Thursday, 1 March 2018

Working in the snow regardless

A snowy Wednesday did not stop the B&S gang yesterday, although our reporter Jim wisely stayed at home, given the 60 mile journey involved.

However, a few photographs are available, which we share with you below.

A week ago the additional granite kerbs required to make up a length of original kerbing in front of the building arrived from a reclamation yard in Leamington. We were very lucky to find these, especially after first spotting them a year and a half ago, and to our amazement they were still there when we actually tried to order them late last year. Slow moving stock, granite kerbing.

As the forecourt level has risen from original over the last 100 years with layers of asphalt and demolition rubble, the kerbs initially need to be located in a trench, before the rest of the forecourt is scraped back down to match them. Here Steve is excavating the kerbing trench, and relocating an incorrectly placed stormwater drain. A length of original grantie kerbing, still in situ, was buried so far down that for years we had no idea it was there. It has all been retrieved now and will be reused.

In Wednesday's snowstorm Pete in the Bobcat mini digger manoeuvers to fetch another of the kerbstones delivered earlier. Electrical contractors were also on site to wire up the BR location cabinets along the platform.

In a break between snow showers members of the Broadway gang fine tune the end of the trench dug by Steve. The granite kerbs to be used have already been laid out behind them. Big lumps of slagstone are being dug out and taken away in a barrow. The kerbs are being set on a bed of concrete, hence the need to dig down a bit further.

The sub zero temperatures were not ideal for laying either kerbs or slabs in view of the risk of the mortar freezing. Attentions were therefore switched to positioning the kerbs, finishing the trench and laying the sand foundation for more slabs, which have now almost reached the front door. In front of it there is a dip in the kerbs for wheeled access.

Snow flurries are outlined against the sky.

Indoors, the beige cubicle dividers were being positioned, as here in the Gents toilet.

This area has now been completed.

An attempt to paint the shiny copper pipes white was fielded at the last minute.

Inside the Booking Office the holes for the 4 cast iron crowd barriers were drilled in the floor (under the sheet).
We have two orginals, found buried on site but still useable, and two replicas, made with the help of a friendly nearby railway, for which we are very grateful. The disks in the foreground are replacements for the original cast iron ones, once integral with the posts, that invariably break off when a station is bulldozed. This arrangement will look the same.
Two replica wooden tops were made by our expert C&W woodworking team and await fitting.
The wainscoting in the background was given a coat of brown undercoat, which now gives you a better idea of the colour scheme. Above, the wall will be off-white.

Neal is going great guns with the replica ticket hatches. The frames have been in for a while, and now the sliding covers have been fitted. There's another row of moulding to go on, then the woodwork can be painted. No original ticket hatches were found on our Honeybourne line, but we eventually traced one, the very last one, to Yardley Wood on the N.Warwickshire line. The friendly BOC there let us take measurements, so those at Broadway will be authentic replicas.

In a remote W Midlands location a row of replica scripted seat ends has been painted and fitted with their wooden feet.

These 6 cast iron seat ends will go to make up 2 three legged benches, in a simple dark brown colour scheme as used on opening day in 1904. A third bench is also under construction, while a fourth, an all wooden one, is with C&W at Winchcombe awaiting collection after an almost complete rebuild. Well, you don't get new ones any more... we were lucky to find an original.

Light and dark stone seats were not used at Broadway, and the chococlate and cream style came much later.

Here's proof that the sun does shine at Broadway, in 'a picture we prepared earlier'. The footpath on the left is ready for tarmacing, the rest of the driveay will be levelled and tarmaced post opening. The station building at the top now looks finished from down here on Station Road. What a lovely scene.

Normal B&S reporting should resume next week, when kinder weather will enourage our usual contributor to leave his distant garage.


  1. does that mean tarmacing will be done before mar30 opening

    1. As the article says, "The footpath on the left is ready for tarmacing, the rest of the driveay will be levelled and tarmaced post opening."

  2. My understanding is that the path and the platforms will be tarmaced in the first instance.

  3. The building is looking the 'Biz' now!
    Will there be traditional glass with the associated holes for the ticket windows?
    Regards, Paul.

  4. We can't believe that you are still working in this awful weather, grateful thanks from us for working through it to make our new "Lady" really look the BIZ! please stay safe and warm.
    Paul & Marion

  5. Well, many thanks for more news. I think we all guessed that in the extreme cold, some of the outdoor work would more or less grind to a halt. This seems to have happened, very unfortunately, with the paving at the front of the station building. This must be so frustrating for the brave volunteers who have carried on regardless, where they could. Bravely done.

    There is a story, possibly apocryphal, that in Tsarist Russia, when they were building the Winter Palace in St.Petersburg, during the great frosts, they would add vodka to the mortar to stop it freezing. Not that I am suggesting this idea be adopted at Broadway ! Too expensive, I should think.

    (They also relied heavily on serfs to provide what was essentially slave labour !)

    So, yes, carry on regardless, but stay warm when you can, won't you ?