Wednesday, 26 October 2016

A Pleasant Autumn Day

Wednesday 26th October

 First a catch up from Saturday and Monday, mainly the work centred on the station building John C continued with further window arches. This time on two of the toilet windows which face on to the station forecourt. The other brickies carried on with the internal blockwork and courses were laid above the arches.  

This shot from the other side of the forecourt shows the complete toilet block and how near the top of the wall is.

On Tuesday John C, Bob W, Bob J and Vic put in an extra shift to start installing the ducting for the forecourt lighting. As the forecourt is also the access for the B&B in the old station masters house, this needed doing on a day when not too many cars were around.

On to today when 26 volunteers continued with all sorts of tasks, it was quite a pleasant day and we even had some sunshine.
Peter Q is about to start pointing up the blue setts under the footbridge tower on platform 2. The first two rows having had to be cut through first as they go over the rainwater drain.


On platform 1 Dave is just finishing off with the brush, eventually the tarmac will butt up to setts when the platform is brought up to finished level.

John C, Graham, Mike and Keith S carried on installing the ducting on the forecourt, carefully inserting the draw cord before jointing the ducting and back filling. The trench in the foreground will bring the feed from the station, only half of this could be dug today and will need to be back filled before the other part is dug.


Today also saw the delivery of the timber rafters which will need to be installed before the steelwork for the roof. Keith S and Mike stacking them with spacers to allow for air circulation.

Later in the day Dave H, Keith S, Chris, Jo and Peter Q about to lift a very heavy cast gate post into position. A socket had been precast during back filling the platform, the socket will be filled with concrete when the post is in position. The other post and one of the gates are led in the foreground. These gates will be part of the spear fencing and will give the signalman access to the steps to the operating room. A similar pair on the other side will give access to the locking room.


Looking the other way another two of the replica GWR lamp posts that Jo has sourced have been erected and Graham has given them another coat of primer. Jo later took delivery of a further three posts from the foundry.

Tony and John S carried on with the blockwork  in the toilet area and booking office. Tony working on what will be a dummy fireplace. Paul did the mixing, fetching and carrying.

The brickies are winning, one more course of blockwork on this part of the toilet and then the rafters will be set into the last course.

Up on the top of the cutting Terry, Vic, Steve B and Rod carried on with the fencing, a further seven panels completed with two more uprights set in so the palisades can be fitted Saturday. With the help of Brian M and his chainsaw the last fourteen posts, of the old fence, were removed  along with some tree stumps that were in the way. This picture taken later in the day shows where we have got to and the shadow is the fence we need to join onto; nearly there.


During the morning Brian  M and Pat had hauled their chainsaw and brush cutter about half a mile to the end of the lineside drainage system way outside the station confines. The system finishes at a headwall and becomes an open ditch which flows into a water course. The task was to clear brush and small self seeded trees to enable the Lineside Drainage crew to get a small digger in to improve the ditch and remove years worth of debris. A good start was made and the task will be finished next week. Gordon carried on setting up the levels for the upgrade of the station drive and Julie manned the sales shed.

Posted by Rod W


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

A Thought Provoking Day

Wednesday 19th October

Today I have to start with some very sad news for the Broadway group.
Peter Hickox, our friend and colleague, who had worked on the fencing all last Wednesday, passed away in his sleep early Thursday morning.
Peter had worked at Broadway since the work started on the first section of Platform 1. He was a truly lovely man who would turn his hand to any job required and do it with a smile, nothing was too much trouble however difficult. Peter had also been one of the blog team of late.
He will be greatly missed at Broadway and it seems so unfair that he will not see the first train arrive, something for which he had worked for so long.
We at Broadway send our condolences to his family. Rest in peace old friend. 

Peter Hickox  Friend and Colleague


The next two pictures are in way of a final update on the building of Platform 2 at Cheltenham Race Course station. As you know this was built mainly by the Broadway volunteers. On Friday last contractors laid the tarmacadam to finish the job. This picture looking towards Toddington shows the impressive length of the platform, with the signal box in the distance.

 This picture taken from the signal box, looking the other way, shows the path from the bottom of the ramp to the vehicle crossing. This crossing takes traffic to one of the parking areas and is manned on race days when any trains are running.
Pictures by Bob W, one of the team that built the platform.
Another off site job undertaken recently was the recovery of a hundred 2ft x 2ft 6 slabs from a kind donor. This task was undertaken by Terry, Keith S and Steve and Paul our friend from Tecton who helps us with transport.

