Thursday, 12 July 2018

5 jobs

10 volunteers, and it was hot too. There were no fewer than 5 jobs on the go, so here they are in order:

Job No.1: Refelting the roof of the compressor shed. Better in the sun than in the pouring rain...

Jim H, Phil and John did this. It seemed to require a vast amount of space, as the PWay Landie had difficulty getting past.

Beep - beeeeeep !

First of all the old felt was stripped off.

A strip of new felt was laid on the roof, and the sticky stuff applied

The front strip was soon on, nice and smooth.

And then the second strip and, Hey Presto, a newly refelted compressor shed.

Enjoy, C&W !

Job No. 2: Installation of hand rails by the C&W shed entrance.

 Here the holes for the first post are being drilled.

Further up came the second post. These hand rails will come into their own when there is snow and ice.

The rear handrail was fitted in this picture, while the foremost one was drilled and the posts planted. More on this next time.

Job No. 3: A foundation for a small brick retaining wall was laid.

Here the bottom is prepared. It will run between the C&W storage container and their main entrance.

Here is the foundation completed, ready for brick laying next week.

The wall should also give those two drain covers a bit more meaning, rather than have them stick out of the ground as up to now.

Pete, John, Phil and Jim were on this, with Jim on the distant mixer and out of shot (sadly)

Job No. 4: Carpentry work

Barrie fitted the two new doors for Toddington signal box into their frames.

Afterwards, he and Bruce prepared the timber for the replacement Winchcombe running in board.

Job No. 5 - Fencing panel production. 


Mike and Ken worked on this production line.

25 of these panels are needed to renew the fence line along the car park at Toddington. Originally this would have been in GWR spearhead fencing.
 One completed panel is now on site, and 7 more await collection.

Finally, a photograph of the finished footpath leading to the gents by the C&W rear exit. This was done a week earlier, but due to camera failure there were no pictures. 

Must try harder.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Slabs on a hot day

The hot days have affected more than one department (although some can work inside a dark shed, while others have arranged for a shady parasol and benches) and the B&S gang have worked out under a relentless sun with only occasional forrays into shade offered by buildings as the sun gradually moved round during the day.

There were 10 in the gang on Wednesday.

Pete and Mike however went off straight away to attend to an urgent call from CRC where a water leak was affecting the main supply to the P1 toilets, and, worse still, to the coffee machine! A temporary fix was achieved - coffee on tap again - and Mike then went off to buy parts for a permanent repair, which he will do very shortly.

The first job to be tackled was to infill the edges along the new roadway to the barrow crossing. This job is now completed, and you can park your car right up to it now without fear of being nudged by a ready mixed cement lorry.

Next, the gang moved on to the volunteers' toilet block, which hasn't really got a hard path leading up to it. Well, it's hard at the moment, but not so good in the middle of winter.

Here a start is being made with a Kango to excavate the shape of a row of slabs leading from the roadway.

After quite some excavation progress had taken place the volunteers decided to stand in the shade for a bit. Notice the hats, and shorts. White legs to the fore !

With the path route excavated it was time to barrow in some sand for the first of the slabs. Mike volunteered to cross the hot yard with the first load.

A little while later the row of slabs starts to look like something.

Before anyone asks, no, you can't walk along C&W's concrete path, as it slopes downhill away from the toilet block. This is going to be a proper path.

Phil stands in the sun in rather hot looking clothes to check his work.

By close of play the path had been laid with a total of 12 slabs, but a closing shot of the whole thing will have to come next time round. They still need grouting and the edges tidying up.

A background activity has been finishing off works to the signal box cable pit at the rear. Here is the pit with new covers fitted, another job completed.

The spoil from the excavation of the toilet block path was reused on the other side of the main roadway. It was shaped into a base for a set of 10 slabs laid outside the new storage containers. These people too will have dry and clean shoes next winter.

During the day our ops manager was seen taking the Baguley-Drewry rail inspection car for a run. You can see a little film of it at Broadway here:

Finally, a quick peek inside the B&S shed where we find Bruce priming a set of original scripted bench ends. Planks have been undercoated behind him on the right. Another set of more modern, post 1935 'shirt button' type bench ends can be seen peeping out underneath the planks.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Men in boots

Today was the day a big lorry load of concrete came.

The path from roadway to barrow crossing is a wide one and too big to be filled with hand mixed concrete (even with Jim shovelling!) so a lorry load was ordered.

Now you can see the reason for the boots, you have to get stuck right in there and get them dirty.

The lorry came just as they were about to have their coffee, so Mike was dispatched to get some on a tray and in this way the main gang could carry on with the raking.

The gang made good progress, aided by a special hole left for Austen to stand in and continue tamping.

The end was soon reached, and a very neat job it looks too.

At the close of play it was all in. The temptation to leave a Hollywood style handprint was resisted by yours truly, but it needed a lot of willpower. Somebody had also thought ahead, and brought a sleeved notice prohibiting those very same naughty thoughts.

