Having been absent due to grandfather duties this weekend it was an early start (for yours truly) this Monday morning to address the problem of the leaking pipe joint on the water supply to the platform 1 building. The leak was only recently discovered when we tried to use a tap connected to this old GWR/BR supply pipe and we found water coming up out of the ground. The tap had been connected via a “TEE” joint onto this “heritage” buried 3/4inch copper supply pipe that serviced the original GWR toilet blocks on Platforms 1 and 2. These buildings were removed by BR in the early 1960s although the base of the one of the buildings is still intact on Platform 2.
Last Saturday (13 May) Tim, Ben and Stephen excavated the area of the pipe on the top of the Platform 1 embankment on and identified the source of the leak as being on the supply side of the “TEE” joint. It was not a major leakage, but enough to fill their excavation to overflowing by this morning. Good for wildlife, but not helpful in preventing embankment slippage.
After turning off the water supply to this part of our estate, Tim baled out the hole and after some rather “gloopy” further excavation we were able to get at the “TEE” joint and undo the compression nuts on either side of the joint. We could then see that the copper olives that had been used were metric and had not compressed down into the joint correctly.
Fortuitously I had found a couple of imperial 3/4inch copper “olives” in my box of plumbing bits (yes sometimes it does pay to keep junk for decadess) since these now seem quite hard to come by locally. The first task was to clean up the pipe work to prevent any dirt getting into the supply and following a certain amount of brute force the “TEE” joint was disassembled and the errant olives split off the pipe ends. After rubbing down the pipes a new “TEE” was put onto the joint and the whole assembly tightened down ensuring this time that the olives were bedded down into the faces of the joint. Finally we put a pipe reducer into the third arm of the TEE to take a smaller diameter copper pipe and inserted a length of 15mm pipe with a stop valve on it. With everthing tightened down the supply was restored – and the leak was gone! The rubber glove on the image wrapped around the 15mm pipe contains the parts of the stop valve that will be needed when we connect this to an above ground plastic pipe and supply tap for the gardeners. For the time being the stop valve is capped to prevent dirt ingress.
Ros came down to assist with the next task (Platform 1 sign) and ensure that the Platform 2 garden was not in need of irrigation. The heavy showers this weekend have worked wonders with our garden and the first Foxgloves of many in the centre garden bed are now starting to bloom. This water has unfortunately encouraged some minor bramble growth on the back edge of the new Platform 2 asphalt surface and this was treated to a mixture of weed killers to discourage further tresspass.
Our final task of the morning (other than washing the “gloop”of the tools) was to hang the Platform 1 sign under the WAY OUT sign at the bottom of the Platform 1 ramp. This now compliments the sign on Platform 2 and will allow our station masters during the Festival of Steam to announce “the train now arriving on Platform 1 (or 2) will be the ……)
While this last activity activity was ongoing Tim was staggering up the ramp with wheelbarrows of ballast to weatherproof the worker’s access path to the PODS and Dave Griffin wasfinishing of the painting of the Ladies Toilet in the Platform 1 building.
Now over to the afternoon team report——————————