building at Shackerstone Station

The beautifully restored building at Shackerstone Station

With this dilemma resolved, we wandered into the museum.

Chuffing Hog in the museum at Shackerstone Station. Sue was amazed that they let the this bit of living history out again.

Chuffing Hog in the museum at Shackerstone Station. Sue was amazed that they let the this bit of living history out again.

This was an experience in itself. Two rooms of the station building contain what must be thousands of railway artifacts that range from signalling equipment to cigarette cards. These have all been collected over many years by John Jacques who used to work at Shackerstone Station in BR days as signalman. The man himself was in attendance at the museum, although I didn’t realise who I was talking to until I returned home and looked at the railway’s website.

The museum alone was almost worth the trip for me, although Sue was keen to capture some photographs of the station itself, and we were both in need of a cup of tea.

The station is also host to the Victorian Tea Room where we obtained proper cup of teas – from a proper tea pot on a tray with china cups. These were accompanied by enormous slices of the most delicious carrot cake.

Eventually, the train returned – on the far platform from where we were all standing. This was an astute move because it forced us to use the footbridge across to platform 2 where the railway has built a new building that is in use as a shop, but is very much in harmony with the whole “feel” of the place.

31101 arriving at Shackerstone Station on Sunday 5th April 2009

31101 arriving at Shackerstone Station on Sunday 5th April 2009

One of the down sides to our visit was that this shop sold whistles. Of course, a couple of children had been bought them and blew them continually for the whole time that the train stood in the platform. Fortunately, this particular family got into a carriage further down the train from us and we didn’t hear them again until the train arrived at Shenton, where the symphony continued. We were also left in (comparative) peace by a family with an excitable young son whose idea of expressing excitement was directly related to his volume. Even he didn’t stop Sue having a few moments shut-eye (if not actual sleep).

Was she pretending, or actually asleep?

Was she pretending, or actually asleep?

The journey itself was behind the immaculately turned out Class 31 Brush diesel loco 31101 in Large Logo rail blue. It was different to have a diesel in use on a weekend that had not been promoted as a diesel weekend, but the lack of steam traction didn’t seem to put any kind of cloud over the enjoyment of the railway’s visitors.

I was a little sad to see Market Bosworth station looking somewhat forlorn and out of use as we ran straight through it. It is obviously getting a periodic coat of paint, but I hope that the railway is working towards bringing this station back into use one day.

As we only had time for one round trip aboard the last service of the day, on our return to Shackerstone, we took our leave and headed home using the back lanes through to Coalville before picking up the main roads to Nottingham .

After some wrestling with a very important Word file for a couple of hours, we popped over (in the car) to see my mum late in the evening because Sunday was also her birthday. It was great to be able to see mum and a pleasant surprise when one of my brothers and his wife turned up as well.

Overall, a good day, with a good ride and a most enjoyable visit to a great railway.

Ride Safe
Dave