Thursday, 8 February 2018

Slabbing at Broadway

This week it was all hands on deck to the same place - Broadway.

Well, with the exception of one, who was painting some new doors made up. One, it is thought, is for Winchcombe signal box.

Someone has to keep the home fires burning, but the rest of the gang climbed into the truck and headed north.

The contractors putting in the new road were in early and were removing the straw put on the most recent pour, to protect it from frost.

This picture was taken from the gate, so you can see that the length left to do is getting much smaller now.

At Broadway, the gang found a new drain and gully installed to deal with water flowing off the forecourt, on the left. The actual drain runs under the footpath, on the right.

Before they could get started they had to remove a pallet full of new slabs. These had been off loaded right on top of the area they were about to work in.
It was a good warming up excercise. The new slab lifter could also be tried out. It has a little vacuum pump in it, and works a treat. Very clever, those Germans.

No further granite kerbs could be laid as both mini digger and operator were employed digging a new trench down the approach road for a water supply pipe.

Instead it was decided to start laying slabs behind the stretch of kerbs laid previously.
Here the first one goes down, next to the pile of new slabs just moved.

The second row was then prepared, with a nice layer of mix spread out by John.

The slabs were laid in the same way as in an old picture that we have, at right angles to the building.

Once you have laid the first few and have somewhere to build from, the rest gets much easier.

The vacuum slab lifter is very busy now.

A merry lunch was had by the whole gang, sitting on either ice cold granite kerbs, or more pallets of slabs. Unfortunately you might start off sitting in the sun but as the day progresses the sun moves round and you finish your lunch in the cold shadows.

Visitors come in a steady stream and like to have a chat, which makes everything very sociable. Here John C is having a day on the GWSR and is enjoying a rest from digging in fence poles, he told us. We also learned that he was a big fan of our new Hayles Abbey halt, having both alighted from and joined trains there. We almost signed him up as a member too - maybe one more push, next time.

After lunch slab laying resumed, now in the shadow.

Here the team is already on row four.

At the end of the day the team had laid down 5 rows. 
You can now see what it's all going to look like.

Mickey also came from a day's work in the toilets to see how things were getting on. Sand is put down to achieve the final pre-slabbing level. Further kerb stones are in the foreground.

Here's a sideways on view of the job done on Wednesday. The very pale new slabs should darken after a while.

A bit more (black) infill was also brought in by dumper to get the levels right. The kerbs look nice and level. The trench for them in the foreground still needs further exavation, up to the B&B property line.

B&S member Mickey has spent several days at Broadway with Phil fitting the sanitaryware.
Here two corner cut pans and cisterns have been fitted. The third, planned to sit on the right, was sacrificed for a cleaner's sink instead.

Cubicle dividers will be fitted in due course, following a question from a visitor. The first answer provided shocked him a little; 'our toilets will be open plan !'

Note also the copper piping.

On the left in the Gents as you go in is a line of heritage Edwardian basins with authentic taps.

We learned that the legs were more expensive than the basins, but don't they just look the part ! They also provide useful support at the front.

A modern hand drier is on the wall.


  1. What a wonderful transformation. (big word for a Thursday afternoon). The basins DO look the part. Cubicle walls in GWR days went down to the ground! Not like the ones you see on T.V. from the U.S.A., which have a 1 foot gap at the bottoms (of the cubicles - not the customers)!!
    The slabbing is coming along well too. It will look really good when finished; with a few notice boards fixed to the wall, (hopefully) depicting holiday destinations on the GWR. There are numerous replica posters on ebay!
    Not long to go now.
    Regards, Paul. (In NOT so sunny Cornwall)

  2. Sorry to hear from St.Blazey that the weather in Cornwall is not so sunny. He'll be pleased to know that here in the North West, after a truly beautiful day on Wednesday, it is now pouring down. And it's cold ! I hope you lot get some better weather soon.

    Thanks for all the photos and the updates.

    The front of Broadway Station is going to look very impressive. It's very good to see some pictures without the Heras fencing blocking the view !

    I agree the new flagstones will darken in a few years' time. I live in a conservation zone, and in this street, several years ago, the Council resurfaced the footways with new flag stones. (We also got heritage lamp posts as well ! Nice to get something in return for your Council Tax ! ) Today, you'd think the flag stones, now nicely weathered, were quite original. So there you are.

    Good luck with the rest of the job (including the plumbing indoors ! )


  3. I'm a bit surprised to see a drain appearing there - I was under the impression that the forecourt sloped away from here, but maybe that's further down the drive. I'm waiting to see how the dropped kerb/wheelchair friendly ramp is going to go in at the front door!

    1. I rather think the dropped kerb for disabled access has already been installed south of the station building, where there is direct access to the platform. Hopefully, the frontage will retain its original appearance.

    2. There was a previous reply which said that two dropped kerbs would be installed - one at the southern double gate in the spear fencing and one at the front door. I think it is important that a disabled person should be able to access the station independently - like an able-bodied person - without asking for the other gates to be specially opened. (Obviously when capable of handling the wheelchair/scooter by themselves.) Ideally the ramp should be shallow enough so that a wheelchair can be propelled up it manually, then there should be a flat section at the top so that the door can be opened appropriately. I doubt if there is enough space to meet both these requirements, but something approaching it would be better than nothing. I suspect that disabled access is legally required, these days, and after all, what's the point of putting in a disabled toilet if nobody can easily get to it?

  4. So no waiting in the gents, pity about the modern hand drier though. How is the Ladies toilets coming along? We are both getting excited for the start of the running season and looking forward to our first "fix" of the season. Read in the Railway magazine that Foremark Hall will be the "opening" Loco on the official opening. So our new "Lady" will really look the part, are the station staff dressing Edwardian style on the day? Also why is it when B&S turn up to work they always get the shadow side of the site? Well done though by all especially in this cold weather.
    Paul & Marion