Saturday 25th June 2016

A small but perfectly formed gang turned out today – Thomas duties taking others further afield.

The Lendamun brothers continued their weekly mowing and trimming of the frontage and pathways  – so vital – it gives all our visitors a sense of the Station being well cared for. Maurice  set-to at cutting back the boundary hedges.

On the container reorganisation front, Stephen and I  carefully did the setting out of the bases for the PODS.

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“Im sure we buried it here…..”

The area to be set out for the 2 PODS – not easy on such uneven ground.


Nevertheless the job was completed (sorry for the grainy picture – I must have been shaking with excitement or missing my doughnut).

For those interested in the nitty gritty…..


Thomas Weekend Preparations


2016-06-24 10.32.22Dave Griffin and I spent a couple of hours this morning placing the advertising posters and hanging the bunting along the fences at Cheltenham Station. I have to say how much I enjoyed the Reverend  Wilbert Awdry’s books when I was a kid, and subsequently have read them to my children and grandchildren. May the magic continue through future generations.

A Tuesday Special

I spent  a pleasant and productive morning at CRCS with Tim Winstanley shifting the 1st of the MOD Demountable Storage Units (lovingly known as PODS and we don’t know why! ) to a  temporary position in anticipation of placing both PODS in a new location. This will make way for a new 20ft ISO Container, which is to be used for general  equipment storage.


The lifting task was  carried out by Vic Haines Transport and what an excellent job they did. Ben the driver/operator took great care to ensure the job was done to our satisfaction and it was completed without any mishaps. You can see our makeshift spreader bars, required to ensure the roof line did not get crushed. The actual unit looks like something Tim Peake might have returned in from the space station. Not a pretty sight!


This was the area vacated by the POD and now requires revamping with new footings to accommodate both PODs.


Here the POD is in its new temporary location, sitting firmly and squarely on the quarter railway sleepers chopped up last week.

This story will continue over the coming weeks as we make further progress.

You will have gathered that Tim Winstanley (not Peake!) was behind the camera and therefore his hard work is not evidenced in the pictures. However I did catch him on camera responding to request from a very pleasant couple to have their picture taken on a GWR bench sponsored by the lady’s father.

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We’ve Missed it!


Dave G kindly passed this on from Teresa:

Hi Dave,

Just as I was locking up the last disabled ramp on Saturday I looked along the platform and thought that someone had left something on the platform near the water tower. However, when I got closer I spotted the attached.

Don’t know where they came from, maybe the lake on the racecourse!


Feel free to pass them on to whoever does the blog for CRC.





Thank you both!

And it Didn’t Rain…..

Tim Reports:-


Remarkably for this last few days in Gloucestershire it didn’t rain whilst the Saturday morning group were at work at CRC today.  However, the signs of previous day’s deluges were there for all to see – with piles of debris strewn across the tarmac areas.  However Paul L was out early with his mate Billy and they made short work of tidying up.  We would, I hope, now be able to manage 2 platforms – if and when P2 comes on line.


Elsewhere Dave G and Mick were doing some further painting prep on the Lamp Hut (Billy’s lair) whilst a small gardening team (Maurice, Mary & Dave T) attacked the overgrown hedge adjacent to the car park.


Jo “Steptoe” Roesen and his Broadway partner (Steve?) in crime!

Some guests appeared from ‘up the line’ to borrow one of our unused posts – as a template for new ironwork at Broadway.  Always ready to help those less fortunate we loaded one of these immensely heavy objects into a nearby BMW without (I hope) wrecking the suspension.


Meanwhile, in the absence of Team Stark, I attached what has become known as Lewis’s stump!  After a further wrangle with axes, loppers, saw and spade the stump finally gave up the ghost and is no more.   The suggestion that I move onto the adjacent remains of a substantial oak as the next victim proved risible as nothing short of a small amount of explosive or a JCB is likely to shift that one.  As such, I resorted to admiring Ros and Bob’s P2 garden.

Further along was evidence that it is not only in Flanders Field where poppies grow:


A nice display and one which Bob, before departing for foreign climes, suggested I might like to water.  As it turns out, after last week, watering is the last thing we need to do.

Meanwhile, much discussion took place at tea break:image007

Caption competition time!

Bob Stark: “Well who did bring the doughnuts then?”

Paul Sucksmith:

All I ask for is a Jam doughnut now and again and what do I get?”

 “Have you seen the price of the those seed potatoes!

“I’m gonna put something in his coffee one day……




Saturday 11th June 2016 – More Progress

Bill Reports:-

There were 12 Volunteers signed in for duty today and although a damp sort of day, it did not stop good progress being made on a number of fronts.

On arrival on  Saturdays its always comforting  to hear either the mower or, as in today’s case, the Billy Goat in action, ensuring that CRCS is looking as smart as possible for the travelling pubic.

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The Ledamun Brothers, Paul and Bob, do such a fine job –  as in the above picture, keeping the paths clear, the grass  mown and verges well trimmed.

