23 Feb – Welcome Visitors!

The day started with some bad news – our contractors had declined to take the skip away!  On the grounds that it was too full of stuff and that scattering razor wire across the roads of Gloucs might be unacceptable.  Fair enough really – so Steve and I set about repacking and the contrast is noticeable:



I think we should get an award for best packed skip of 2019!  Hopefully, however, this will be the last we see of the contents.

Anyway with that gloom lifted we progressed on to further renovations.  There was an absence of Daves today – not one to be seen anywhere – so we relied on Steve for direction, with helpful contributions from Mike, Terry, Maurice, Wiley, Ben, Bob and 2 x Andys.

Next weekend will be required to make the place ship shape for our first services of the season so today was almost the last opportunity to do some passenger-free work.  As such, here are the new outside ‘TO’ noticeboard painted by Dave G, installed by Bob and Steve plus the new window glass installed by Bob.

Thanks to Bob for the narrative and the pictures.  Doesn’t the glass reflect well!

One Andy (B) was busy installing power to the Hut –  which should provide welcome respite for the Racecourse Festival crossing monitors.


And meanwhile the other Andy (M) was assisting in the arches store renovation project:IMG_20190223_114258

Is that a halo I see before me? Saint Andy?

Another positive aspect of the day’s ‘ongoings’ was a very welcome visitor in Mick Best, seen here advising Terry and Maurice:IMG_20190223_114255

You’re looking good, Mick, we’ve missed you and we all hope to see you back in harness soon!

As you may have gathered the Spring-like weather had brought more than just the bulbs out and the Station is beginning to look good, even with (or perhaps especially because of) the wagons parked up:IMG_20190223_120947



Regards and someone else will have to write the blog next week as I’m on hols.



16 Feb – Still Skipping!

A fair morning and a fair morning’s work to be honest.  Luckily, last week’s stalwart team of volunteers (Steve, Dave G, Mike, John, Bob, Maurice & Terry) was reinforced by the youth element: Ben and Wiley and the young at heart (Dick and Andy B)!  This allowed us to continue with the weekly tasks of making the station tidy (only 3 weeks to first train), to keep up the bench refurbishment programme, to fix some ailing lights and to redouble our efforts on pre-bridge inspection clearance.

Here’s some samples of what we are wading through – do they come in the ‘might potentially have been useful’ category or the ‘objects of historic interest’ category?


Anyway, they’re now in the skip category! Along with lost of other stuff: including, amongst other things, miles of razor wire, lots of plastic fencing and dozens of shuttering boards.IMG_20190216_115819

The might still be useful category is still pretty large and one of our number said he could see a use for this old door:IMG_20190216_115837

Never let it be said that we don’t try to recycle, upcycle or generally preserve stuff!

Anyway, only one more entirely clear weekend before we start thinking about putting everything back on the platforms and really smartening the place up.

Spring is in the air…



9 Feb 19 – More of the Same!

It was another groundhog day really.  Cool but not too cold, windy, damp and rather low on volunteer numbers.  Bob popped in briefly to do some much needed maintenance on the Platform lighting whist Dave G was in the warm (lucky chap!) painting up the benches:

IMG_20190209_121416Always a very professional job!

Elsewhere, John was doing some early season gardening and, I gather, fitting a new fridge in the ticket office.

Others were evident on the track bed – with a visiting team doing some preparation for the main drains to be ‘spring cleaned’.  Thanks guys.

Main effort, however, was with the hard core team of Steve, Maurice, Terry and self on further clearing out of the archway store (Racecourse Station’s equivalent of the Augean stables – although come to think of it we are lacking a Hercules).  This initially started as an effort to reveal all the brickwork – so that the bridge can be inspected.  However, after we’d done that it seemed an opportune moment (ie it was long overdue!) to clear out some of the stuff stored in there.  Now, I am quite sure  that it was all stored with the thought that it might one day be useful – and some of it definitely has been – but the collective view is that we (the Railway) have moved on and what once we might have countenanced doing by ‘self-help’ is now much more likely to be work of a professional or contractual nature.  So, I think it is now fair to throw out the broken doors, the rusty metal desks and some of the miles of razor wire.  Hence, multiple trips up and down the platform carrying heavy objects! Plus ca change!

There were a few surprises including what must have been a very tricky achievement by a highly security conscious bird:IMG_20190209_113517

Anyway, we still have much to do and our target date of getting it all straight again by Cheltenham Festival Week remains as ambitious as………………………..as an easy Brexit!

Some of the team taking a well deserved break:








I was, sadly, prevented from attending Saturday morning’s session due to foreseen circumstances – namely being snowed in!  As such the text and pictures below are courtesy of colleagues Dave T, Mary, Bob and Wiley – for which efforts many thanks.  Any mistakes or misattributions are entirely my own!

It seems that, in addition to the above contributors, only Stephen and Andy B made it in – probably for the same weather-related reasons as yours truly.  However, they recorded some interesting developments at CRCS which are evident in the following:IMG_5704

Wagons aplenty have been parked up at the Racecourse to facilitate inspections of bridges and other essential maintenance work.DSC00265

Not sure Platform 2 has looked this busy – ever!

Andy was repairing the platform lights  whilst Bob cleaned the glass on the two under repair and also finished off a bit of the UPVC cladding around the door frame of the visitor’s entrance.IMG_0631

Mary was busy clearing the dead grass from the vicinity of our veg patch/allotment whilst Dave T and Steve had bonfires.  Wylie assisted wherever required and everyone ‘admired’ the rolling stock.

Overall, it was pretty chilly whilst the remaining snow and ice precluded any more major endeavours.  Mary kindly sent a couple of scenic shots from early morning:


Lovely place, Cheltenham Racecourse Station!

Back in person next week (I hope)!