24 Feb – Sometimes, you wonder why……!

……you bother! Well, we don’t really wonder but it can be a mite frustrating when the hard work of one morning is undone by the weather of the next. That’s certainly how it felt this today when I surveyed the debris which, once again, is strewn across Platform 1. And that’s despite it having a decent billygoating on Saturday.  All these trees might look nice on a hot summer’s day but goodness they don’t half increase the ongoing maintenance tasks. I suspect other stations suffer to some extent but not, to my knowledge, to this degree.

Anyway, there’s not much for it but to buckle down and give it another sweeping. As they say at Cheltenham Racecourse Station: ‘if a job’s worth doing, its worth doing 3 (or 4 or 5) times’.  On other matters, I took delivery of some more gravel with which to finish our ramp edging task and did a little more clearance of the old stuff myself.  It’s not, I have to say, the easiest task to do, since the gravel is rather ‘cemented’ by soil and vegetation so that, at times, a pick would be more useful than a spade.  I ration myself to no more than 5 barrow loads before I have to do something slightly less physically exacting – like admiring the view or eating lunch.  At least I know that, whatever the weather, I won’t have to redo this task next week! Frankly, I’d hope for 10 years by which time it might be someone else’s turn.


Above: a dug our section, with a good close up of the slag stone wall; I rather like the fact that you can see where the gases bubbled out of the molten iron through the slag crust in the furnace! Great credit to the materials used and, more recently, to Dave T’s walling skills.  Below: still to be done.  Nice and clear why the gravel is full of soil and plant debris from off the embankment!20200224_11195832134887076090612.jpg20200224_1120022620757835326744301.jpgAbove: progress so far; looking more promising  Below: the recycling pile.20200222_1055215283975250065354770.jpg

We were quite well placed with volunteers this afternoon – despite the poorish conditions.  Roger was on sweeper duties, John O continued his vigil as the cleaner of Platform 1, Dave T was grovelling in the loos, Graham helped me with dig out the old gravel whilst Chris and Ian backfilled with new gravel.  Dave G meanwhile was engaged in a task in the platform shop – accompanied by senior shop officials (I hesitate to call them stewards!)

I will be leaving colleagues to dig out the tiny amount of remaining old gravel and to fill in behind with fresh next weekend. It will be a really nice welcome home present if the whole task is finished by the time I get back!!



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