Thursday, 29 September 2016

Normal Service Is Resumed!

Wednesday 28th September 2016

Due to further technical problems we have been unable to show you a fine pair of shires ploughing or the windmill slowing turning in the wind! However the blog team are now back from their late summer breaks and normal service has now resumed from the local transmitter!

While we have been "off air" much activity has taken place at Broadway and today 25 volunteers were on site to continue with the good work.

Just to give you a taste of the tasks on the cards today here is the day's work schedule.

As you see we had a very busy day ahead of us.

The southern wing wall on the Broadway side of the Evesham road bridge is being repaired by contractors and a traffic light controlled one way system is in place. To take advantage of this Graham and Mike took the opportunity to make good some damage to the paint work on the bridge which has been struck on several occasions since being renovated last year - quite incredible considering all the notices and lighting that is on it.

The BT services were re-routed last Friday and the telegraph pole that was located outside the station building has now been removed together with the overhead wires along the driveway. It really does make a tremendous difference to appearance of the station building, After several dumper loads of ballast had been moved up to the driveway this is a view of the cleared driveway looking north.

Here Ron T and David are levelling another load of ballast supplied by John C on the mini digger down on the car park and Tony on the dumper.

The telephone service to our office and neighboring properties is now supplied by the new pole located on the other side of the driveway

Earlier in the day the last concrete ring for the drainage inspection chamber was fitted by John C, Tony and Paul.

The ground will be made up to height when the gap on platform 1 in infilled.

Work continued on the station building and John S was the sole brickie working on it today.

John S is seen here working on the north face of the station building. Later in the day he laid a few more courses on the platform side.

Dave H, Brian and Peter Q installed more rain water pipes taking water off the footbridge roof.

Brian and Dave working on the left hand drain pipe. The bracket has yet to be attached to the pillar and a hole for the bolt holding it place drilled. A very long and difficult job due to the very hard steel the pillars are made of.

Peter Q provided his expert skills and helped Brain and Dave to install the right hand drain pipe. The pipes are of cast iron and totally in keeping with the pipework that was on the original footbridge.

Up on the Cotswold side of the cutting the fencing team were hard at work installing another 6 panels and preparing the hole for the first gate post, This  gate is being put in place to enable the adjacent landowner to gain access to the top of the cutting and to mow it for us.

Ron T is attaching the uprights while Terry (on all fours) Steve and Vic prepare another hole for the next post. Some of the holes for the posts were very troublesome as they were located just where the old wooden fencing posts had broken off. Removing the remains of an old post is no easy task and one took an hour or so to remove!

Terry, on all fours yet again, watched by Pat and Steve works on the very difficult post.

Down in the cutting vegetation clearance continued with much enthusiasm,

Ian and Chris attack the undergrowth alongside the trackbed in the cutting to the north of the station.

And last but not least Julie was busy in the sales shed with a good steady stream of visitors. The proceeds of her sales are much appreciated by all at Broadway.

As can we seen it was another busy day at Broadway and although there was a recent break in transmission of the blog work on site has continued as normal

Post by Peter H

Thursday, 15 September 2016

September Heat Wave

Wednesday 14th September.

Twenty six volunteers braved temperatures in the upper twenties and high humidity.

This picture shows some of the work carried out by the Monday gang, rarely mentioned, they work on the station building. Sometimes having away days working on the new platform at Cheltenham. This week all the higher level windows in the toilets were able to be fitted now the scaffolding is in place. Most of the windows have now been positioned in the station building save for a couple at the opposite end of the building.

Another job taking place today was the concreting of the legs of the footbridge tower on platform two. Dave checking that the hired poker will start.

All the concrete was mixed on site next to the station building and loaded into the dumper, Steve B had the job of driving to the end of platform two then along past the signal box to the footbridge. Dave and Brian then shovelled it into the box shuttering.

Mike then used the poker to make sure that the concrete was well packed and the air pockets removed.

Finally Dave trowelled up the tops to a profile which would encourage the rain to run off. Job completed by lunch time, good going as the heat rose.

Keith meanwhile started clearing some of the ash and elder which was encroaching on our scaffold racking and side drains.

On the main station building a few shots from the scaffold. Clive still soldiering away on the internal blockwork in what will be the booking office.

Looking through the station towards the footbridge.

Clive again now working on forming the fireplace. 

John doing the fiddly bits of the detail bricks around the window frames and doorways. Bob W was just round the corner building up the end wall.

After delivering the concrete, Steve picked up a load of fencing parts and delivered them to the cutting steps, Then they were carried up to the top of the steps to where they are required, this involved many many trips up the steps.


Vic moving ahead of the fencing team removing the years of old rusty wire, prior to the removal of the posts. Making sure the fields behind, which held animals, could be left secure at the end of the day.

Whilst Rod and Terry later assisted by Keith went on installing the uprights, David, helped by Pat installed the palisades.

The upright installation proved to be a bit difficult and slow today. Such problems as rabbit runs. The picture is the inside of a six inch diameter post hole, the dark area at the bottom is where the augur broke through into a rabbit warren which went right across the hole. It took two bags of rubble and two plastic bags to seal it off to get the postcrete in to hold the post secure.


More fun was had when this tree root was found to be right on the fence line. The augur had to be replaced by the bar, axe and spade.