A quick catch up on Saturday and Monday. More bricklaying was carried out on the station building. One of the highlights being the forming of the first arch over the window in the north end of the building, this was done by John C. It looks brilliant, the blue plastic is necessary to protect the drying mortar from any rain.

Another first was the erection of the first of the lampposts on the road end of the drive. The line of blue pegs is the new profile for the drive entrance to comply with modern regulations. You can also just about make out where the contractors did some pointing on the bridge wing wall during the recent period of bridge repair. The original signal box was built on piers behind this wall.

Today at Broadway 26 volunteers undertook various jobs. A trench had to be dug across the entrance to the site this morning. It was at this critical time that the contractor turned up to 'service' the loo.
The vehicle could not reach the loo, Broadway volunteers don't accept defeat so Graham, Mike and John C decided to take the loo to the vehicle. Be grateful we haven't got smelly vision.

More determination when it was necessary to move this old lamp hut which had been in use to store the cement and mixer for the station building. It just so happened, for convenience at the start of the build, that it had been sited just where we now want to dig the footings for the footbridge stairs.


With no crane available several methods were tried. Much effort was exerted and eventually it had to give in and move to it's new location.

On the station building the main effort today was to bring the block work inner walls up to the level of the outside brickwork. Bob W, John S and Tony giving a hand to Clive, far left of picture, to do this.
This will enable the lintels to be positioned over the windows and the arches formed.

This picture shows the outer wall brickwork well above the window waiting for the block work inside to catch up.

From the inside the block work has reached a level where the lintel could be positioned and now the arch can be formed on the outside.

Down on the drive Gordon ,who does our surveying, assisted by Mike S is setting out the positions and levels required for lampposts, pathway and drive.


Up on the cutting top Terry is finishing off one of the holes for a fence post. It seemed strange up here today as Peter H was with us last week.
Again we had trouble with tree stumps in the way, very stoney ground and to cap it all a wasps nest.

Steve bolting on his 152nd palisade today, only a couple more to go and we'll let him go home.

Again other jobs were worked on around the site. 
This is one of three replica GWR lamp posts that Jo took delivery of from the foundry today. He then promptly put a coat of bitumen on the bases to protect them when they are concreted in.

Peter Q and Dave continued laying the setts under the footbridge towers.
Keith G and David continued with the clearance of the vegetation at the foot of the cutting.
A skip supplied by a local scrap dealer was filled with waste metal and Jim B manned the shop

Posted by Rod W

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

A Hole Too Far

Wednesday 12th October

 Saturday and Monday work continued on the main station building, with more brickwork completed. A team also took more fencing supplies to the top of the cutting so that fence erection could continue today.

First thing this morning Vic and Dave are working, in front of fencing team, preparing the way. The landowners wire fence is removed from the railways original wooden posts and supported temporarily with steel spikes. The remains of the railway wire fence is removed to be scrapped. The wooden posts are then cut off or removed if they are in the way of a new post. The end of the run can just about be seen in the distance, about a hundred yards to go.

Looking the other way Steve, Peter H and Rod have already got the first upright in and Peter is marking out the position of the next whilst Steve starts attaching the pallisades. Every hole today was a challenge from tree roots to very stoney ground which the augur didn't like at all, meaning a lot of work with the long post chisels.
Six panels completed and the decision to put one extra post in before home turned out not to be a good one.


Work continued apace on clearing the vegatation from the bottom of the cutting so that the Permanent Way team can see the full width of the formation. Pat and Roger at work with the brushcutters. In the background are the signal cabling troughs that have been stored here for several years. The S & T department have been repalletising them prior to moving south to be used through the station.

Further south Dave H is seen finishing one of the downpipes from the footbridge. It empties into the drainage pipes which will connect to other downpipes off the bridge and stairs before being connected to the centre drain. The drainpipes will eventually be buried as the area under the bridge towers are brought up to platform level.

Further south still Ian, Ron, Graham and John C, driving the digger, are looking for a water pipe which runs up the side of the track bed. We know it's there somewhere, it's on the plan! The task being to tee off a feed for the signal box.


Pipe found and trench dug across the track bed, Ron and Ian measure off the required length of pipe from a coil that seems to have a mind of its own.

Whilst the others wait in the locking room of the signal box, Graham feeds the pipe through a duct under the platform, installed during construction, to come up through the floor. After unexpectedly having to get a drawstring through the duct to assist the stiff pipe around the upturn in the duct the job was done. By the end of the day a tap was installed, the joint made, water on and the trench filled in.

Brian M getting ready to cut even more headers
to join those in the barrow. I bet he's lost count of how many he's cut must be many hundreds now.

