Thursday, 23 March 2017

Too Wet Even For Ducks!


When the 23 volunteers arrived at Broadway this morning it appeared that the weather was going to play a big part in what we could do today. It was pouring down!! All the morning it rained and after a short bright spell around lunchtime it then proceeded to rain most of the afternoon.

But for some volunteers work must (and will) go on, come rain or shine.

At the Station Building

Due to the weather no work on the window arches could be started, but a temporary covering was erected over where the cafe fire place/ chimney will be. This allowed Bob and Paul to start work in the dry on re-positioning of the fire place.

Not a flattering picture of Bob getting ready.
And with a little help from his apprentice and Cement Mixer Operative.

Paul getting ready to slot a small block into the wall.
By the early afternoon.

6 blocks up and the fire place (or is it a barbecue?) is taking shape. 

On the track bed.

There was a needed to see the extent of the footings at the end of platform 1 plus add extra catch pit rings to the existing. In the end 2 additional rings were added. The ballast when laid will be not far off the or even higher!

In the background of the first picture above you can see that Stevie W (on JCB) and John S (on Dumper) have been clearing and leveling the track bed up to the boundary. John below is seen returning along the very wet track bed to an awaiting Steve ready to fill once more.

John looking cool in his shades
Yet another load being filled to head south
Next week the first of the ballast loads are due to be delivered to be stored in the cleared area, watch this space!

The Spear Fencing

The first panel of the day.

The last panel of the day.

Another team not phased by the constant rain were Rod, Terry, Keith and Dave who continued the erection of the spear fencing on platform 1A. At the end of the day 7 panels had been erected and concreted in.

By lunchtime the gang of three had finished what they could at Toddington, so they returned to Broadway to wire brush, clean and paint the spear fencing panels that Peter K had fabricated the previous Saturday.

The 2 Michaels wire brushing and preparing a panel in the ever leaking painting shed, then on the right Graham applying the first coat.

Elsewhere around the site

The signal box fire place had its hearth fitted by John C and Peter Q.
Vic was working on and tiding his gardens, then later he helped Peter Q and Dave H move short sleepers to the approx site where the containers will be moved to in the preparation to clear platform 1.

Afterward Peter and Dave moved on clearing the wood shed of all non usable off cuts .

Down the drive Julie and Steve stayed dry in the sales shed, greeting the few brave people who did venture out today .

And have I mentioned that it `rained all day`, what a difference from the previous Wednesday.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Oh What a Lovely Day

Wednesday 15th March

First off a quick update on Saturday and Monday. Five volunteers were on site Saturday, work included cutting and laying some of the infill blocks between the rafters. Also a start was made sorting and moving some of the stocks of used and new timber to allow for the removal of the timber store before the northern end track work starts.
Monday saw nine volunteers working on various tasks including completeing another window arch. Other windows were prepared for arching by the laying of the first angled bricks each side, this necessitates a lot of measuring and cutting.

On a lovely spring day, shirt sleeves by mid-day, nineteen volunteers on site at Broadway and a further three at Toddington.
You'll note from the first picture at Toddington that with the removal of the marquee some room has been found in the loco shed for the preparation and painting of more of the canopy steelwork which is now flying off the production line. I know, not literally, it's too heavy, but you get the drift. Mike is seen wire brushing one of the valances, I suppose you'd call it, on which the dagger boards will eventually be attached. 

Meanwhile Graham is priming one they prepared earlier. One of the large trusses is in the background, as are other interesting locos and stock in both pictures. I imagine those who chop up the old pallets are quite happy they have another use for a bit.

I see one of the painters found time to get this shot of the P & O leaving for Cheltenham, on a glorious day, with a race special. What a way to arrive at the races, glass of champagne in hand, hauled by this beautiful loco past all the traffic jams.

Back at Broadway Clive and Peter Q were at yet more rafter infill. When this is completed and the rest of the window arches a start can be made on the corbelling ready for the canopy.

Looking from outside the station, Peter Q is happy in his work. In fact it took quite a shout to attract his attention away from the job.

Further down the station Chris is re- pointing some of the edging slabs. They have been insitu for a couple of years now and were only roughly pointed at the time, as the importance was to get the slabs down and needed tidying up.


Further north still Gordon was working with our civil engineer and P Way staff to set up the level markers for the JCB driver when the relaying of the formation starts. The yellow cross markers on the posts for the type 1 stone and the blue for ballast level. The plan is to use type 1 stone to build up the levels in some places before ballasting.

