Sunday, 12 February 2017

Elf Centre - building starts

Multi - talented B&S have been involved in a number of projects in the last few weeks, including the preparations for the construction of a new, more permanent 'Elf Centre', loosely based on Ashburton goods shed.

The B&S crew demolished the old wooden Elf Centre a month ago (see previous report) and the site, cleaned up, then looked like this. Building can't start yet as there is an electricity supply cable and a gas main running through the site. Those lamp posts have got to go too, they're in the way. It's always more complicated than you think!

B&S then removed the two posts, here laid on their side along the platform. The new building will sit partly on the platform, and an awning will also overhang it, so they coudn't stay where they were.

With this handy platform trolley, they were easily transported off to storage, while their fate is decided.

A drawing of part of the new building already appeared in the Cornishman, and a fuller set is produced below, which you might find interesting.

As these pictures were photographed off an official drawing, there is a perspective issue, so rest assured, the roof will be straight!

Notice the reproduction sliding doors, which open to reveal the actual entrance.

The back view, seen from the car park.

Seen from the station building.

Seen from the signal box.

In the meantime, the car park has filled up with earth moving machinery and building materials.

The new building will be made of Bradstone, similar to the toilet and platform 2 waiting room.

The first job for the contractors was to cut a trench to move the gas main from the back of the platform (see yellow post) down to the level of the car park. To keep things nice and neat, the new trench was given a nice straight edge with this cutting machine.

The following day, under rather more pleasant skies, the trench itself was excavated. The new building will occupy the grassed area on the left.

A mini digger was used to dig the trench, and this caused some difficulty because after a foot or two it met the 1906 GWR rock layer on top of the original clay underground. When Winchcombe station was first built, this whole area was excavated by steam shovel, and the clay underground was then sealed with a layer of slagstone and ash. We found the same at Broadway when erecting lamp posts on the forecourt there.

This picture was taken yesterday. It's a rather dull one because of the snow and mud, but it does show that the trenches for the footings have been dug - that is the latest position, you are now up to date !

Other B&S activities

There's been a bit of subsidence at the back of the slabs on platform 2 at Winchcombe - the infill always settles over time - so to take care of this the lads have had a go with the SDS drill to take out a strip, and infilling it with extra material.

The infill is then covered again back to its normal level with cold tar, which you buy by the pallet and stamp down with the ram, helping it along a bit with a gas burner just in case.

The pallet makes a handy support to lean on too.

B&S were also kind enough to offer to make the new running in board for Hayles Abbey Halt. They made a good job of the CRC2 one, so we went to the specialist...

A supportive member donated the letters for HALT (from an original GWR halt) and by borrowing original examples from CRC, the SVR (many thanks to you both) and some more found at a local auction, we managed to lend an almost complete set to a foundry to make these replica 12 inch letters. They are big - check out the GWSR mug in the centre. They completely filled your blogger's kitchen table, provoking a look from Mrs. B.

We don't really have a spy in the sky cam to follow everything the B&S lads do. For example, they moved a whole stack of bricks from Broadway to Winchcombe, renewed the ceiling in the Winchcombe booking office and fitted a new crossbeam for the ceiling boards, and then they repainted the Coffe Pot cafe. We caught them there one lunch time. Normally the cafe has to be booked if you want to have it for yourself. At least they ate their sandwichs in the warm, and out of the rain and snow. Well done, guys!


  1. Very good progress and blog too. BTW the GWR term for a station café is a refresh, short for refreshment room. Regards, Paul.

  2. This is going to look very smart, will it be ready for next Christmas though? A good report/blog looking forward to plenty of progress reports and pictures. I found that pictures are very good for future reference with a new build, on a previous build I did twenty five years ago it came in very handy when the building had too be modified. So good luck for this build, this will be a great addition to the railway.
    Paul & Marion.

  3. Judgingby the drawngs,I'd say that the end result,will be a very attractive addition,to Winchcombe Station!. Anthony.