24 Nov – Clearing Dave’s Piles (of pine needles)!

It looked – according to the weather forecast – as if we were in for a dull, wet and unpleasant morning at the Racecourse Station this morning.  The reality was a little better and there were a fair number of the crew present including at least: Dave G, Andy B, Bob, Terry, Paul, Mike, Ben, Wiley & Steve.

Christmas decorations were the main order of the day with anyone electrically ‘qualified’ being enlisted in preparation for the first (early!) ‘Christmas’ train service tomorrow (NB Santa Specials proper don’t start until next weekend).  So here’s a few of the technical workers:

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This is Bob reaching for the lights not – as some might assume – a dodgy salute!

Elsewhere, Steve and Andy were busy too:IMG_20181124_104417

The same issues as in the domestic setting – just more lights!

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Testing out the bigger ones.

Elsewhere, the pine straw team was expanded by one (a refugee from hut paint stripping – too cold and wet) to include self, Ben, Wiley and Terry.  We shifted another 12 Dumpy bags of needs and branches and here’s some of the action:

And, to explain the title of the blog, here are the piles of pine needles left behind by Dave T when using the leaf blower in previous weeks.IMG_20181124_114205

Looking forward to Advent.

Regards,

Tim

10 Nov 18 – The Advent of Advent?!

The weather was nothing special on Saturday and the blog slightly delayed – due to one thing and another!  Anyway, a fair turnout of volunteers were scuttling around trying to make the place look respectable for the train services running next weekend (supporting a race meeting I believe).  And, given the current weather conditions, failure to keep the place at least reasonably tidy would mean that we would have to work doubly hard ahead of Santa Specials.  Here’s some of this weekend’s challenges:

Before:IMG_20181110_090247

After:IMG_20181110_101255Not perfect but respectable!

Elsewhere, the usual activities were ongoing and – one of those seasonal sights: Andy B and his box of bulbs. Gardening Andy?IMG_20181110_112944

No, not that sort, this sort:IMG_20181110_112955IMG_20181110_113002

Meanwhile there were mixed emotions in the tea break: pensive on this side…IMG_20181110_110733

and expansive on the other:IMG_20181110_110724

Hopefully, your normal blogmeister will be back in top condition by next weekend: best wishes to Bill.

Regards,

Tim

 

3 Nov – Still Pining!

It always seems to come as a sense of relief when the first train-free weekend of the close season occurs (even though Nov is really only a short break).  It’s a rather ungrateful sentiment of course, since we rely entirely on the interest and income from passengers for the railway to exist.  However, there no denying that we have an easier time for maintaining things when there’s no trains and few people!

Anyway, it was another decent crowd of volunteers and I spotted Steve, Dave T, Mary, Dave G, Bob, Bill, Wiley, Ben and Maurice.  There could have been others lurking about in the undergrowth with our local water tower team doing their thing plus a track walker inspecting his way from the Racecourse Station up the line (and cycling back).

I will, unapologetically, focus on the pine straw team (self, Ben and Wiley) who continued the apparently mammoth job of raking down the Platform 2 embankment.  As blog reader will be aware some trees have been removed but I can say I has made little difference as yet to the amount of debris!!IMG_20181103_090418

We are, I gather, replanting trees on a one for one basis! Oh good!

The method, such as it is, involves raking down the debris onto the track side, packing into Dumpy Bags and loading onto our rail trolley to move them up or down the line to the fire sites.IMG_20181103_101705

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Which is quite good fun until you meet an inconvenient set of points!  Anyway here’s the start of what will be a much, much bigger bonfire.

Also on the task list was a quick dig out of the steps beneath the arches under the Evesham Road bridge – which have a tendency to become part of the earthworks.IMG_20181103_090413

Elsewhere, the shed team report that water and power are now available – so that’ll be regular home from home for those doing crossing duty at the next race meeting.Picture1

More internal tidying up to do yet however, and the paint job is some way from completion, though I am impressed by the amount of bare metal now showing.Picture3

Very authentic and we are looking forward to the re-painting task (you have to have done at least 3 morning’s scraping to qualify).

Best wishes,

Tim