Meanwhile down the drive a start was made on laying the front kerbstones for the footpath, after determining a suitable start point Bob, Pat and Terry start the preparation. The footpath will be 2mtrs wide with a 25mm fall towards the drive. The top of the kerb then needs to be 75mm above the finished drive level, take in the fact that the drive has quite a gradient anyway it took some sorting. To start with some digging out was required as ground had been disturbed when the services were installed and this side of the drive was originally a grass verge of sorts.  

With the groundwork done Bob shovels in the first concrete whilst Terry waits to to level the bed.
Terry and Pat carefully place the first kerb into position

By late afternoon six kerbs had been laid, Pat thankfully emptying the last barrow of concrete he's fetched from the mixing area at the top of the drive. The reason it's at the top is storage of materials, power water and the spear fencing team using the same mixer as well. 

Talking of which on the way back up the drive Tony, Rod, Keith and David can be seen about to augur the next hole.

As you can see a start was made on erecting the spear fencing today. Another job complicated by other factors arising from the platforms being longer than originally. Both platforms now end much closer to Station Rd bridge therefore they end up much closer to the top edge of what is quite a steep embankment. This has caused a lot of thought as to positioning the fencing, more on that as we get closer. For now we have started by the viewing platform and will work towards the bridge.


 These panels are very heavy and therefore set quite deep. One leg has a 75mm plate on the bottom and the plain leg of the next panel rests on that, the panels are then bolted together propped, levelled and the holes concreted. A fair amount of spoil comes out of each whole and David found a good use for it backfilling behind the path edging down the drive.

By the end of play six panels had been erected, as we were finishing off Graham and Mike called in on their way home from Toddington and decided to get the brushes out and touch up the primer where needed and put extra where the welding met the horizontal bars.

 Luckily Peter K, who must take a lot of credit for his skill in manufacturing the spear fencing, was on site today allowing this picture of  his little workshop (lean to) using the jig he also made to work on another panel. 
 In other areas Brian our storeman was sorting through his storage container in readiness for it's removal to the maintenance area when the base is down. Julie was in the sales shed spreading the word to our numerous visitors. The volunteers on the drive and near the viewing platform getting plenty of favourable comments amongst the questions. Another good day.

Posted Rod W, additional photos Paul C and Mike S  


Thursday, 9 March 2017

Another Busy Day at the Office

Wednesday 8th March

Saturday and Monday volunteers carried on with various tasks on site. Peter K manufactured some more spear fencing panels which were transported to Toddington for the painters to prime in between working on canopy parts. More work was also done on the station brickwork with John C completeing another arch and preparing several others.
Today, contrary to forecast, started off very wet for the 18 volunteers on site, this delayed work on the station and driveway, but eventually it turned out to be a pleasant day.

 There were also four volunteers on the painting team at Toddington. Today's work included cleaning up and priming parts that had been riveted in place of the temporary bolts. Also the spear fencing panels delivered this morning were primed and the legs bitumined. Panels primed last week were returned to Broadway.

Graham and Mike priming more of the giant meccano set.

Back at Broadway on the driveway it was decided, whilst it was too wet for concreting, to pre position some of the kerb stones for the front of the footpath. The easiest way was one at a time with wheelbarrows. A total of 60 was moved in to position by end of day. Paul and Keith loading the barrow, definitely a two man lift, Terry waiting to go.

Happy in their work in the wet, at least it's downhill. These kerbs will eventually be laid 2 metres from the back edgings, which is roughly where the Heras fencing is at the moment. The finished path level will be 75mm above the drive.

"There is definitely concrete in there somewhere". Mid morning it was decided that the laying of the back edging could be continued.
Terry, Keith, Rod and Ian waiting for the concrete to get started.

Terry setting the penultimate path edge. This is as far as we can go until the gap is filled in the platform, the infill is done and this area graded to the correct level. We now go back to the bottom of the drive to lay the front kerbs.

At the other end of the site, at the end of platform 1, Steve with a small 360 digger had pulled an exploratory trench to expose the depth of spoil that had been put in the entrance to the old horse dock. This has all got to be removed to facilitate the siting of the maintenance facility.
When the original cutting profile is reached our engineer will decide if any further support structure is required.

The decision having been made as to how much to remove Steve waits, bucket full, for the dumper to return from taking the spoil down to the car park area.

