The weather at Cheltenham Racecourse station was fairly kind, if a little blustery, for both volunteers and the first passengers of the season on ‘opening morning’ 2017, .  A healthy turn out of volunteers included DaveT, Mary, John, Bob, Andrew, Maurice, Ben, Mike and Andy plus, of course, the water tower gang, the duty station staff and, on the early train, about 17 guards, drivers and other assorted fellow travellers!

DaveG was also present but now resplendent in his Station Master role, having foresworn painting – at least for a while – to ensure that all ‘i’s were crossed and ‘t’s dotted before the first train.  And so here, spied through my trusty binoculars and to kick us off in 2017, is Andy advising on why the 1034 has arrived facing backwards:

Earlier our Head of Department did a test walk down the slope to Platform 1 whilst Mike swept away everything in his path – in our case strewn with pine needles rather than palm leaves.  (On a serious note: an extensive contractor-led resurfacing task is taking place on 6-7 Mar to replace much of the degraded tarmac on the top half of the slope).20170304_101653

Meanwhile Mary did some serious tidying up whilst John was in full design flow with his raised beds/planters alongside the vegetable patch and Maurice engaged in that old CRCS perennial game of ‘pick up sticks’!

Elsewhere, Andy advised Mick on how to drill a neat hole and later the correct Health & Safety procedures for using large ladders.  (Actually, he was just about to disconnect and take down our big sign above the entrance so that the grader/tarmac machines can get in next week.)

The real progress was, of course, in the new container where, as always, Ben was out of shot supervising (he’s got a real talent for leaning on a spade that one) whilst Mick was on his knees (ouch!) plumbing in the electrics – for the jacuzzi, obviously.  Power now available at the flick of a switch.


Regrettably I didn’t manage to capture garden development on Platform 2 (Bob & Andrew) or any of the other splendid efforts which went into making our first revenue earning day of the year such a success.

Many thanks to all for getting us off to such a great start this season – all the customers I spoke to were most impressed.



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