COVID-19 Update Number 2 – 24th May 2020 (with added Monty Python and Dead Moths)

Good afternoon, one and all. Well, the lockdown drags on and we wanted to keep you abreast of developments at and any from Strawberry Hill.

A minimum provision of minions were on site on Saturday 16th to carry out our scheduled Health and Safety Inspection. Both buildings were checked and found to be in good order. It’s fairly agonising for us to be allowed on-site but not to be able to get our hands dirty. There are so many jobs waiting to be progressed – the re-wire of Long Trailer 70797, old seat bases to be stripped and new covers to be made up, trim to be stripped out of 70797 and seat backs and bases to go into Motor Brake 62236, to say nothing of starting work on 76263. We have our work cut out. And on top of all that we have to push forward with quotes on work that we can’t do in-house – 3417 is going to need overhauled brake chests for every vehicle, plus the air system and tanks need to be re-certified for use.

We did take the chance to energise the unit for the duration of the visit, which serves firstly to prove that the shed power supply is sound, and to ensure that the batteries on the unit are still holding a charge. The motor brake powered up immediately, and the lighting and heating systems energised as expected so we are confident that the batteries are holding a charge for extended periods of ‘no juice.’ We check the unit internally and found that the resident moths are now the resident ex-Moths; excellent news. One of the first jobs when we get back into the shed, thought, will be a thorough internal clean of all the coaches. We don’t like moths and neither does our trim. Sadly, whilst they don’t give a stuff about us, the moths are very fond of our trim. I think we’ll be buying a few more industrial Anti-Moth Smoke Bombs before the summer is out.

"It's not a parrot. It's a moth. An ex-moth."

Beyond the confines of the shed, we’ve been busy. The eShop has had its teething troubles but is generating some much needed income and we are waiting for our first consignment of goods to arrive from the suppliers, so that we can dispatch to the first wave of customers. Of course, our good friend the Corona Virus has disrupted supply chains for everyone and we are no exception. We have fingers firmly crossed that we can take delivery during the week commencing 25th May and then begin dispatching goods soon after that.

Thank you for bearing with us, everyone.

Sent by Twitter follower @heritagelocum – one of our SETG reproduction posters, framed and on display!

And that’s about it for now. More spares have come to light which we are interested in acquiring (for the right price, of course), we are making enquiries about pricing for the brake overhaul and most importantly we’re making steady progress with Buckie’s house-training. Now he’s stopped trying to eat his Fitter’s Kitty Litter we’re confident he can be left indoors all night – although he’ll still have to wear the muzzle and the short chain.

We hope to have more news on the brake overhaul as COVID-19 winds down and the lockdown is eased. At present the company we have had recommended to us is working from home, so, much like the situation with our shop supplies, things are on a somewhat flexible timetable. Right, it’s Sunday and I need to go and get some strictly limited “Don’t Drive to Durham” government mandated fresh air.

Keep on eye on our Twitter feed for updates.
As always, stay safe and good health.