Saturday, 27 August 2016

Short and sweet

Saturday 27th August

The Broadway volunteers must have been making the most of the Bank Holiday this weekend because only 8 were there first thing and that number had dwindled to 5 by lunchtime. A further issue was that the heavens opened at around 1:30 with thunder and lightening and a torrent of water down the drive.

With the limited numbers only three jobs were attempted

Vic and Steve spent a couple of hours catching up with Wednesday's gang on the fencing, Steve leading by fixing the railings in place and Vic following on tightening the shear nuts. This is as far as we can go at the moment, there will be a slight delay in the proceedings while we wait for the next delivery of components.

Downpipe Dave, assisted by Brian, had a morning of checking and tightening the bolts holding the pipework in place to ensure the all was sound before the expected removal of the remaining scaffolding on Wednesday.

The erection of the other scaffolding around the station was finished off yesterday and now looks like this...

Robin, Peter and John made a start on loading the scaffolding with the bricks needed to start laying on this section on Wednesday next.


Steve joined in as soon as the fencing work had dried up.

Jo continued with the task of cutting bricks into the various sizes needed to continue construction. The batch being laid out are to cut snap headers.

This was pretty much the end of proceedings for today, the only time that anyone emerged from the messroom after lunch was to make a dash for their car!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Finishing off a few jobs

Wednesday 24th August 2016

24 volunteers reported for duty on a warm summers day. Various tasks were on-going. There were some that were coming to an end,  some were changing but staying roughly the same and some are only nearly half way through.

Firstly the job that was changing, mainly going up in the world.

Last week I said that the brick layers had reached a height that could no longer be worked at and scaffolding would now be required.

So today we had the delivery and then the erection of most of the scaffolding around the building, another half day will se it finished. This will allow the bricklayers to continue for another 3 to 4 feet. All that is now required on the next volunteers working day is the lifting of many bricks onto the new working platform!

A view of the station building from underneath the footbridge showing its surrounding scaffolding.

As the bricklayers were unable to work on the outside they moved to the inside to help Clive with the internal block laying. Here John S and Tony are being interrupted? by Paul, who keeps them steadily supplied with mortar throughout the day.

Another on-going project is the fence line on top of the east side of the cutting, 5 volunteers made steady progress today nearing half way (they can't or won't tell me where half way is but they can't be far off now). Unfortunately they have finished the first delivery batch of fencing so a wait until more is delivered.

Vic, Terry, Brian M and David B at the fence line and out of shot Dave is acting as fetch me.

At the bottom of the drive the duct for the BT Services had been installed into the trench, this will eventually replace the BT pole that is at the moment standing outside the station building.

The BT duct on the right of  the trench.
Graham and Pat ready to infill.
With all the ducts in place infilling could then be started with the excess soil taken to the side of the signal box to build up the bank around the stairs.

 Back at the footbridge one job is coming to a close. Once the cast iron down pipes have been installed the scaffolding on the south side will be taken down. Until we have sufficient funding the stairs will have to wait for another day. Looking back it was only in April when the towers for the footbridge first went up. And in those 5 months!!!!

Pete's turn to put to finishing touches of mastic around the top off the pipes, Brian holds our excess mastic rag, by the end of the day our hands matched the rag. The first drop pipe
completed and sealed they moved on to the pipe work below.

A nice sit down job in the sun you might think but it was not easy drilling through the steel legs. Brian inserting the pilot drill ready for Peter Q and after several drill bit changes the hole is large enough for the bolts to take the bracketed pipes. Dave H, with assistance, bolts it all together and the team move onto a lower hole.

North side
South side

Above shows the almost finished down pipes, the north side has a temporary black tube to take the rainwater away from the base of the tower. The south side is also almost there. Hidden behind the scaffolding is a dog leg which will take the pipe work down underneath the future stairs and into the drainage pipes. Scaffolding is due to removed next Wednesday, so just one more day to check that everything is masticed  and tightened up.

Around the site today the were a few odd jobs happening .

One was Mike checking roofs of the temporary buildings. First was the fencing storage tent/ hut roof. after re-stapling several sections due to wind damage he and Chris then moved over to the dumper shed to make some running repairs.

Another job was the endless maintenance of equipment, here Pat is having a rest after trying to sort out a temperamental lawn mower which runs for a few seconds that decides to stop!

Every so often we get get visitors from other departments of the GWSR today it was Andy from P-Way. P-Way means tracks doesn't it ?

