There were 9 Volunteers in attendance today – all cheery and wrapped up against the cold weather.
Top job on such a cold day is starting and tending a bonfire. Tim was fast off the blocks to carry out this task and managed to disposed of some old fencing and general rubbish from tidying up the adjacent bank.
Tim also split his time and helped me out by shifting 10 sheets of plywood from the Ticket Office, along Bills Boulevard (as some are calling it) to the Container. His head balancing skills were impressive and I suspect he is a little shorter as a consequence!
On the subject of the container, Stephen and I made good progress on lining the container and we may yet get on Chanel 4’s Grand Designs. Bob was once again knocking seven bells out of an old GWR sign. What is impressive, is that they return from his garage looking as good as new, and look so splendid in situ.
Bob sent me the following report from his perspective on the day’s activity:
A small contribution to our blog for today with numbers somewhat lower this morning and a bitterly cold start to the day. That is perhaps an optimistic assessment as the sun disappeared very early along with only some of the frost and as a result it stayed fit for Penquins down on the platforms. No doubt you will cover the container progress, but here are some other bits and pieces to swell the report.
Down on Platform 1, despite being in the shadow of the hedge and permafrost on the platform surface, Mary was raking out the dead leaves and twigs from the garden bed .
Above on the embankment Tim was burning the left over pieces of wooden palings from the Klargester re-fencing project that he and Mick recently completed. Mary’s dead leaves and some branches from the embankment clearance were also consigned to the fire.
“Up top” Dick and Mike reverted to sweeping up the leaves by hand giving them an chance to keep warm and have a social chat – not something that can be done whilst following the noisey “Billy Goat” whose normal keepers were not with us today.
My first task was to investigate a report (and put to bed an action outstanding from 2 Department Committee meetings) which suggested that the Platform 2 lights were not working. Perhaps we had an intermittent Gremlin? However, this morning when the appropriate switch was put on – LO there was light from all but one lamp on platform 2. A quick check and a tightening of the offending screw LED bulb fixed this minor blemish and I can confirm that all lights will be working for the next event that requires lighting on Platform 2. I offer as evidence the image below.
My next task was to dismantle one of our many old GWR poster boards to recover the original GWR wooden border for the re-make of one of our customer facing notice boards that has been taken down for some TLC. These boards face the extremes of weather in the winter wind tunnel of our platform area and however well we try and seal them, the water eventually penetrates the joints. This will be another job for my garage which is warmer and more convenient than working outside at the station at this time of year.
During the week Ros and I removed 3 of the old plastic roof lights from the disabled toilet on Platform 1, replacing them with modern LED fireprooof downlighters. If this move to brighter lighting finds favour (yes I know the GWR did not have LED downlighters in the “old” days), then perhaps we can brighten up the lighting in all our Platform 1 building rooms. Dave Griffin has been working down on Platform 1 during the last couple of weeks cleaning and repainting the toilets. The result is super, albeit new lighting would show off his workmanship even better. At present the jury is out on extending the new lighting style.
Finally I collected another 2 baskets of treasures from the 2nd POD that we are trying to empty in order to re-use it to store flammables such as paints away from the Ticket Office. The contents of these baskets will go to the recycling centre along with other surplus items. POD 2 is slowly emptying!
And one more thing:-
I forgot to mention that Andy today dismantled the scaffolding poles used to hold the Christmas lighting for our Santa services. Not a task for the faint hearted ! Andy and Stephen returned the poles to the storage area at the back of the secure compound and Andy then man handled the boxes of coloured light bulbs and wiring back into the loft of the Ticket Office. A great clearance job.