Thursday, 19 October 2017

At Winchcombe

It was a home match for B&S today, they were at Winchcombe, and nothing could get in the way. Or so you'd think. You'd think that they could load up the blue truck with timber from the B&S yard, and drive it the 200 yards to the weighbridge hut.

The truck only got 20 yards when it found itself blocked in by a car from a C&W volunteer. With the two lorries bringing PWay supplies space in the yard was at a premium. Once the car had been moved, the truck managed annother 50 yards, only to be faced with a recalcitrant yard gate. It wouldn't open. A nearby Freelander parked very close to it (but not actually in its way) was the chief suspect, but there was no proof and it took a long time for the owner to be traced from among the milling crowds on site.
Once the car had been moved, the gate opened immediately! It seems that if you park in the vicinity of the sensor, even if not directly in its way, the gate refuses.

100 yards further and the truck finally reached its destination, the weighbridge hut, which was being re-roofed.
A start was made on the weighbridge roof a few weeks back, when the main supporting timbers were installed. Yesterday a start was made on the cross timbers, with quite a bit of time being spent on the trial and error fitting of the refurbished guttering. By close of play one side was done.

The other job, also at Winchcombe, was to dig out a patch of ground at the SB end of the new visitor centre. This measured approximately 10ft x 6ft, and was to be 7ins deep. Its purpose? To prepare for an area of recovered cobbles here.

On the right in the picture is the bay platform, and this whole area is on made up ground, built after the demolition of the station, and once the GWSR had reached Winchcombe in 1987. So the ground was made up out of mud, stones and rubble, quite tricky to dig out.
Here's a historical shot of the same area, just after the bay platform was finished in 1987. Picture kindly provided by Garry Owen. There's no sign of the station building, long demolished, and Monmouth Troy was still to come. Platform 2 on the right - you wish! You cannot imagine the scale of the devastation when the track gang first arrived here. It was a vast empty area. Bit by bit, everything was rebuilt from the ground up.

The ground at the end of the bay was hacked out by hand as you can see here, and barrowed away to a useful area to the far south of platform 1, where a low area remaining from last winter's platform extension was grateful for the spoil.

From here....
... to here.

Note the little test cobblestone in the left hand picture, just to make sure the depth hacked out was OK. To get the spoil away required 30 odd trips with the wheelbarrow down the length of the platform, which the lads calculate as a 3 mile trip in all. Unless they shared it, of course.

In the B&S workshop Bruce and Pat stayed behind, missing the adventures with the van and its obstacle course up the yard.

Bruce was refurbishing one of the Winchcombe platform benches, in this picture it's one of the earlier 'scripted' type. The casting was replaced in the 1930s when the GWR changed its logo to the 'shirtbutton' type.

Pat in the workshop was making up a fence panel, which will go by the new cobbled area to prevent children from slipping through the new 'scaffolding' type railings you can see in the earlier picture.

The visitor centre is now finished externally, so here are a few pictures of the finished product.

North end view

South end view

Detail of plastic guttering and modern security light.
Platform side view with main entrance, but no sliding goods shed doors - perhaps still to come.


  1. Both weighbridge and goods shed are looking great. Excellent photography, as usual. Regards, Paul.

  2. Another one of those "little" jobs now almost completed, it is not until you see some of the old pictures that you realise the total devastation (vandalism) done by BR, it is almost of the thoughts of "if we cant have it nobody else can either!". So well done to the B & S Department.
    Paul & Marion.

    1. On an emotional level, yes, but I suppose that disused buildings became liabilities, and so one can understand the demolitions from a cold business point of view, but it was a pity.

  3. can someone send me a PDF of Photos of new TM building as I am giving a talk on GWR on Thursday night to the Midlands branch / area group of the South Devon Railway , formerly the Dart Valley railway .The reason is obvious , ours is a replica of the Ashburton Goods Shed where the SDR would like to link up to.

    These photos can be added to my Slide presentation and be a useful addition to the evening's show of the GWR's progress over the last 36 years ,thanks john mayell

    1. my email is which will help !

    2. Ours is not a replica, I was told.
      The Ashburton goods shed was just used as inspiration.