Not today, Andy and Gordon were checking where the tracks will eventually be aligned but it was for the purpose of S & T, who need to know where they are going to one day install their signals.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Getting our ducts in a row

Saturday 20th August

15 volunteers made the best of things today, the weather was a bit temperamental but not bad enough for long enough to force anyone inside. What a difference from last Wednesday!

The footbridge was one area where work continued unabated although the rain could be considered to have been an advantage, at least the crew could see that the rainwater was taking the route that was intended or was that just a stroke of good fortune that that it came out of the bottom of the down pipe (that should get some comments on Wednesday)!

The planning committee

But before the rainwater could find its way down from the footbridge roof the gang needed to have a "huddle" to come up with a viable plan to route the downpipe away from the guttering and avoid the area where the future staircases will be sited, an additional problem to consider was the weight of the downpipes. Whatever was holding it in place had to be of sufficient strength to hold it all up there.

This is the solution the crew came up with, two fairly substantial pieces of angle iron bolted together to form a "U" shaped bracket. The bracket was rotated through 180 deg. before actually being attached to the bridge as this was thought to be the best way of deterring surplus water from sitting in it.

Both sides of the bridge were similarly treated and Roger drew the short straw in being given the job of painting the new brackets without getting any black paint on the bridge sides. The bottle of spirit testifies that this ambition didn't quite work out. More work is needed to fix the downpipes lower down the structure but this will be for another day.

All in place on the north side of the bridge and this allowed the scaffolding company to come in during the morning and remove another section of it.

Meanwhile, down the drive

Graham, who looks like he's pushing against Steve's back, and Steve are fitting one of the last sections of ducting for the electrical supply to the driveway lamp posts. The grey ducting is that which was supplied by BT to enable their wires to go underground, instead the pole route, up the drive. That way we/they can remove the problem telephone pole by the station building.

At the bottom of the drive things had progressed to such an extent that backfilling could start. We have had a few lorry loads of used ballast delivered to Broadway recently and some of this was used around the sewer manhole cover and the adjacent trench to bring it up to roadway level.

This photo may become a collectors item! The man on the left of this shot happens to be the BAG chairman who is rarely seen with a shovel in his hands so anyone wanting a copy of shot this please apply through the usual channels.
Roger, Steve, Graham and Peter (out of shot) are back filling the trench carrying the bottom end of the newly installed BT ducting and John C is making sure that the pull string is in order. The ducting comes out on the eastern side of the drive close to the road and next to a position suitable for a new telephone pole to be planted. The telephone wires will come on site overhead to the new pole, down the pole and up the drive underground to a second new pole near the top of the drive but away from the railway buildings.

Moving to the security fencing, Vic is tightening the last of the shear nuts from the latest section installed. After this he spent a couple of hours taking out the remainder of the ragwort on the eastern side of the cutting. The modus operandi according to Vic was that smaller weeds were pulled out by hand and the larger ones were loosened with a fork before being extracted. All the ragwort was burnt and thankfully the problem is not so severe on the other side of the cutting. The removal of the ragwort was a thankless task and Vic, Peter K, Robin, Keith and anyone else who helped have done a magnificent job in removing it all.

Peter K, Jo and Roger J joined forces to plant the remaining genuine GWR lamp post at the northern side of the signal box. As usual a little conference was held to determine the best way forward and to decide if it could be achieved without any mechanical aid. The wheelbarrow was, expectantly, full of dry mix concrete with two buckets full of water waiting to moisten the mix when the time came.

It turns out that four people were able to manhandle the post into the upright position in the hole. Once it had been positioned squarely to the hole two could lift the lighter end while two more were able to guide the heavy end over the edge and in to the hole with the aid of the straps through the slots in the base. After spending a little time getting the post upright the slots were masked off and the hole filled with the concrete.

Looking neat and tidy, the electrical cable was fed through and we did toy with the idea of fitting the top but with the gusty wind prevailing it was decided to wait for another day because the lamp tops are fairly light and are easily damaged by a gust of wind as we have found out during previous attempts to fit the tops.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Some Like It Hot

17th August 2016

28 volunteers turned out throughout the day which, when the early birds arrived, was an overcast morning, eventually the temperature rose into the high 20`s. Good if you didn't have one of the manual jobs.

Down the drive Ian and Martin under the guidance of John C, had the task of installing the ducts for the services to & from the station building, the first picture shows the length of duct that will be installed from the station building down to the road, in the second, Martin checks the positioning of the inspection joint having laid the new ducting up to near the telegraph pole. By the end of the day ducting had been laid almost to the small hut. 

