I thought, as the season draws to a close, it might be interesting to reflect on what was going on at the Racecourse Station at this juncture in previous years. That said I’m afraid our blog diaries only go back 3 or so years so it’s not exactly a long historical perspective. It’s more a sort of short term ‘All our Yesterdays’ (and writing that certainly dates anyone who can recall the TV series of the same name). So, as an occasional feature I will reflect on what activities were taking place in late October 2018, 2017 & 2016 – compared to this year.
2019. This year, along side clearing up ‘aprés le déluge’ as it were, we managed to rid ourselves of some of the accumulated debris of the last quarter century or so!
2018. At the same time last year I note that a glamorous and youthful team (Ben, Wiley and self) were busy raking acres of pine needles from the Platform 2 embankment, a task I’m not sure we ever entirely finished, nor ever will.
The thing which is most striking is that the ground looks so dry! And no, it’s not climate change, just a rainy autumn 2019.
2017. Twelve months earlier than that the emphasis appears to have been on scrub clearance as we made our way through 40 years of overgrowth on the Platform 1 embankment with bonfires aplenty.
2016. In 2016, I see we were busy laying paving slabs leading from the ramp to the storage container. Hard to believe now that we used to wheelbarrow across the grass/mud – primitive! (And it’s useful to note the location of that Osma pipe access point!)
The wheelbarrow is parked by what is now known as Ben’s chicane – intended to keep speeds down around the tricky tree section of the track.
It’s good to be able to stand back – if only slightly – from the day-to-day and see where we have made progress. I hesitate to draw any deep conclusions but it seems that we are doing rather less major new work and more general maintenance. The ‘big stuff’ is either done or being left to the specialist teams. I don’t think we are we in danger of ‘finishing the railway’, as one of my colleagues puts it, but we are perhaps evolving how we go about getting there?