Bob kindly sent me this report on what was happening at “platform” Level:-
Whilst it was great to be able to observe activity at Cheltenham from the warmth of Tenerife, it was back with a bump this week with your demand for a progress report or two after such a long “rest”.
So on with the first post leave report. Today as you know we had a good turn out of volunteers at our station plus the “A” team (or so they told me) from Building and Services working on the small slagstone slippage near the bottom of the Platform 1 access ramp. Pete Dickenson plus Michael and Ken continued to rake out the boulders and stones from the collapsed area shown in images in yesterday’s blog from Tim and made good progress replacing the first layer of boulders in readiness for backfilling with concrete blocks.
As can be seen above it was all smiles at the start of the morning, but things got more serious as the morning progressed. When I returned home exhausted at lunchtime good progress had been made and the B&S A Team were well on the way to finishing the task. There was, however, dissension in the team as to whether they would or would not finish today. As you can see below good progress indeed – thank you Pete Michael and Ken.
Being a very modest “blog meister” Bill you may not have reported your own success today in moving forward the “POD” (aka Air Transportable Container) project to move these valuable storage units and prepare the foundations for the long anticipated 20 Foot ISO shipping container.
Your small team made good progress today (measured by my standards) and several corner bases for the containers were either started or completed. Before and after images are attached below.
On Platform 2 Ros and I continued with the preparation of the one garden bed we hope to complete this year. Our work has been somewhat disrupted by the very good news that the Plc have authorised the funding for a tarmac surface for platform 2 and as of next week the platform surface is back in the hands of John Crawford and his team to manage this project. We will keep our readers informed via this blog on the progress of this work. I noted that Andy Protherough and his drain clearance team had been hard at work clearing the mud from the cess drain inspection pits within the station environs – a really mucky job! One of my first projects back in 94/95 with only a very few volunteers willing to help was to rod through all these drains down to Hunting Butts Tunnel and remove the silt. Lets hope that after Andy’s work they will last for another 20 years. By the way Andy, there is a partial blockage between pits 8 and 10 on the south side of the cutting to Hunting Butts. Steve Warren can be blamed for excessive zeal with his JCB back in the 90s!
No report from a steam railway is complete without a picture of a locomotive. Today the 2nd train was pulled by 35006, P&O and this should be bring a smile to the face of our Southern Region members who are away on leave.
Finally a story to touch the hardest hearts. We mentioned several weeks ago that we believed that our Robin’s nest in the secure compound had been predated. It was good today to see this little fellow showing no sign of fear of our members and looking for pickings on and from Mike Townsend’s broom. (he gets around that “Robin”!)
That’s it for today.
The usual good works were proceeding at CRC this morning. The Billy Goat was in action clearing the pathways and the mower was in action cutting the grass. A reduced Stark Team was carrying out further planting and tidy on Platform 2. We understand that Platform 2 should get its finishing surface before the end of the year – it will look splendid.
Stephen, Mick, John and I were working on the next stage of moving the Pods. This involves providing the necessary level and firm standing for the Pods. This is to be achieved with the use of slabs supporting the front of the Pods and concrete block columns at the rear. Here Mick is “mixing the muck” for bedding in the slabs and blocks.
Finding some solid ground (clay) wasn’t that easy, but perseverance won the day and the basic ground work was completed by tea break.
Here John gets rid of the dross on the surface and finds a reasonable strip of clay for us to work from.
By lunchtime the A team were pleased with their endeavours and will be back to complete the job next week. Here is the state of play at lunchtime today.
We also had an extra member of the team, I think his name was Robin, He didn’t mind eating on the job!