Thursday, 17 September 2015

A Day of Pleasant Surprises

Wednesday 16th September

There were 27 Volunteers signed in today, which must be a near record!

The weather forecast was for fair weather in the morning but heavy rain after lunch . The work on site was programmed accordingly but to our surprise the rain held off till shortly after 4 o'clock and so a full days work was possible.

The first task of the day was to prepare the base of the signal box rodding tunnel ready to be concreted. Ballast was transferred by wheel barrow from a pile by the Evesham road bridge to level the base so that a 100mm thick concrete pad could be laid.

John C and Bob W carefully set the levels for  the area outside the rodding tunnel in preparation for the concrete to be laid.

Paul with ballast on it's way to the signal box rodding tunnel

Steve and Peter Q loading up the wheel barrow with John waiting to provide the tractive effort to get it to the signal box. Many loads of ballast were required to make up the base to the required depth.

Here is the finished article with the metal reinforcing material in place supported by the small plastic cones. An excellent and very neat job. This area will be concreted next Wednesday using two mixers and a team of dedicated operatives! We understand John C has ordered four tons of ballast to complete the job so plenty of work to look forward to here!

Up the signal box work continues at a brisk pace. Graham is seen here marking out the dividing line of the two GWR colours that will be used on the ceiling and upper part of the walls and the lower part of the walls.

Mike is seen here applying the sandstone colour to the ceiling beams - a very time consuming and difficult task but it will look superb when finished. Bit of a whoops here! Although the paint was mixed according to the colour code it didn't quite come out as expected so a re-paint to the light stone will be necessary next time.

The signal box door nicely painted in true GWR style.

The bricklaying shelter has been painstakingly restored by Peter Q assisted by Peter T after being damaged in last winter's storms. It will prove invaluable again this winter in enabling bricklaying to continue on the signal box gap, even when the weather is poor. The shelter was later moved southwards along the trackbed to where it will be required. 

Down in driveway Dave B was busy erecting the last (for the moment) fence panel along garage boundary. It looks a really neat job and will enhance the approach to the station building.

A view looking up the driveway from Station road.

Just before lunch we had the surprise delivery of the window ledges for the station building. These have been specially made and are replicas of the original pattern used when the station was built. Here a team of volunteers eagerly await the pallets to be offloaded.

The pallets of window ledges being carefully offloaded.
They were carefully stacked out of harms way alongside the wall of the platform ready for when they will be required in the months ahead.

Rod, Terry, Ian, Keith and Martin with Steve on the dumper set about clearing the Western cutting  of undergrowth that had accumulated over the summer months First area tackled was the south side of the footbridge shelter but after lunch the northern side was attacked.

Clearing the cutting vegetation was a real challenge and much was removed but after lunch it was decided to use the brush cutter.

The end result was a nice cleared cutting. Brilliant job.
The sides of the cutting will require this sort of attention in the years to come especially atter 2018 when trains will hopefully be running in here. It will need a dedicated team just to keep it in good order. Fortunately we now have strimmers etc to help as opposed to the days of the  GWR when everything was done by hand 

Down in the car park the steps of the footbridge are being prepared to be cut up next week. The four large iron posts, two at each base, will be retained for the new towers. When the site is clear work will then start on examining the embankment to establish if any remedial work is required prior to the construction of the car park.
Brain, John C, and Bob W plus Dave off camera discuss the way forward.

To everyone's surprise the rain that was forecast after lunch didn't happen so John C, Bob W and Paul decided not to waste a good opportunity and managed to complete a couple of hours block laying on the station building.

No post on the blog would be compete without a mention of the excellent work Julie, seen here with a customer, does for us week after week selling the goods for sale in the bric-a-brac stall.

We had two more real surprises on site today. First was a visit by Fred Lee who paints such excellent pictures of what Broadway will look like when reconstruction is completed and are displayed on our blog site.

The second very nice surprise was a short, but very welcome, visit from Bill Britton, our former Chairman during our morning tea break.. Unfortunately Bill didn't have time to join us for a cuppa but we sincerely hope he will do so soon. 

A day of real and pleasant surprises indeed.

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