Thursday, 24 May 2018

Large and small slabs

Under brilliant sunshine the gang continued with two tasks today.

Firstly, the concrete paths leading from the new road.

Last week a start was made on digging out the route to the barrow crossing. The next bit, to the actual road, is rather larger, so Adam was hired in with the mini digger. We see him here just getting going, the width of the path having been marked out in yellow.

With powered means it wasn't too long before the heavily compacted surface was broken and dug out.

In the background thoughts are being addressed to filling in last week's dig with actual concrete.

A view from the barrow crossing end, as Adam has manoeuvered on to the road for the final bit of excavating.

In the foreground shuttering has been put up round the first five feet, ready for filling in from a rather distant concrete mixing area, by the B&S shed.

B&S made themselves a nice sand and ballast storage area at the back end of their shed, and you see them here shoveling large quantities of ballast into the trusty little mixer, ready for barrowing over to the crossing. Mike is 'Maitre d' mixer'. Shorts were de rigeur on this hot day of course.

Next to Mike, Jim H was on the barrow run, while Pete was on the receiving end here, and tamped down each barrow load.

With Jim behind the camera, Mike on the mixer and Pete deciding to reveal his presence only with the end of a rake, it looks as if there is nobody there. Not so.

Ah, here is Pete, now rakeless, finishing off the surface of the first 5 feet cast into place.

The next bit is in the foreground, now fully dug out.

They then decided to call lunch, and let the mix go off a bit.

This is what the new bit looked like when seen along the fence line, looking towards Toddington and along the signal box.

Let's hope no one walks across it until it's dry. That's a busy barrow crossing otherwise, it's even had 6 ton dumpers over it when the ballast was renewed between the platforms.

A start was also made on concreting in the final section by the painting shed delivery door.

An overview at the end of the day. The front bit is now dug out, and the five feet nearest the crossing freshly concreted in, with a barrier on it to deter anyone with commemorative footprints in mind. (or handprints, as in Hollywood)

A somewhat unseen but nonetheless essential activity exercised by Mike, John and Jim (2) was the collection of a big pile of 2x2 ft slabs from an address in Bidford.

They went twice, collecting 70 slabs in total over the two runs with the truck. Amazingly, there are still plenty more to collect - that will  have to be another day.

These slabs come up from time to time, but not always when you want them, so when an opportunity presents itself, you have to jump to it. Many slabs for Broadway were collected like this over several years, and all used up there, lastly from a garden in nearby Alderton.

During the day, the whole gang stood back to admire our gala visitor S160 No. 5197 as it rumbled through Winchcombe several times.
Jim reports that approximately 2120 of these beasts were built by several firms in the USA for the war effort (this one by LIMA in 1945), and there are 8 surviving in the UK alone.


  1. Now, just like the R.A.F., paint the edges of the new roadways and walkways, so that the extremes will show up in low light such as Winter.
    The S160 does look good. Could try to get it for the 'War in the Cotswolds' next year?
    Regards, Paul.

  2. All you guys do such a great job. The GWSR is a magnificent railwzy.