Bob’s report to Andy Protherough :-
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.
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 !