17 Feb 20 – Vintage Workers

I was struggling for a suitable definition of my volunteer worker colleagues at Cheltenham. I wondered if veteran was the best (a person who has long experience in a particular field) or vintage (denoting something from the past of high quality, the best of its kind). Both useful but I think vintage works best and, in line with best HR practice these days, we don’t mention ‘age’, ‘old’, ‘elderly’ or any other suggestion that something may be past its prime!

Some amongst the Monday vintage were: Dave G, Mike, Pete, Andy M, Chris and newcomer to the Racecourse workforce (but not the railway) Graham.  Fortunately Dennis seems to have left us!

We did, no doubt to everyone’s (volunteers and blog readers alike) relief, manage to get to the bottom of the ramp with our fence improvements! We haven’t completely finished as there are some concealed areas to paint and some more gravel to add but we were more or less done by close of play Saturday though it wasn’t fit to take a photo!


This is the view from the bottom of the ramp. You can see how scruffy the other side now looks by comparison!

My personal thanks to all who have strived manfully on this one and, hopefully, we haven’t been distracted too much from our many other tasks. Thanks too to the blog commenters who have provided much appreciated encouragement along the way. Although the fence needs painting every 4 years or so I am hopeful that the gravel boards will give us at least a decade of use.

In the continuing stormy weather there have been the inevitable collapsed branches and scattered debris to the extent that we though it probably be worthwhile getting the billygoat out for a run up and down the tarmac areas – despite the fact that there are no imminent passengers. Otherwise the rubbish will be all over our nice new gravel!20200217_1437138849921182452049612.jpgI did, of course, suggest that the other side of the ramp would be ‘easy’ by comparison. A foolish boast! It is easier in the sense that there is no fence to worry about but not in the sense that the old gravel is 50+% soil and so needs to be dug out with a spade if not a pick.  Nothing worthwhile is ever easy – at least not on this railway it isn’t.  Anyway a manful crew of Chris, Graham, Pete and Andy laboured away so well they’ve used up all my new gravel!20200217_1354417071932970296630230.jpg This is Graham before the work got to him!20200217_1354524147275510677236251.jpg


20200217_1404582481759461816703429.jpgThe soil spills off the garden and joins the gravel in making an unpleasant aggregate.  Still the new stuff gives a nice neat border when completed.


“Wiv a little bit of luck, wiv a little bit of luck, wiv a little bit of bloomin’ luck” (as Stanley Holloway might have sung) we should be finished with this by this time next week.  Always assuming I can buy some more gravel.

And having soaked up most of the available manpower on this task we had Mike to thank for a decent tidy up and tea brew whilst Dave G prepare the ticket office for the new season.

We’ve quite a bit more fencing to paint here and there, and other basic maintenance tasks to carry out but I wonder what major project should we take on next?



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