At  the days end eight panels had been erected and Keith is checking some of the fixing bolts.

As usual, others worked on different jobs around the site. Materials were delivered and unloaded, plant maintained, other jobs I'm sure I've missed and Julie was manning the shop.

One of our followers queried where the volunteers were on Saturday. The answer is in the name, we are volunteers, some work on other areas of the operational side of the railway. We are mostly pensioners, some for many years and sometimes don't feel up to it and we are allowed to take holidays.

Unfortunately, because of holidays of the blog team, the next blog will be the 28th September when normal service will be resumed.

Posted by Rod W.   

Saturday, 10 September 2016

A little bit of progress

Saturday 10th September

Volunteer numbers were not great again this week only 8 in the morning dropping to 5 again in the afternoon, this, in addition to the abysmal weather, dictated that the work undertaken was severely limited in its coverage so not much to tell today.

The rain rained all morning and so put the kibosh on any thoughts of bricklaying.

So the best that Tony and John could do was prepare the way for the next work day when the weather is expected to be better. With the cills now built in to a sufficient level it is necessary to position the remaining window frames on this end of the building. At least the frames are now on the scaffolding ready and the other paraphernalia to hold them in position on the cill is also to hand.

The situation on fencing was much about the same.

Vic was able to continue the preparation for the next big bash by stripping the old wire, as far as its possible to do, off the old fence posts.

Peter K, Steve and Robin spent half the morning positioning some of the components, from the latest delivery of fencing, along the route. After climbing the steps up the cutting sides a few times leg muscles start to complain but they should have given the Wednesday crew a good start.

The conditions didn't stop the work on the driveway.

John C on the digger assisted at the outset by Keith and later Tony pushed on with the trenching and ducting, the grey BT duct can be seen snaking its way back towards the main road. This is about as far trench needs to go to reach a position opposite the new BT pole across the drive. A start has just been made on connecting the trench to the station building with a new trench branching off right. This new trench had to be completed with shovels because of the risk of cutting through existing cabling

A vital part of the ducting process is feeding the pull string through which comes through remarkably easy considering the length that it has reached now. Tony and John are in the process of attaching the next length of pipe, the sacking is important to keep the ends of both pipes clean for joining

By the middle of the day the crew were able to position the black plastic inspection/ junction box in the trench at the end of the main run, pipes will run to both right and left from here once the necessary excavations have taken place but it looks like crossing the drive will be a job for another day.

A vital part of the ducting process is feeding through the pull string

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Poles Apart!

Wednesday 7th September

There were 24 volunteers on site who enjoyed some very warm and humid working conditions,
The main hive of activity was down on the driveway installing more ducting to enable the BT services to be re-routed to a new pole located alongside the garden in the upper car park thus enabling the pole outside the station building to be removed.

John C, assisted by Mike and Steve B, is in the mini digger extending the ducting trench northwards towards the new pole on the other side of the car park.

This is the eventual destination of the BT ducting. This will greatly improve the area around the station building.

And this is where it all happens at the other end!

Mike is helping John C, up near the station building, threading the cord into the ducting which will be used to pull the new cable through. The pole beside Mike is another new one recently put into place at the bottom of the driveway.

 After a further section of the trench had been back filled Mike was tidying up again! At the end of the day great progress had been made despite have to carefully avoid several existing services, inspection covers etc along the way.

In conjunction with the services being installed the opportunity has been taken to remove the original wooden fencing that went alongside the western side of the driveway. This very old fencing (it's date is not known) had become very rotten and is in need of replacement. New wooden fencing, in keeping with the heritage design principles, will eventually replace it. The picture above shows the driveway looking south minus the fencing.

                                                  The fencing removed looking north

The team of Keith G, Keith S and Chris led by Rod making good the ground where the services have been installed, The fencing, in poor state, has just started to be removed.

Some of the posts were very difficult to remove and Keith S is down on all fours in order to remove one of the more stubborn ones.

Other tasks were also underway around the site. Work continued in putting the shuttering in place around the pillars of the footbridge on platform 2

Before any work could take place the area containing the pillars had to be cleared of rain water from recent showers.

Once all the water had been baled out Dave and Mike S started work on the shuttering around the pillars in readiness for concreting to begin next week.

Work continued on the station building with a full team of brickies on site - Bob W Tony B and
John S ably assisted by Paul on the mixer.

  The brickies working away up on the scaffolding and inside the station building Clive was busy           laying more internal blocks.

This is a rarely seen view (at the moment) of the shop and cafe area and it gives a good idea of its eventual size. It will have a real coal fire in the winter and will be an ideal spot to be when waiting for your train on a cold winter's day!

Down on the platform Brian and David were cutting and carrying up to the brickies more snap headers. This is a very dusty job and Brian is usually to be seen behind a cloud of brick dust.

           Brian is preparing the next batch for cutting and David is loading up the wheel barrow.

Work on the Fencing on the Cotswold side of the cutting has taken a break for a couple of weeks but today more supplies were delivered so that work can soon restart.

        Fencing materials being offloaded and stacked ready for use hopefully next week.

The slopes leading down to where the barrow crossing will eventually be located at the southern ends of platforms 1 & 2, have now been completed and pointed up. This is platform 2

and this is a view of platform 1.  All looking very neat and tidy now.

              It was a very busy and productive day despite the very humid working conditions.

Post by Peter H.