Hunting Butts Cutting Drainage

Bob’s report to Andy Protherough :-
Dear Andy,
    Further to your GWR Volunteer Announcement re forming a working party to clear the ground on the southern upper level of Hunting Butts cutting so that the failed drainage can be investigated, I went down to this area this morning armed with my strimmer (and appropriate PPE!). I have cut a pathway up to the gate in the fencing on the southern bank of the cutting and also around 35m of the drainage ditch towards the station where I expected to find the entrance to a small culvert and a drainage inspection chamber.
I found the former – see below, but failed to find the inspection chamber where I thought that it was located.

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As you can see in the top image I have tied a piece of red and white plastic marking tape to the fence close to this  pipe to assist you team relocate it.
I did not recall the inspection chamber being so far from the gate so I went back down to the track bed level drain inspection chambers that your team have been excavating and located the chamber where the down pipe from the upper level sedge drain is supposed to bring the water into the track bed level drain inspection chamber. After a battle through the virgin undergrowth back up the embankment to the upper level ditch system I located the missing inspection chamber. This is covered with short sections of Brunel’s Bridge, or Barlow, rail and is located some 25m beyond the entrance to the culvert/pipe shown above. I have marked the inspection chamber location also with some red and white plastic tape placed in the bushes above the chamber. I made a pathway (unstrimmed) through the undergrowth back to the culvert entrance from this chamber, so you should now be easily able to locate it. It did seem that at least part of the upper level ditch was running uphill to the culvert, so I suspect that some excavation of the ditch is likely to be required.
I regret that following this exertion I did not have the energy to try and locate the culverts and chambers on the Hunting Butts Farm side of the upper drainage ditch (I seem to recall that there are 2) – I leave that interesting task to your team – good hunting !
Bob

Saturday 16th July, the Sun Shone and 12 Volunteers were in Harness!

12 Volunteers were signed-in today and working on a variety of jobs. Bob Stark has submitted the following report covering todays general activities and has also submitted a second report of his own exploits. Frankly I’m not sure how he’s found the time to do these so quickly, when you see how much ground(literally!) he covered this morning! Nevertheless he has, and it’s much appreciated.

Dear Bill,
    Having been agreeably surprised this morning to note that you had included yourself in the list of those volunteers at Cheltenham admonished for failing to provide “fodder” for the blog, I hereby submit my round up of activity as seem through the lens of my camera this morning.
    The Ledamun brothers exercised “Billy Goat” and cleared platform 1 of pine needles, they also cut the internal grassed areas, but this week their efforts were supported by the Racecourse maintenance team who yesterday cut the grass in our car park with their gang mowers. Whilst on the grass cutting theme, I can report that following my excursion with strimmer seeking to locate the failed Hunting Butts Cutting upper embankment drainage system this morning, Andrew took over strimming the grass and weeds on the upper level of the Platform 2 embankment. There is a great deal to do in this area and like cutting one’s lawn it makes such a difference to the view from the window (in this case the carriage window!)

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    Ros was continuing the “beautification” of platform 2 with the addition of further plants donated and purchased for this small area of colour behind the rear platform edge. She received a passenger compliment from the window of the train this morning – it makes it all worth while.

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    On the upper levels Maurice was trimming our front hedgerow, having just returned from cruising the Baltic. Another escapee back into harness keeping the estate neat and tidy – thanks Maurice.

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Dave was able to continue painting this morning not being on duty as part of the station staff, who today were 3 ladies – you missed a trick there Dave!
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    Dave thus continued the rubbing down and repainting of the front of the GWR lamp hut that shelters “Billy Goat” and today discovered a small brass plate on the door advising that the building was constructed by Joseph Ash of Birmingham (see below). Another little piece of railway history preserved on our railway. (Editors Note: Joseph Ash are still in business today. Click Here)

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    And finally Bill, there are the exploits of your small team this morning (Stephen, Tim and Lewis) creating the new bases for the relocation of the two ex-military transportable containers in preparation for their move and the installation of a new 20ft container to provide much needed secure (and H&S compliant) storage space.
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And some sketches of the work being undertaken with the repositioning of the Pods and the new ISO container.
The re-siting:-
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 The foundations  for the Pods:-
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Progress is measured and sure. Well done everybody.
    Bob