Report from Bob Stark:-
It was definitely early bird weather today with pleasant sunshine first thing giving way to light rain showers after lunch. We had a good turnout of volunteers and a few tasks have been seen through to completion.
Billy Goat was out early eating up the pine needles, cones and small branches which have come down in high winds this week. Mike having been relieved of pine needle brushing duties by said “Goat” took another brush in hand this morning and was continuing the preservation painting of the fencing alongside the workers steps down to the platform with our cocktail of old engine oil and creosote substitute.
Dave Griffin was also on paint brush duties today and finished painting the roof of the lamp hut with barn paint. There is just the walls, door and interior left to do!
“Up top” near the entrance gate Stephen was further modifying our new signage that give our visitors an easy to see summary of the day’s services. The recent high winds, however, have shown a minor flaw in the plan – the signs have been “flying” horizontally in the predominantly westerly wind. This morning Stephen by cunning use of Velcro has reduced the aerodynamic properties of the signs and hopefully that will make them more readable to our visitors. We have all looked at these signs many times, but only this morning was the deliberate (?) mistake on the text of the sign seen. That is our puzzle for today, but sorry there is no prize for spotting the error.
Out on the gardens we had John on Platform 1 tending his wartime vegetable plot and Maurice on Platform 2 continuing to clear the space between the edge stones and the sometimes hidden remains of the original slagstone walls. The donated wildflower plants are doing well potted up in Ros’s greenhouse along with other plants destined to go into the areas Maurice and Terry have already cleared. In the next month we shall have some plants ready to go into small starter plots of this cleared area.
Also on Platform 2 Andrew Lewis and Bob continued the excavation of the trench to take the new service chamber beyond the Evesham Road end of the platform. Today we completed this work with the new chamber installed and the trench backfilled.
Now for some tarmac – any wealthy bloggers out there with a load of tarmac that they could donate and lay for us???
While we were working on the platform we enjoyed the heritage run rounds that are part of the Cheltenham experience. This will be a new image position for future passengers once the platform becomes operational.
Our work was rather rudely interrupted by the sight of several youths down in the Hunting Butts cutting climbing onto our stored wagons. We have had many such incursions and in the past fires have been set on the rolling stock and sometimes heavy items levered off the wagons onto the trackbed where they can cause stock movement problems. We went down the track towards the tunnel, but the miscreants saw us and were long gone by the time we reached the wagons. Andrew checked for damage, but this time nothing obvious had been done.
Over the other side of our boundary with the Racecourse North Coach Park a small party of travellers have arrived and given the past problems we have had with rubbish being dumped onto our property we are keeping a weather eye open. The Racecourse management is aware of this trespass the third time they have been targetted in the last year, but each time they have to wait for a court order to have the trespassers removed.
This will the last report from this scribe for 10 days. I look forward to reading reports from the deputies whilst we languish in warmer climes.
Enjoy your break – Im sure we will get some interesting posts in your absence (not that your are not interesting!)