Thursday, 24 December 2015

Saturday's pictures

Here are a few more pictures from Saturday:

The wall by the former slope is coming along nicely. The track in the foreground is coming out in the new year.

Here is the other end, so that you can see the planned extent of the new platform. Block laying has reached the end, here lying flat because of the slope. We will be laying similar blocks at Hayles Abbey halt, and if anyone wants to help do this next year, we would be delighted to hear from you.

These two pictures show the southern end of the extension, and the tricky transition from the old platform slope to the new bit. All is becoming clear here, but no wonder Pete and his gang had to have a couple of tries at it, it looks complicated.

For those escaping from screaming grandchildren (like your blogger, in his study), here is another puzzle picture:

It's one of John Diston's, and he hasn't put a caption on it, so it's up to us to work it out. The loco number, the only polished bit on the loco, is 41304 with a shed plate of 6D, which was Shrewsbury from 1963 to 1967, and this fits in with John Diston's travels around the country. So did he photograph it at Shrewsbury?

Any other useful remarks about the picture?

Merry Christmas to all our blog watchers, and thank you for your interest and support!

Friday, 18 December 2015

Wednesday's pictures

As promised in the previous posting, someone has been kind enough to step forward with regular pictures, so here is the first set, covering Wednesday 16th.

Thank you Mike !

A last, quick question to our readers re the lighting of Hayles Abbey Halt.

This was provided by oil lamps hung on hooks fixed to the top of wooden posts at the back of the platform. Does anyone know what such a lamp would look like?


Further to Michael Johnson's pictures of lamps at GWR halts, I now realise that I have seen them before at another railway.
Here are two pictures, a close up and one in context.
The KESR Bodiam gang went to a lot of trouble to make Bodiam station as authentic as possible, and selected this lamp from a well know supplier. I think they got it pretty well right !

Thank you, Michael!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

More blocks

This report covers work done last Saturday and Wednesday. The pictures for this week were taken on Tuesday, when yours truly was passing through early on a grey, grizzely day.

On Wednesday, two of the gang had to do some remedial work at Toddy, where the wind had lifted the ridge roof flashing off part of the small waiting room on platform 2. Once done, they joined in the fun at Winchcombe.
This picture shows all the sleeper type corbelling blocks removed, and a new line of bricks being laid in front, to continue the former slope as part of the extension length. The signal is 'off' but there isn't really a train due - the class 73 was about with the ballast train at Stanton.

Wednesday was spent by the gang continuing the rebuilding of the old slope section and extending the concrete blocks towards Cheltenham.
Due to a bit of over enthusiasm last Saturday we had to redo a short section to get us back on level so it should be all systems go from here on in.
What also makes this build difficult is the fact than the wall is on a continuous curve so it's a case of short sections at a time.
Progress on Tuesday. The blockwork has been extended since then, and it's piled up ready to go.
One other job that we have been doing is preparing an area behind the B&S shed which will be used for storing edging slabs from CRC2 and other building materials. 

The sleeper ends that were in use as corbels, as well as some original slabs
Most of the work has now been completed, and now that a member has got his telehandler ticket we can get the slabs in from Cheltenham and get them sorted. These slabs are the natural stone ones not re-used at CRC as too damaged. However, there are good ones among them, and they can also be improved by turning on their backs, and sawing off the rough sides. A number have been taken to Broadway for use in the two gaps (now only one) that remained in the platform. Others will be used by B&S for this Winchcombe platform extension, while more still are pencilled in for Hayles Abbey halt, which will be reinstated as a heritage project next year. Did you know? We even have an authentic little waiting shelter for it.

Here's what it used to look like:
Photograph: G.Daniels - GWR collection

Further on a heritage theme, we need a number of GWR cast iron gate posts, the ones with the ball on the end like these:

It might be worth having our own cast, like the lamp posts at Broadway, but we need to order several to make commissioning the pattern worth while. Is anyone else interested? Surely there must be some areas on the railway that would be improved by genuine gate posts?

Further to last week's poser picture, here is the answer:
Yes, it was indeed Cheltenham Lansdown, with 7005 Sir Edward Elgar. In fact, Sir Edward took over from another engine that brought the train in, and John Diston took a picture of that as well, in fact it was the first of the two he took.
Here it is:

The reason I didn't show it first is that you can see the running in board under the canopy, and 7005 waiting patiently in the yard behind - too easy ! The incoming engine was 45552 SILVER JUBILEE. The headboard of The Thames, Avon and Severn LCGB Rail Tour has already been taken off.

You're not going to jump on the track, that chap on the left, are you? That tweed jacket may be the uniform of the day, but it gives very limited protection from passing trains.

We have now found a photographer for the B&S activities, so we hope to be able to show you regular photographs of the work as it progresses.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Blocks go down

Sorry no pictures this week, just a progress report.

Wednesday saw a gang of 6 on site, and a start was made on laying the concrete blocks. About 60 were laid, which is quite a row. More was also done on the front wall of the old slope area , but this still proved problematic, and had to be taken down and relaid or adjusted twice.

Some back filling was started in the same area, and hopefully now the novices know what to do progress will be faster next time.

Two pillars were raised in front of the concrete blocks ready for the facing bricks to go in next week for the first three rows.

I'm sorry there are no pictures this week, so as a consolation prize, here is a historical one by John Diston, taken on 12th October 1963.

Can you guess where it was taken? Any other comments you have about it? (I know where it was, but I'm not giving it away :-)   )

 Over to you!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Brick laying starts

We have found some pictures of the work going on at Winchcombe, with thanks to Peter Muir.

This report gives the situation as of Saturday. In the picture above we can see a growing pile of new bricks, which have been shuttled over from a supply of 11 pallets at Broadway that had been donated to BAG, and that were now surplus to requirements. The final 2 collecting trips were made on Monday. We do help each other, and it was nice to see the B&S guys at Broadway and get a friendly wave.

Saturday was a dry day and the team decided not to miss the opportunity to start the brick laying itself, the slope having finally been freed of its reluctant concrete sleeper ends.

Here we can see the slope being levelled out.The team commenced with rebuilding the slope area, as this had been levelled into steps in short sections. However, it soon emerged that the wall was not only concave lengthwise, but also vertically.
After several checking measurements it was decided to build a pyramid  section and then align the rows to it. This did the trick, but obviously there is still some misalignment,  but it is not so noticeable to the naked eye.

With the coming and going of the Santa specials some delays where encountered, but with some back filling also done progress for the day was deemed acceptable.

A final view down the new length of platform shows how the new wall is rising out of the old.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Reluctant corbels

We have an update, but due to technical problems, no pictures this time. Transmission of pictures from site to blog is proving problematical.

So a written update this time, which covers last Saturday and Wednesday.

Saturday being dark and damp with rain at times, we only managed to remove half of the platform slope's top layer of short concrete capping sleepers .
What didn't help was the breakdown of the small Kango we were using.
We managed to get into a sequence of removing them which was continued on Wednesday .
With more bodies and a new small Kango the rest of the capping sleepers where removed by lunch time, so the slope is now clear for rebuilding.
What held up the progress was one sleeper at the bottom of the slope which was very firmly attached to a large lump of concrete, and despite much cutting of the concrete it refused to budge.

The facing wall was attacked to remove the sloping edges and is now ready for brick laying to begin.
Much preparatory work was also done to get items into place ready for next Wednesday so the rebuild can begin ( that's if we can't start on Saturday ). Another two van loads of bricks were also recovered from Broadway, leaving two pallets still to go.