By the late afternoon much had been removed but there is much more and the work will continue tomorrow. Eventually this area will be raised up to trackbed level and a concrete slab laid. Two of our existing containers will be sited here, fenced of from the platform and running line.


On the station building Brian and Peter Q carried on positioning the ceiling joists. By end of play every joist was in place bar one. This last one has to be adapted to fit round some of the steelwork. There are still some blocks to be cut and positioned between the joists.


 Back to the arches, the bricks at each side of the arch need to be cut to an angle to accommodate the first brick of the arch. Here John C is marking this angle on to each brick so they can be cut, Bob waiting to do the cutting.

Bob now pointing up some of these cut bricks he laid earlier, you can make out the angle on the left side.

This shot shows the first brick each side of the arch set in place. These are allowed a couple of days to harden before the arch is finished.

As always other work was going on, our colleagues from Permanent Way were on site working on the levels and calculating the amounts of Type 1 and ballast required for the northern end of the station to our boundary. Deliveries of which will be commence shortly. Julie manned, or is it personned, the sales shed and had some visitors even though it was not a nice day earlier.

This final picture shows JC assisted by Tony and Bob casting the hearth for the signal box fireplace. This involved some shuttering with the slate up stands being filled with concrete. When this is set the slate top, left foreground will be bedded on to the slab. 

Posted Rod W additional photos Paul C, Mike S

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Many Hands Make Light Work!!

Wednesday 1st March

First an update from Saturday, seven volunteers on site working mainly on track bed clearance not only a lot of materials to move but lots of bits blown off the trees by that Doris. Peter K carried on with the production of the spear fencing.
Monday there were six on site and they worked mainly on the station building brick and blockwork with John C continuing with the arches.


On to today and an update from our four man painting team at Toddington. The Loco dept staff had turned over the trusses, which were started last week, with the tele-handler and delivered some more steelwork for the lads to prepare and prime. Seen here completed.

As it was a bright, although cold, morning Graham and Mike carried on with the priming of the spear fencing panels. Don't worry this isn't the finished colour.


Mike S who took the first four photos couldn't resist a walk into the loco shed to take this one. Three of the loco dept staff are using the riveter on yet another piece of the giant meccano set that is to be Broadway's canopy. Heavy, hot and noisy work, well done lads.


Hearing things going on outside of the shed a quick shot of P & O, in the morning sun, with a good head of steam. Part of the testing after winter maintenance, I think.

Back at Broadway nineteen volunteers carried out a variety of tasks. One of the first jobs was to unload the station doors that JC had picked up from the manufacturer. These can now be primed and stored until required. Terry and John getting ready to pass them up to the storage container.

As soon as the truck was empty Tony, Paul, Terry and Peter are loading the latest batch of spear fencing, fabricated by Peter K on Saturday. John C is watching that they don't scratch the paintwork.
He then delivered these to Toddington for the painters and returned the panels that had been cleaned and primed.

At the station building the brickies were hard at it. Bob W is pointing up some of the detail bricks he has laid between two of the windows.

While John S carries on building up the live chimney, sealing the liner into the blockwork as it rises up.

Brian and Peter Q carried on with the fitting of the rafters. Brian checking the correct spacing. Blocks will then be cut and cemented into the spaces.


Further up the site, Gordon, Keith and Ian were placing a line of twenty plus markers up the track bed. These will have horizontals placed on them to assist Steve the JCB driver with his levels when the Permanent way team start laying the ballast shortly.

Straight after tea break whilst everyone was still together, a concerted effort was needed to move the Broadway painting shelter. This had to be moved to a new location to facilitate the laying of a concrete base, off the north end of platform 1, for the ongoing maintenance facility for the station. When the area had been cleared Dave B measured up and put in the markers for the base.


A lot of tidying up took place today. The herras fencing was moved down to the track bed from the platform edge, this will allow additional scaffolding to be erected on the track bed when the brickwork is finished. The extra scaffolding will be required for when the canopy is erected.
Tony, Clive and John C are clearing away all the offcuts of blocks after the completion of all the internal blockwork, another tick on the list.

Rod W emptying another barrow load of offcuts into the dumper for removal to the car park area.

On the return trip I stopped on the Station road bridge, just inside the station site, to take this picture. So what you may ask, more track bed, but if you enlarge this picture, which is not zoomed in, the white line in the distance is the ballast of the extension. How good is that!   

 As always the sales shed was open and Julie talked to our visitors and continued to raise funds for the station.

Posted by Rod W, additional pictures Paul C and Mike S