The long way down .

Martin inspecting the alignment of the duct joiner.

Back at the signal box, Graham was giving the two doors another coat of paint, whilst outside Mike gave the area a general clean up and wipe down.

The newly painted main door of the Signal box and the stairs cleaned.

Graham finishing the Locking room door .

In the afternoon they then both went down to help the team led by Dave B and Terry on the boundary fence installation.
Another hole started by Terry

A bit of adjustment with the iron bar.

Terry`s turn on the motor auger, then with the iron bar getting the correct depth for the post. when the posts have been fixed. Jo and Graham follow behind fixing the palisade rails then the spears.
By the end of the day the half way point was approaching. 

John and Tony.

At the station building all the brick laying was on the platform side, the mission to get the brickwork up to a certain height in readiness for the scaffolding arriving in the near future . 

By the close of play.

All around the building brickwork is at the same height, the area has been cleared and is now ready for the scaffolding.

At the footbridge Peter Q , Dave H and Brian continued the installation of the cast iron down-pipes on the north side. Brackets had to be made to hold the pipes away from the bridge steel work and keep every thing vertical. Brian is here applying more mastic around the joints to give them a watertight joint.  

Peter holding the ladder for Brian , who drew the short straw to do the masticing! 

Peter and Brian on the second bracket hole
Peter now underneath on third bracket hole
By late afternoon we had both of the drops on the north side down to almost ground level, some temporary flexible pipe work was fitted to take the water away from the base of the towers until the permanent drainage pipes are installed and then everything can be connected up permanently.
Finishing of the down pipes on the north side also means the scaffolding can be taken down, on  the next blog we should have pictures showing the down pipes, which due to the scaffolding being in the way I was unable to take any decent photos.

Next time the challenge is the south side down pipes!!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Weeds R Us (unfortunately)

Saturday 13th August

Not in a physical sense of course but horticulturally so the priority today was to attack the vegetation around the site and a number of volunteers applied themselves to this task. 17 turned up today so there were enough people around to enable some of the usual jobs to take place as well.

Stuart and Robin spent their day pulling up the nasty stuff and there's plenty of it growing along the cutting sides so much so that's despite their best efforts it's difficult to see where they've been. As can be seen there much to do with weeds already at head height, good job we've not had much rain recently.

Must ask Robin, in order of magnitude how does this job compare with the thousands of bricks that he cleaned over the last few years.

Keith G was also on hand to assist with the disposal of the ragwort which was helped along by a few odd pieces of pretty dry wood from the fence line. There is a plan afoot to re-locate the stacks of S&T troughing, seen on the right of the picture, to the area where they will be used and so free up this stretch of trackbed

Wood kindly supplied by Vic who was clearing up after the Wednesday fencing crew had done their best or worst, depending on your view.

Roger J also joined the merry throng trying to overcome the weeds by strimming grass at the rear of the containers before moving on to the much more difficult sides of the cutting.

Phil might regret having this photo taken if someone at home gets to see it and asks why he's not mowing the grass at home instead of at Broadway.
It might look like he's going over an area already cleared but in fact he's just pushing the mower to another section of platform that also badly needs his attention.

The hard work that the strimmer had been called on to do left it feeling a bit under the weather in the middle of the afternoon. Steve is in the process of investigating the machine's ailment and found that a visit to the repair man was needed. Fortunately the problem turned out to minor rather than the disaster that was feared.

Peter K continued with the replacement of the over length bolts in the footbridge structure and today was the day when the last bolt was changed. Peter is seen here undoing the first of the last set of three. They were replaced one at a time, this seemed a bit safer than the alternative.

 On the station building, Bob J had a day, as rest day relief to Clive, inside the building fitting the insulation material and laying the Celcon blocks. This area is in the vicinity of the station master/ ticket office.

 Laying the last course before scaffolding Tony is pointing out to Keith S that the selected brick has a chip on one corner so will not be good enough for this section of wall, it will probably be used later when a smaller brick is needed and it will have the chipped part cut off. Still two more courses to go on the other side to get to the same level.

 Talking of cutting bricks, a Darth Vader look alike (obviously a bit too hot today for the cloak) popped in for the day to cut a few more bricks with the brick cutter and keep the momentum going on the brickwork.

 Last but not least the bric-a-brac shed with a rare shot of John B as front of house and Stuart keeping an eye on things inside. The shed fulfils an important function not only to raise small amounts of money but also a point for our visitors to come and have a chat with those working on the project.