Tuesday, 9 August 2016

CRC's slag wall finished

The busy bees of B&S have been about the railway again, principally at Cheltenham Race Course, where
repairs to the slagstone wall that has been falling over, and was barricaded off, have finally been completed.

You can see the wall building up at the rear, with a lot of rubble left over at the end. All this was barrowed away out of sight.
Slagstone is hard to find (formerly an easy to get waste product) so you have to re-use it sparingly.

Here is the final result, all tidied up of earth, rubble, blocks and left over timber. The pressure from above, which caused the bulge and subsequent collapse, was relieved when the cutting side was regraded nearly 2 years ago.

The team then moved on to Toddington, and completed the construction of the new porch to the office. A final coat of paint will see this job ticked off.

Platform 1 at Winchcombe also saw some attention when a number of members barrowed topsoil to the border behind the rear wall of the platform extension. The same wall has been nicely finished off with slabs.

All that remains to be done is to fit the replica GWR lamp post in the space reserved for it. The state of play here is that the new pattern, kindly sponsored by a member, has been completed and a first trial casting delivered for inspection. A couple of minor improvements were requested, and these have now been addressed by the pattern maker, so that the design is now an exact copy.
The actual production run will start this week, but delivery won't take place until after the holidays. A little more patience is required, but so far so brilliant.

A bit of history

John Diston, a former member of the railway who died in 2012 took this interesting photograph sometime in the mid 1960s.

With the help of readers, we would be interested to know where he took the picture, and perhaps what was going on. The centre driving axle is missing - that's not something you see every day. It looks as if the loco has been pushed into this space by another loco behind, coupled up to a barrier wagon. There seems to be some sort of bridge over the area, with a lamp post on top.

John made two prints of this picture, and one says Toton, and the other Heaton Mersey shed. An internet search of photographs does not provide an image which would help to identify the place, so has anyone got any ideas? Another 9F in the background is still in steam. The shunter's pole suggests a movement going on.

9F 92135 in the picture has a shedplate of 25A Wakefield, which was also its last shed in 1966. The loco was scrapped in 1967 by Drapers in Hull.

About 100 of John's steam age photographs survive, and they can be seen in a special album created for him here:

This one will be added when all sources of information have been exhausted.


  1. Great job on the slagstone wall at CRC, well done. Thanks for providing a link to the fascinating photos taken by the late John Diston. After having a quick look through them, I recognised the location of 2 of the shots, Grantham, Lincs. The photo of V2 No 60809 is taken from the yard looking towards the station and Grantham's Anglican church spire can just be seen in the background. A4 No 60012 is seen in Grantham shed yard with the (to me) distinctive fold-down Fogman's hut in the foreground. Great blog as usual, thanks.

    1. Thank you, Ted, I'm really grateful for that. John got all muddled when he captioned his pictures in his later years, and some like these had no captions at all.
      I also like the revelation that the funny cabin at the front is a fold down fogman's hut. It appears in other pictures to, and I was mystified. No one I asked knew what it was.
      No more !
      Thanks, Ted!