While the concrete pour was going on, work continued behind the scenes on these post 1935 'shirt button' period bench ends.

Ken was creosoting again, and why not from the comfort of a garden chair?

At the back of the signal box this cable pit was investigated by Vaughan. It looked a little unfinished.

It was decided to give the pit an extra course of bricks, so that a lid could be fitted.

All that is needed now is to trim the result, and fit the lids next week.

Pete has gone off on a long 3 week holiday, but the gang won't be idle, as he has left a long list of jobs for the others to sort out. Penalties for those not yet done when he returns were not made public...

Thursday, 7 June 2018

The paths continue

A good nine volunteers today on a glorious, sunny day which made it a real pleasure to work at Winchcombe.

There were several different activities, the first of which was to barrow 20 of the newly collected slabs over to platform 2. Here Jim has received the go ahead to use the crossing. Note the immaculate covered GWR van in the background.

The 20 slabs were stacked on the other side for the time being, and are destined for a new path to the water treatment plant.

Back in the shed, Ken was busy repairing the concrete mixer, which was needed urgently to make the mix to finish off the path to the back end of the C&W workshop.

Jim was on the mixer then, off camera as the latter was firmly in his back pocket as he shoveled away.

Phil then tipped the result into the last panel of the rather complicated path to the C&W shed rear door.
It's a tricky manoeuvre to get the 100kg barrow up in the air, changing over from pulling at the handles to pushing, while the front wheel is trying to roll away with the load all the time.

Barry adjusting the gate catch to compensate for a slight drop
Phil tips the first load into the last panel

 Finally, when the last panel had been filled in, Austen and Phil leveled it off to a perfect finish.

And there we have it - job finished. Now to test the three planes with a marble, to see if it rolls from the road straight in through the door.

Next - the shuttering and reinforcement matting for the road to the barrow crossing.

It took quite a long time to get the shuttering correctly dug in to the right level, what with all the stones embedded in the ground.

It doesn't help if your colleagues keep running over it with heavy barrows either.

All finished.
Vaughan puts down the reinforcing mats.

At the end of the day the path to the barrow crossing was ready to receive the Readymix lorry.

Also not forgetting Mike on fence painting - why not in comfort - and also some initial preparation was undertaken to fit covers to a cable pit at the rear of the signal box (top of picture).

Lastly, a start was made on a footpath to run between the C&W shed and the new roadway.

The reward for the day was coffee under the canopy in front of the coffeepot.

Have you all got a platform ticket?
We noticed a very similar picture here showing the PWay gang - there is clearly something very attractive about a sociable chat here on a hot day.

Particularly when you can watch the blue King here glide in majestically. Just a few more days now, catch him quick !

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Work on the paths

Despite an inauspicious start to the day weather-wise, the team did well and work on the concrete footpaths was further advanced. Ken also spent the day creosoting the fence between the SB and the end of the C&W building.

Phil, Martyn and Jim worked on the path leading to the end door of the C&W building, while Vince and Pete tackled the larger area which leads to the barrow crossing.

Here you can see them making a start on the shuttering on the path leading to the carpenter's workshop in C&W.

A few yards away similar shuttering was being paced on the wider path leading from the roadway to the barrow crossing.

The shuttering on the wider path from the roadway needed a lot more digging out, by hand this week as the mini digger had returned to base. It was very laborious, and care had to be taken not to damage a duct that crossed the site.

Eventually the C&W team were ready for the first load of concrete, which was mixed in-house of course, some distance away. It was decided to pour the concrete in three separate sections, as there are three separate gradients involved. Complicated, but not beyond the team's skills.
Installing the last piece of shuttering by the roadway.
The second section is filled in with concrete.

While a remainder is poured into the final section (to be completed next week) the second section is finished off to give a nice level edge.

All this time Jim H was on the mixer and then ferrying concrete around, so was unseen, behind the scenes as it were. Concrete and cameras don't really mix.

On the newly excavated section from the roadway to the barrow crossing Pete checks the shuttering for level on the LH side.

Not a lot to see here, but it's the path leading to the carpenters' workshop, with two out of the three sections filled with concrete, and covered over at the end of the day. A further session of rain in the afternoon did not help.

When the concreting has been done on this bit of connecting path the intention is to lay a smaller pathway of 2x2 slabs to connect the toilets with the roadway.

After last week's start on retrieving the 2x2 slabs, another two trips were made yesterday.

John and Barry went back to Bidford, where they met Jim No.2, and together they collected another 70 slabs over the two trips.

Here is a picture of them being unloaded after arrival at Winchcombe.

The slabs were unloaded by the B&S shed and carefully stacked.

One more trip next week should see the conclusion of this very useful recovery exercise.

While all this was going on, Jim H had a few moments to snap the trains passing through Winchcombe yesterday. This one shows P&O just collecting the token from the signalman.

Just before that, our guest loco 70013 Oliver Cromwell drifted into the station, to wait for the crossing train headed by P&O to arrive.