Saturday in the Sunshine

It was a glorious day weather wise at CRCS this morning and the  7 Volunteers on duty  made some great progress.

In no particular order  then, the first activity was the replacement of a wheel on the CAG trolley. Here John Leeson is about to give it a road test, having not only replaced the new wheel but removed the others, before  applying grease to the axles.  Having then taken the trolley for a spin,  John topped up the pressure in all the tyres and returned to base. It’s ready for  a Soapbox Derby now!


Back in in the sunshine Bob  and Mick were digging in a new duct for the power cable to the relocated pods.IMG_0560

Here Mick is toiling in the heat (look at that blue sky!), digging a trench for the  duct. It required a few gentle curves to reach the power source, but much perspiration saw the job done. Below is “Cobber” Stark sorting out the final section ensuring the draw string is in place.


By lunchtime the mains cable was in and power returned to the nearest pod. This was  a really determined effort on Bob and Mick’s part to completed this task. Brilliant!

My task for the morning was to tidy up the debris from Tuesday’s  pod moving exercise and mark out the  approximate position of the footings for the new container. This involved a good deal of dodging around the “workers” so as not  to impede progress. Nevertheless by the end of the morning this task  was completed also. Here the open ground ready for the footing to be  accurately set out.


Last but not least, its difficult for a GWR loco enthusiast like me, not to take a look at the inbound trains. Here Foremarke Hall basks in the dapple shade ready for the run around. Beautiful!



All credit to the gardening team who, with their careful planting (and weeding!) have made all of the  public areas of CRCS so colourful. The Ledamun Brothers with there weekly mowing of grass just sets this off nicely  – add the sunshine and its all a joy to behold!



Bob  Stark has sent me a post of his take on the day,  as follows:-

Dear Bill,

I attach below a summary of the morning’s activity at Cheltenham Station on a beautiful summer morning,. Blue skies, a warm breeze and happy visitors – perfect weather to move our outdoor projects forward.
    As usual the Ledamun brothers were up with the early birds “Billy Goating” the pine needles on Platform 1 then moving onto  grass mowing at the top of the Platform 1 ramp. We were a bit light on volunteers this morning so Mick and I decided to work on the underground infrastructure required for your shipping container project. With the two ex-Army “Pods” now successfully moved to their new positions we pressed ahead this morning with burying more underground ducting across the area where the new 20ft shipping container is to go. This task completed Mick and I pulled a new power cable through this duct and before retiring somewhat exhausted this afternoon we managed to reconnect Pod 1 to the mains electricity supply from the Ticket Office building. Next week we will seek to reconnect Pod 2 to the mains. While Mick and I were working on the power cable, with our young Robin supervising, John Leeson returned the now re-tyred wheel to our trusty 4 wheel trolley – another task off my list thanks to the internet and DHL! I have found that our Robin is somewhat spoiled and has very picky tastes. Yesterday during a short visit to the station I turned over a paving slab and Robin rejected the wood lice that scurried out. This morning I brought him a wild bird food mix containing grains, seeds and dried meal worms and he ate only the dried worms. At this rate he could be an expensive liability in the coming winter months if he continues to expect such an exotic diet.
    At about 1045am I received a crisis call from Mike advising me that a major situation was unfolding in our “catering department” in the workers room. There was no milk for the tea – now that is as serious a crisis as I have dealt with for some time – a REAL morale sapping crisis.
    Luckily we are fortunate to have a local shop within 5 mins of the station (by car) and our thirsty workers were I hope unaware of the disaster that had only narrowly been averted. With Andrew away doughnuts were also off the menu this morning and our workforce were rewarded only with biscuits except for the Ledamun brothers who bring their mid morning snack in the form of pasties or sausage rolls.
    Elsewhere around our station Andy Protherough’s team were again working on the higher level sedge drains in the Hunting Butts cutting where I understand that there are several issues with collapsed drainage pipes. In view of our own tasks I was unable to go down and view the progress of Andy’s team, but they have an excellent blog site of their own where the scale and success of their work can be viewed. During the week Pete Dickenson’s B&S team finished the repairs to the wall at the base of the Platform 1 ramp and have cleared all the excess slag stone away under the Evesham Road bridge for future use around the station.  Peter Parlett and Trevor Hobday joined us for tea and we gather that their project to line and insulate the Cheltenham water tank before the winter is progressing.
    On Platform 2 it seems that most of the weeds growing on the rolled stone surface of the platform are not looking as healthy as they were last week following the weed killer spraying. However, the fine weather is encouraging new weed seeds to germinate and grow so further applications of weed killer will be needed in the coming weeks to keep the surface clear.
Thanks Bob!

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