One of Building Services many current projects is to build a safe and secure pedestrian pathway between platform 1 and 2, at the northern end, via the road crossing. Jim Hitchen sent me a briefing of yesterday’s related activities :-
“We spent a lot of time in the yard at Winchcombe sorting out materials and loading the truck. 7 of us then went to Cheltenham to lay more of the brick wall, instal two gates and a length of fencing near the SB and start to clear the ground along the fence line on the P1 side. It is intended to put a 1.5m wide path along this fence for when P2 is brought into use and a full standard footpath needs to be provided between P2, over the crossing and up to P1.”
There was something of an end of season feeling to start with at the Racecourse Station this morning – perhaps the overcast skies and cooler weather? However, things soon brightened up with Thomas to the fore and his merry band of helpers including Bob and Ros on front line duties with the paying public, Dave G in charge of the Station and the rest of us (Dave T, Mary, Colin, Paul, Terry, Bill and self) joining in the songs from a distance.
Here’s the Young Controller and his assistant welcoming 4 of our early visitors – one of whom has fallen asleep listening to the brief!! Only joking!!
Elsewhere Terry and I continued our battle to reduce the decades of invasive jungle at the top of Platform 1 bank – see left hand picture.
In the right-hand picture, under a metal cover for one of our water points, lurk several examples of the local fauna including, this morning, a rather sweet-looking vole. Sadly, though he peered at me for a while he didn’t stick around to have his photo taken! (I have the same trouble with some volunteers.) A nice cheerful sight and to ward off the occasional bouts of depression – when faced with seemingly intractable areas of overgrowth – I popped into the ticket office and reviewed the pictures of what it was like when ‘they’ started, viz…….
Elsewhere, since the billy-goat has been sent for repair, Paul and others were sweeping the platform by hand – which reminds you how big it is! Later he was busy gardening – as was Mary:
Colin and Steve were carrying out much-needed weeding tasks by the side of the slope down to P1.
Bill continued to rationalise what kit is left in our staff room so that we can
open a small bar and drink beer have more space to sit and debate important railway matters! Here he is considering what to throw away next and then contemplating how we will get the beer barrels into the loft space via the chair, worktop and then ladder using a pulley system.
Actually, it’s really all part of a gradual improvement to the facilities available to those who work at CRCS – both in the ticket office and the weekly volunteers – at minimal cost and of benefit both to the work done and to the people who do it. I say not before time either!
Regards to all who read the blog,
It isn’t often we get a comprehensive report on the hard work of the Monday Gang and the following blog post from Bob helps put that right:-
Further along the Platform Ros was removing some of the weed growth from the Platform 2 flower beds that had accrued whilst we were enjoying the sunshine in Canada.
There were 10 volunteers in attendance this morning and Bob Stark, fresh from his sojourn in Canada, kindly sent me this report of the morning’s activities:-
I popped in to take delivery of the wooden door for the proposed fog man’s hut, which is to be located on the new pathway between platform 2 and the crossing. The door had been languishing in the overflow carpark field at Toddington and exposed to the elements. Pete Dickinson kindly offered to transport it over in the BS truck. It is now safely stored in the compound at Cheltenham. Thanks Pete and co.
The rest of the fog man’s hut remains in the field and will require some sorting out before being transported to Cheltenham. The BR Fog man’s huts were made, as a kit of parts, out of cast concrete. Shifting and reassembling the hut will be quite a challenge!
Hopefully it will end up something like this:-
Magic Wand anyone????
The main task for Building Services today was to lay the footings of a retaining wall along the rear of the new platform 2 footpath. Great progress was made and approximately two thirds of the footing was completed.
My thanks go to Jim Hitchen, my old Broadway mucker, who sent me some WIP photos. Jim is currently working with Building Services.
Turn out of volunteers today was modest – perhaps some knew we were in for a soaking later on! For those in attendance there was much to be done.
Early signs of said efforts came from Tim and Ben who were giving the wooden fence sections behind the spear fencing a coat of “witches brew” – a local preservative recipe I understand!
Down on Platform 1 and up the ramp, the Billy Goat was being put through its paces by Andy. The pine needles are ever present and a stint on the Billy Goat is a good formula for recovering from the night before.
The Building Services lads were in attendance during the week and completed the task of concreting the crossing on the Malvern side. Here P & O is approaching the crossing having completed the run round to take the second train of the day northward.
The sky is just beginning to look stormy here and within the hour there was torrential rain. If you’re a passenger with the opportunity to visit the Ticket Office at the top of the Platform 1 slope, its always worth spending some time (and perhaps money!) looking at the items for sale therein, which earn a modest amount for the Friends of the Racecourse Station.
The photos are a record of the super efforts that were made to get the Ticket Office back in action. Many of you will recognise the reprobate below – such Trojan efforts.
The troops were slightly thin on the ground again – as holiday time continues – so the team comprised Mike, Bill, Steve, Paul, Dave G, Terry, Maurice & John (& Ben in the shop which doesn’t count really).
The big activity was all up on the Platform 1 bank. For those not ‘in the know’ the Cheltenham Racecourse group leader, having planted a new hedge in the Spring, decided that we should reclaim the rest of bank top above P1. Now this had been pruned in living memory – if you recall the 1940s that is – and, as such, had become ‘somewhat overgrown’ (another Racecourse euphemism similar to there’s ‘a few weeds on the bridge’). So we have started at either end to cut back the vegetation – essentially blackthorn, hawthorn, brambles and nettles – so nothing difficult!! In fact, when one comes across a stand of elder it’s a bit of light relief. Anyway, we have made some good progress, uncovered a few lost relics of station infrastructure and raked up some massive bonfire piles for suitable, passenger free, autumn days of pyromania. Here is Terry getting stuck in with the loppers and the revealed fence post line from either end.
Another week or so of ripping and tearing and we should be back to the 1970s line! Further back, Steve was busy keeping what we have already in good trim – it’s proved to be great summer to have planted a new hedge and the bonfire pile can be seen on the right hand side, so care will be needed!
Elsewhere, Paul did his usual neat and tidy job of lawn mowing and platform sweeping, whilst John was maintaining the garden plus the associated tools – sorry no snaps. Bill was in reflective mood admiring the new B&S concrete path at the bottom end of P2 and pondering on the future of the Fogman’s Hut base (suggestions welcome – with or without the Hut!). My suggestion was a statue of ……………..the CRCS committee members!
………………………..and finally Maurice & Mike escaped before I could capture them whilst Dave G was safely kept behind bars!