Monday, 23rd October 2017

Dear Bill,
    A short report on the Monday team activities at CRC Station. I counted nine bodies at work this afternoon, mostly involved with gardening and pine needle clearance activities. No images of the latter since I am sure that our BLOG followers are becoming tired of images of our Billy Goat clearing the platforms. Today his handler was Alan, who judging by the noises emanating from said machine was adopting a gentle touch on the regulator with frequent “cut-offs” to give some respite to the new half engine. I wondered “does one have to run in a “half engine”?”  or is this nicety reserved only for “whole engines”? Answers please (with donations) to the Cheltenham Department.
     Elsewhere around the Platform 1 estate Mary, Mike, and Colin were removing weeds from the garden beds and planting some new colour into the spaces thus created. Following up behind these activities Dave Tomlin  was feeding the obligatory bonfire with the results of the pine needle collection and weeding.
    Ros was weeding and dead heading in the Platform 2 garden beds and following an excursion to a half price sale of plants this morning was adding some new colour to this area of the estate. We have had considerable problems with hungry bunnies on Platform 2 and many young plants have succumbed to their sharp teeth and keen appetites. We know from bitter experience that they love Sunflowers and are even partial to the odd lavendar bush, or six. This afternoon “Plan B” was activated and some of our unused weldmesh fencing acquired in the early days of the station restoration, was fashioned into a cage. This is  not to keep Peter Rabbit in, but to keep him out. The result is shown below, we now wait and see how resourceful our little furry neighbours are. If successful more of the fencing currently in storage may have to be fashioned into new cages.
    Dave Griffin (bless him) read my plea in an earlier blog entry and completed the top coating of the lower sections of the repaired Ticket Office facia panels. Being a perfectionist Dave was not entirely happy with the result given the damp weather, but I think that it looks super. – Thank you Dave. I will replace the white ground level skirting with new cladding in the next week.


    Now there is the little matter of the other bit of facia on the right hand side of the worker’s room door to do before Christmas!
    Me thinks some TLC sooner rather than later is in order here also.
    Finally the project stores required to create a new service chamber for the water supply on the top of the Platform 1 embankment are now in the worker’s room ready to be buried in place of the old fittings – any volunteers for this task?
    One of our number, Mick Best has sadly been taken ill whilst with family in Australia and we know that Mick is following our Blog reports from afar. Mick we all send our good wishes and hope that you have a comfortable journey back to the UK next month.
Tim was on site this morning carrying out some further hacking and chopping of self seeded trees and brambles :
I am busy this afternoon so popped in for a couple of hours this morning with the intention of having a fire.  However, it was damp and windless, with what breeze there was blowing road-wards so I chickened out.  Instead I began the tedious task of dismantling the large pile of cuttings for future burning.  It may not look any tidier yet but I have done about half of the heap and, instead of whole trees, we now have separate piles of branches/logs and manageable bits of brash – see attached

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