Circumstances conspired to absent many of the CRS Volunteers today, including all of our routine bloggers! This meant that the remaining ones were landed with twice the work!
However, normal service will resume next week, when I hope we can give you a post with some extras!
Not much to say about Saturday really, see below
Then there were Two
A quiet day for volunteers with Colin Willats and myself. Colin carried on with gardening tasks and I tackled the brambles on the Platform 2 embankment with the strimmer. The weather was sunny and pleasant as we watched the carpark filling up with race goers whilst drinking our tea. We were impressed by the costumes worn by some of the passengers for the Spooky Special trains including spider hats and several witches hats.
There were 8 of us on parade today at CRS and much of the efforts were going into cleaning up the platforms of pine needle debris. With storm Brian blowing a gale it seemed a thankless task!
Above – Andy leading the charge…..
Whilst the clear up was in progress, the gardeners were doing there best to keep the weeds at bay and tend to the snipping and clipping to keep the gardens looking colourful before the frost finally comes to see off the flowers.
Above – a less than flattering shot of Ros in action on the platform 2 borders. Sorry Ros….
I wandered down to review progress on the renovation of the pathway to the crossing at the northern end of Platform 1. Building Services have made excellent progress and it would appear that it just needs surfacing to make it a job well done.
Class 20 D8137 was on duty today – I suppose somebody loves it….
Anyway, a brief nosegay of activities at CRCS today.
Building Services continue to beaver away on the pathways to the crossing by the signal box. The wall on Platform 2 was finished on Wednesday and work started in earnest today on the pathway from Platform 1,
Apologies for the jaunty angle on the wall photo – I was concentrating on it, rather than the overall panorama (hire a new photographer I hear you cry!)
Back on the car park boundary line Tim and Ben were doing battle with the brambles. A horrid task at the best of times but always worth a pose…..
More tidying up was in progress with the return of the Billy Goat. Here Stephen gently puts it though its paces on Platform 1. It was revitalised with a new half motor, the old one having expired. We will have to stop using it for Formula 1….
Stephen having completed Billy Goat duties, moved onto the cutting with the brush cutter. Stephen emerged at the top just as I was driving home along the Evesham Road!
A good mornings work by anyone’s standards!
As ever, there was other work taking place across the site but not all captured by my lens. Next time chaps.
A report from Bob Stark:-
It made me smile to see Bob’s comment about prospective passengers turning up on Mondays expecting trains. When we are carriage cleaning at Toddington on Mondays we have exactly the same problem! And in our case they have passed FOUR “Closed” signs to get to the platform (the side gate to the platform is open to allow access for business visitors). Several with American accents assure us they have come all this way just to be able to ride our railway on a Monday!! With the internet today it is not difficult to check opening times, but still they come!
The first message of the day is to our colleague and friend Mick Best – who is in Australia – and it is from all the gang at the Racecourse Station: our ‘Best Wishes’ (apologies for the usual weak pun), ‘Get Well Soon’ and we look forward to hearing your version of ‘The Crystal Chandelier’ (again)!
In addition to those above (Tim, Maurice, Terry, Colin, Bill & Steve) also present this morning we had Bob & Ros, Dave G (as Station Master) and Ben (in the Shop). It was Diesel Gala Day so the trains were whizzing in and out with alarming regularity. The weather has been pretty inclement recently which means – at this time of year at CRCS – leaves and pine needles all over the place. Missing from our list of helpers above was Billy, who’s off sick for the moment and acting the goat elsewhere. So it was like old times with all hands required to sweep the platforms clean of debris, whilst avoiding dumping it onto the line (causes trackside fires):
Elsewhere, Terry and I were into further clearance at the top of the Platform 1 bank – where having removed the live vegetation we are left with the dead stuff and, irritatingly, accumulated rubbish: heaps of polystyrene cups, plastic bags etc. My suspicion falls on nearby stall holders during the Cheltenham Festival who may ‘accidentally’ have left their waste behind. Grrrr – not how we want to spend our Saturday monrings! Anyway, it’s all looking much tidier and, like all these tasks, will be so much easier now we can keep on top of it.
Bob and Ros had in mind their usual tasks, beautifying Platform 2, but I managed to catch them both before they escaped:
I was actually trying to capture the train really:
So here is another view of Freightliner 1995 plus the increasingly impressive ‘entrance’ to Platform 2 – courtesy of Pete and the gang from Building Services.
And finally, another diesel snap plus a shot of Colin doing his David Attenborough impression in the forest around the Klargester pit.
So with that, and a general feeling that another railway season is drawing to a close………..it’s goodbye from me and it’s goodbye from them.
Meanwhile, rightly concerned that I might fail to represent the work carried out properly, Bob has written his own inject:
As promised a couple of images from the work ongoing this morning at the station for the blog.
Above Ros is planting spring bulbs on the embankment above Platform 2 (the ground is like concrete, hence the post hole digger).
The second image is how far I have managed to proceed with the repair to the lower front panels of the Ticket Office – between digging holes for bulbs that is. The damaged wood has been treated and hardend. A new sloping surface has been created with fibreglass to ensure that the water runs off the bottom rail and does not collect in the joint with the panelling as before. Another few hours of preparation, filling and priming will be required before we can apply a weatherproof topcoat. My thanks to John Leeson for manufacturing new corner pieces for me on planed timber kindly donated by Messrs Bence and Sons and to Dave Griffin for making a special journey to get me a new tin of primer when he had many other tasks to do yesterday preparing for the Diesel Gala.
Not quite Hadrian’s Wall but looking impressive, the Building Services Department continued with the Platform 2 retaining wall. These photos were supplied by BS member Jim Hitchen and a more detailed report will be found on the Building Services Blog.
In the course of work, an Elliotts lorry turned up to remove the pile of surplus ballast at the end of Platform 1, destine for platform filling at Broadway. What will Tim and Ben do now for exercise?