The first Saturday of the new year always raises mixed feelings: the finishing of a season and ‘putting the railway to bed’ combined with an opportunity to do those jobs which are impossible when trains and passengers are around. The list of tasks is considerable and, although we don’t see another regular service until mid-March, there always seems to be more to do than time and resources permit! However, today we (Ben, Dave G, Bob, Maurice, Dick, Steve and John) made a start.
First, some clearing of the debris. One of the rewards of having spent weeks cutting and carrying is to set fire to the lot and having made sure wind directions were suitable (ie away from the A435!). Thus Ben and I had a great ‘bonfire day’:
Warm work but satisfying and helps to cauterise a further section of the still weedy Platform 2 embankment.
Second, clearing up Christmas – it is Twelfth Night after all! Steve was removing the various strings of lights (a forlorn sight somehow) from our Santa season:
Third, John was busy helping to preserve the shrubs and bushes battered during the wintery conditions by staking existing specimens and then doing some early prep on the ‘Dig for Victory’ allotment area. (Sorry no snaps!)
Fourth, Dave G was painting the staff room and preparing for his busy close season activity of ensuring that all our painted fixtures and fittings are in good nick for March – so that’s all benches, the signs, inside the Station buildings, the lamp posts and the platform edge – to name but a few! Easy stuff like the paling fences he can afford to leave to amateurs like me!!
Last, an acknowledgement of the weather which, once again, has provided challenges in the last week. Storm force winds brought down even more detritus onto the Racecourse Station so tidying up was a priority, with Maurice and Dick to the fore in sorting out Platform 1 and other associated areas. A side benefit is they get to consume anything drinkable or eatable found in the process:
Looks happy – was it a nice beaujolais maybe?
PS: And Bob was busy in the loft fixing stuff!