A mucky, noisy job which he has shared with Jo and Brian T over many weeks.

Meanwhile Mike wheels yet more bricks round from where they are stored to be loaded onto the scaffolding for the brickies to lay.

Up on the scaffolding Tony, drive side, and John, platform side carry on ever upwards. Now getting towards the top of the windows. When the inside blockwork is up to the same level a concrete lintel will go across behind the top moulding of the window and a brick arch built  above the window.

A view in the opposite direction shows the blockwork rising inside the area of Ladies, Gents and disabled toilets.

Roger B and Gordon clearing weed off platform two. A lot of effort goes in to keeping the site as tidy as possible.

After getting as far as they could with the downpipes on the platform two tower Peter Q and Dave H returned to the stone sett laying under the platform one tower.
Elsewhere a start was made on installing the first of the shuttering boxes for the driveway lampposts. Jo took delivery of more of the replica GWR lamp posts and Julie manned the sales shed.


Thursday, 6 October 2016

Sparks Fly, Inside Information, Checking Out All The Angles, Mixing It and A Load Of Old Coblers!

Wednesday 5th October

Another busy and productive day at Broadway with 27 volunteers working away on various projects.

The Fencing team of Rod, Steve and Peter H joined in the afternoon by Ron and Graham continued with their work on the Cotswold side of the cutting. One more panel was installed and then it was the turn of the gate to be installed. The old gate has been in situ for many years so a new one was ordered using the same material as the fencing: the point was now reached where the old gate post had to be removed.

 Rod holding the new right hand gate post and waiting for confirmation that all was well. Just to the right of Rod is the old post leaning at a bit of an angle. Steve was tasked with cutting off the old post at ground level so as not to foul the new fencing.

Steve B sizing up the former GWR bidge rail which held the hinges for the old gate and has to be removed

Soon sparks began to fly and Steve used an angle grinder powered by a mobile generator to cut through the very solid old rail

After a couple of blades had been used the rail almost cut through. They certainly used very good steel in GWR days!

The gate is now neatly installed and two more panels in place at the close of play

The fencing looking north - brilliant job.

Down in the driveway ducting for power supply for the lamp posts was being installed.

Ron is looking in the parts bag for the angle to be attached to the pipework with John C looking on to make sure the correct part was located.

Ah! y'er 'tis!  Ron has found the correct part to John's satisfaction! The power supply will branch off at this point in both directions to connect to the Victorian lamp posts which will be used and which we have in stock. On a dark winters night it will look very atmospheric and very much in keeping with the period..

At the station building work continued on the driveway and platform sides.

Tony and Bob W can just be seen in the shadows working on the driveway side while John S was working on the platform side.

While Clive was adding more internal blocks. The internal work is keeping up well with progress on the outside..

Paul, our cement mixer exrtaordinaire, is adding just the right amount of water for yet another mix to keep the brickies happy.

The vegetation in the cutting has really taken off this summer after having been well cut back last winter and spring. Roger J is in the thick of it using the brush cutter on the Malvern side of the cutting.

Just where do I go from here! Roger taking a well earned break and pondering the next bit to be tackled. A strip of a couple of yards along the lower edge of the cutting is being cleared initially hopefully followed by machines at a later date.

The lower sides of the cutting being gradually cleared. The extent of the vegetation growth can clearly been to the right. The concrete troughs in the foreground will soon be moved south to be used by the S & T department as part of the signalling project

Chris H was also working way further south at the clearance and a pile his of handiwork is clearly evident.

The replica GWR style lamp posts have now been put in place on the south end of platform 1 and are awaiting their lanterns. The trackside cabinet will provide power for them and also the lamps on the driveway.

A painter on a hot tin roof! It's Graham our master painter putting a fresh coat of paint on the mess room roof before the winter weather sets in. The mess room has served us very well for several years and every now and then needs a bit of TLC, This should keep it in good nick for several more years.

And finally  where angels fear to tread! Peter Q and Dave preparing the base for where the old large cobble stones, seen  in the foreground, will be laid to rest! This will provide a very neat finish to the area underneath the footbridge towers.

No, there wasn't a imminent gas attack by the Luftwaffe! Brian wearing the correct and very necessary protection whilst cutting the headers for use by the brickies who need a constant supply of them.
Mike S provided the motive power with his wheel barrow to move them and more whole bricks onto the construction site.

Sparks flew, the gate was closed, all  the angles were examined together with an inside job. We saw the wood for the trees, we will now have to tread carefully with our lamp posts neatly in a row!

Post by Peter H