Over on Platform 2 the battle was continuing to remove the stubborn tree stump. Lewis and Andrew Stark were attempting to get the better of it today,  and returned with tales of progress and  of course on the receiving end of lots of “good” advice – a la ” have you tried….’. Well, unfortunately the stump remains – chopped, hacked, sawn, levered but unrepentantly still in place. Sorry there’s  no photo of the villain (Not Bob, He’s on holiday) but the stump.

Elsewhere plants, flowers, and shrubs were being watered. However the Blog paparazzi  were shunned – partly because there was probably too much flesh on show……

For my part I enjoyed helping Mick and Tim retrieved the power cable between the 2 PODs, and clearing and levelling the ground between them, which will allow the next steps to be taken to bring a 20ft container onto site.2016-06-11 09.42.23

Here Mick and Tim return from emptying barrow loads of rubble from the site in question. It was then a matter of digging out and extracting the armoured cable.

After a good deal of huffing and puffing the cable was finally retrieved!

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It remained then to level the surface and admire the end result.  I alluded to the end result as being as level as a cricket pitch – which was a mistake because the am dram instinct came to the fore and we had a cricket match on our hands……

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Thanks to everyone in attendance today – I know Stephen was one of the unsung heroes strimming Platform 1. I will just have to move faster!



Thursday 9th June – Moving things Along

Tim Winstanley must have had his 3 Wheatabix today as he put some time in shifting 15 freshly quartered sleepers from the compound  to an area adjacent to the perimeter fence, where we plan to install a 20ft ISO Container. This involved a trek with a wheelbarrow from the southern end of platform 1, up the platform ramp and back along the fence line.


The area in the picture above, shows the approximate location of the container.

The sleepers had previously been cut up into quarters on Monday by Chris Howl – cheers Chris!

Not  satisfied with shifting the sleepers, Tim moved on to trying his hand at removing  a tree stump. Contending with  Mother Nature is always a tough challenge and the extra  Wheatabix was of no help! The stump remained to fight another day.

Nevertheless, Tim looks pretty pleased with himself  – the first Volunteer selfie I think?



Big Boys Jenga anyone!



Saturday 4th June – A Morning with the Glums! (bar 1)

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And they’ve just had doughnuts!

Of course I jest – 12 Volunteers were on duty today and lots of valuable work was done. I will finish with Bob’s report which has much of the nitty gritty in it.

From my point of view the challenge was to get another load of redundant materials out of the compound under the Evesham Road Bridge in order to finally fill the skip before it is taken away next week. Predictably once you start on these spring clean exercise you can easily find enough to fill another skip! However, that will have to wait for another time.

While I was under the EVR Bridge and was gazing around looking for the meaning of life, I could not help but notice the craftsmanship that is required to lay the bricks in the arches of a skew bridge. The architectural design and the skill of the bricklayers was incredible.


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Another digression – Merchant Navy 35006 and the Ivatt  46521 were on duty today and put on a good display for the enthusiasts –  46521 taking on both water and  a young footplate enthusiast. This may be controversial but I just can’t take to the look of this loco  – the later  BR designs always had us trainspotters groaning  – we warmed to Peaks more than these!

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And Now for Bob’s report:-

Dear Bill,
    I am anticipating that as you were armed with your camera this morning you will be reporting on the work carried out. Here is short report from yours truly with a couple of images
    I disconnected the 2 ex-army containers (PODs) from the mains supply in anticipation of your moving them to a nearby new location to allow the 20ft ex-shipping container to be installed for all our gardening equipment. As I laboured to disconnect the supply I discovered how well Andy Bint had installed the heavy duty cables in the first place within ducting and trunking. It was probably easier extracting the cables than installing them in the first place, but it was a close run thing in terms of physical effort.


    These cables have now been coiled up and placed in a waterproof bag and the interconnection cable to “POD No2” will need to be excavated once the skip containing so many of our unwanted treasures is removed.
    Following some recent surgery Terry returned to our team this morning and continued the de-stoning of the garden beds behind the Platform 2 rear edging slabs. Ros was also on  Platform 2, extending the garden bed created a couple of weeks ago. This morning she planted some new species that she has brought on with some very health ground cover plants donated by Mary. With the recent cool and damp weather and regular watering, casualties have been few and some of the new arrivals are showing signs of having settled into their new location and prospering. Up on the embankment Tim and Lewis were tackling some well established tree roots that we do not wish to feature in our future plans for this area.
   Out on the Signal Box picnic area Andrew was strimming the weeds and trying to get the grass down to an acceptable height. Sadly with the damage done to this area last year when it was used as a storage area for backfill for Platform 2 and the old edging slabs, we can no longer cut it with our lawn mower as we used to.


  My thanks also to the Ledamun brothers for their work with “Billy Goat” and the lawn mower and to John for his work on our vegetable garden. It all looks very “ship shape”.
    For the next couple of weeks I will leave the report writing in other hands as Ros and I head for warm weather.