Friday, 8 July 2016

A relaxing day

We don't always work '19 to the dozen' you know. Some days you get to the site and it's no stress.
Relaaaax... read the paper. 'Battle of the Iron Ladies' it said. That looks interesting, but we only have iron rebars.

Paul is waiting for the next volunteer to arrive, to help him lift up the mixer in the background. He has everything else already set up, in reality we are raring to go.

Five of us today. What makes 9 volunteers one day, and only 5 another? Well, one is poorly (we are not getting any younger) and another is on holiday. Unfazed, we set to with two block laying teams, although a start was delayed by the need to race off to Toddy to get an adaptor for the plug for the drill. Finally we were able to drill all the currently remaining holes, so in this respect we are ready to fill in the concrete. We just need to get the current block rows to a height of 4.

Today we laid 60 blocks, with two teams. When we had 3 teams, we laid 90 blocks, so you get the idea, it's about 30 blocks per team per day.

Yours truly on the mixer also noted that he made up 6 mixes, so that's a barrow of mortar (say 90 Kgs) for every 10 blocks.

Most of the blocks we laid today were along the back, as can be seen in this picture.

We are getting seriously short of blocks now, just 36 left, not enough for a whole days work. More have been ordered, but the delivery date was not known to today's crew.

An interim question for the older folks among us. Does anyone know what was in this bottle, or know more about its background? We found it on site; a similar one but broken turned up at Broaday. This one is complete.

As you can see, it says SCHWEPPES around the base, and the sides are mottled to a rough finish. It is also quite heavy, pointing to an early age. On the other hand, it is made for a crown cork, so that makes it younger again.

Underneath it gives a patent number, and the date of February 1922.

Can anyone say any more?

After we had filled in the rear row to the second level, we took the front row up to the third. Here you can see both teams at work.

Another of the many interesting military aircraft passed overhead, this one several times. We think it's a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, one of the largest military aircraft in the world. It's a big one; this picture was zoomed in and the plane was actually flying way up high.

Then there was a deep drone and we looked up again - we couldn't figure out what it was, except that it was unusual, these were single engined planes with a big, big engine. At home and zooming in, we can see that it was a Spitfire and a Hurricane, flying down the Vale of Evesham.

For lunch, Maitre d' Paul treated us to Beefburgers and ketchup in buns, it was very difficult to get back to work afterwards.

In this shot, taken in the later afternoon, you can see that the end of the platform wall is about half way along. Only 36 unused blocks remained in the pile on the right at the end of the day, out of the 480 we barrowed down from the top.

Briefly in the afternoon we saw this white plume. Was this a banker pushing a train up the Fish Hill incline?

Our last picture of the day, taken from the usual closing spot, shows the central section of the platform wall looking bulkier and more complete. We're getting up to 3 courses here, out of the required 4. The full height needed can be seen around the return by the catch pit.

Today was a diesel driver experience day, carried out with a class 47. We missed it on the way down, too quick. After reporting to the signalman that we had vacated the site, we heard that it would be back very shortly, but no loco materialised, so no picture of it. Must have had more tea at Winchcombe.

We will be back on Monday.


  1. I thought the water was Stanway house fountain. Graham (BAG member)

  2. I suspect that the bottle contained Ginger Beer.

  3. The bottle very definately once held Ginger Beer! I remember them from the 1970's. Regards, Paul.

  4. The mystery aircraft is a Boeing C17 Globemaster from 99 Sqn based at RAF Brize Norton - they are a frequent sight over the Cotswolds along with the larger A330 Voyager tankers and the A400 Atlas also from Brize.

  5. The white plume is of course Stanway Fountain, the tallest fountain in Britain

  6. The schweppes bottle once contained ginger beer was patented by schweppes number 19 6421 11th February 1921 manufactured for years later were brown to protect from uv light

    1. Thanks, Steve. It was also in use in the 1950s I saw. Looks like it was dropped by a waiting passenger before 1960; after this date there was no reason for people to be there.