A Monday Morning Special….

A report from Bob Stark:-


Dear Bill,
    A few lines and a couple of images on the “goings on” at our station yesterday. It never ceases to amze me how many people travel considerable distances to travel on our trains on closed days. On monday I went up to the station early to continue the building repairs whilst the station was supposedly quiet, but the first prospective passenger arrived at 9.30am and were very disappointed that we were not operating – the frequently asked question is why? On responding that we are all volunteers operating the railway my FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) is “did you not look on our website before travelling” in virtually all cases it is NO, some of them even having a copy of our timetable in their hands. Nuff said. A lovely couple of gentlement stopped my “play” for nearly an hour having travelled from the north of England and wanted to know all about our Railway and will be returning next year to travel to Broadway. They made a donation to our work, so thank you gentlemen.
    Now to other matters. I resprayed the last survivors of the Mares Tail weed on both sides of the track by the signal box and tackled the new growth of the prickly dandelions on the Platfrom 2 embankment. I suspect that we will be treating this area for some years to come given the amount of seeding and soil movment that has taken place in this area, When the Monday gang arrived after lunch, many hands were employed sweeping the pine needles from ramp and area around the booking hall in the absence of Billy Goat. Charles and Ros were working in the gardens on respective sides of the track – no pictures today I’m afraid.
    Up in the “jungle” areas of Platform 1 Tim was continuing his assault on the years of invasive growth of blackthorn and hawthorn bushes, burning as he goes as can be seen in the image below. On Saturday, Tim and Terry collected 3 full bags of litter from the cleared hedgeline, the result of many years of access denied. Clearly it is not just the Oceans that are suffering from non-degradable plastic


    In the background of this image a steel galvanised pipe can be seen rising from the ground. This formed part of the original GWR early 1900s system of providing water for the two toilet blocks that once stood on our platforms. A small diesel pumping  engine was located down by the stream that passes through our embankment to the north of the station and river water was pumped up this pipe to a small header tank that fed the toilets. Many years later a 3/4 inch copper pipe was laid from the water supply on the Evesham Road to replace the stream supply and we reused this copper pipe to provide the “new” supply for the station building on Platform 1 when we needed a water supply for the Ticket Office building. The challenge was locating all the buried stop cocks along the 300m route of this pipe and making sure that they were in the “on” position – the one that was not took several weeks to locate.
    The image below shows the measure of Tim’s challenge – and his success!
    After tackling a few other small jobs around the site I finally got back to the front of the station building restoration, this time  caulking all the  new joints. With a measure of luck we will perhaps get some undercoat on the refurbished woodwork this week.
    Finally Dave and Roger continued the work on refurbishing the spear fencing railings in front of our storage bins and a couple of the wooden fencing sections were rehung on the completed fence panels.
And a comment from one of the hardworking Monday  Carriage Cleaners:-

Hi Bill,

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!



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