It’s been a busy day at Apedale. The task of ballast tamping has (hopefully) been made somewhat easier by the arrival of a Matisa tamper on loan from our friends at the Tallylyn Railway (to whom we must express our sincere thanks). As with all tampers, it is clearly a complex and fascinating machine, judging by the number of admirers it swiftly attracted. Meanwhile, a small but noteworthy milestone was reached when a little ground clearance was carried out in an area at the north of the site known (for various reasons) as the Bermuda Triangle. This will be the limit of the Apedale Valley Light Railway phase one, and run-round loop will be provided. A sea of brambles and hawthorn was preventing vital surveying work from being carried out, so all the prickly stuff had to go. It is fair to say the 2009 blackberry harvest may be rather reduced. The railway will run approximately in the cleared area in the centre of the photograph. I should mention the work being done by our colleagues at the Heritage Centre, who are making good progress with building a reproduction of Silverdale station building on what will be the AVLR’s platform at the south end of the line. Finally, some rather odd things have happened on site recently. We considered ourselves lucky to survive one particular explosion. If you want to more about this, you’ll have to ask me nicely at the Open Days, 12 & 13 September. As ever get in touch here. I will consider no more Barry Manilow references in exchange for a donation to the Trust.