A short blog post today, with many of my Volunteering Chums away on other parts of the railway or carrying out bank holiday duties at home. Of course it was the start of the Cotswold Festival of Steam and it was very tempting to sit back and watch the sights and sounds of the trains arriving and departing from CRS. It was a magnificent scene and I’m sure it will be well reported on other blogs and Facebook.
Here 2807 sizzling in the sunshine on Platform 2 ready to take one of many trains departing from the new platform 2 today. It caused me to recall overseeing in the 20,000 bricks that were eventually used to construct the platform wall. What a lot of hard work has happened in between!
And an early double header arrives in the form of Dinmore Manor and Formarke Hall.
Now down to the nitty gritty. There was good deal of last minute sprucing up first thing, with Mike on the broom and Stephen on the Billy Goat. Ben and I passed some useful time shifting the nuts, bolts, screws and washers from the Work Room in the Ticket Office, down to the Container. Three barrow loads later (Ben doing the barrowing, me looking important) and the job was done.
Our main task of the morning was to unload the component parts of a shed, recently surplus to requirements at Broadway Station. This proved a challenge as Stephen, Ben and I handballed all the parts from the back of the Building Service truck parked outside the boundary fence, over the POD roof and into storage. Unfortunately I was a vital link in the chain and did not get chance to photograph the antics. (Anyway a shed is a shed for all that!) Nevertheless our thanks go to BS for their work and patience and to Ben in particular as he stayed on to make the whole activity doable.
The Moscow State Circus were pitched up near the Station today. The stormy skies quickly turned into heavy showers. Why did we keep saying we need rain for the fresh planting!
However the weather forecast did not deter a good turnout for the first train of the day. They all looked thirsty, all planning to slake their thirst at the Real Ale Event at Winchcombe and Toddington. It was tempting to join them!
The travelling public would have been less happy if they new something resembling a North Korean missile was being transported in the train. Enquires with the lads from the Loco Department established it was the old water softener canister on its way to Toddington. If it looks heavy, its because it was – I had to act as banker pushing it up the ramp into the train.
Prior to the arrival of the first train Terry, Maurice and Stephen were erecting barriers on the Platform 2 slope, in anticipation of next weeks Gala, when we should see operational trains in this platform for the first time. Brilliant!
Finally I’m struggling to find a clever caption for the final photo. It looks as if a game of hide and seek is going on! In reality a team was in the process of moving two newly acquired (very heavy!) GWR lampposts to a safe location. Is there an osteopath in the house?
There is, I suppose, a slightly masochistic pleasure in physical labour for it’s own sake. The GWSR at Cheltenham Racecourse Station certainly provides more than its share and should be a very happy place as a result! Mainly, at the moment, it seems we are digging; whether it is digging out broken taps, digging up ballast to replant it elsewhere or digging our gardens. Perhaps it’s digging season? My colleagues were hard at it this morning with Bill, Steve, Dave T, Paul, Andy, Ben, Mike and John all putting in shifts in one form or another. Here are some highlights.
First up is Ben with a broken tap (it was me that broke it but it just came off in my hand – honestly) on the bank above Platform 1. A little digging in the glorious mud revealed a leaking supply pipe in any case. Time for some plumbing repairs and, hopefully, a more substantial chamber fitting around the new system.
Second it the further adventures of path building – the sort of work they get convicts to do in the USA! Here Bill and others are working to extend our all weather path from the container side through to the slabs and placing the exhumed stones between PODs – recycling again!
Third, some results of digging: our new hedge line and the vege plot.
Fourth the results: well earned rest for the weary in and around the staff office – which is beginning to looks more spacious and tidier as we transfer our materials elsewhere.
Fifth (no photos) Mike was buy sweeping, Paul was busy sweeping and mowing whilst Steve was busy helping everyone else out – as usual.
And, finally, see what Dave T has dug up from far afield: a couple of genuine GWR 10 foot lamp posts. (Just what we need after all that digging is to move these 2 monsters into safekeeping.)
See the full story at http://gwsrbuildingservices.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/gwr-lamp-post-story.html. The lamps are destined for the slope on Platform 2 – so that’ll be a long term investment then!
However, if rumour has correct, we may see passengers on P2 in the very near future – watch this space.
Wheel barrows were the order of the day this morning – either shifting garden waste or shifting ballast.
The most challenging perhaps was shifting ballast from the very end of Platform 1 (by the crossing), up to the container/pod site.
Here Andy and Terry pace themselves up the platform, and at the ramp, each goes his merry way – one up the ramp heading for the container, and the other further up the platform to pick up a load of fir cones.
The ballast is being used to make a volunteer friendly footpath from the pods to the front of the container.
The finishing touches were made to the approach path to the container entrance. Ben and I consolidated all the good work carried out by Tim and Mick and I have to say the end result was pretty pleasing.
On Platform 2 Team Stark (Ros and Bob) continued with the gardening work.
Here Bob maintains a good pace with his full barrow, having walked it from platform 2, across the crossing and up the ramp. I must find out what he’s having for breakfast!
More of this later!
Today on Pl 2