Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Steady progress in wintery weather

Jo Roesen reports:

What a drizzly start to the day today! Mud clung to our boots in great clumps as we tramped round the site. Of the 13 volunteers who reported for duty, four bravely took on the task of completing the drainage channel on the eastern boundary, so that the fencing can continue.

Deep mud, and water flowing through.
But pea gravel is the icing on the cake.

This job is now almost completed, with just the back filling left to do. Then we can continue with the fencing to mark the boundary on the eastern side.

The Paddington blues await collection.
Once the dumper had been released from the pea gravel job, two volunteers took it down to the car park field to bring up the best of the engineering bricks from the former Brunel sheds at Paddington. We extracted two loads here, and some infill material now remains.

The latest view of the signal box.
Readers will be wanting to know if we worked on the signal box today - the answer is: Yes we did! As you can see, four volunteers were up on the dizzy heights of the new GWR box. Three laid bricks, while a fourth volunteer spent the day fruitfully by fitting the short joists up to the second stringer.

In the picture here we can see Peter Q fixing the short joists into the wall with mortar.
Easy enough you might think. However, what you do not know is that a half an inch had to be sawn off each joist in order to make it fit, and that a gremlin had inserted itself into our 110v transformer, which refused to feed our new electric saw.
Hence every joist had to be sawn by hand first, then came the fitting and this picture. It's never a simple as it looks. But they are in, and they look great. That's the joists ticked off the list of things to do.

Bob gives the newly laid bricks that magic touch.
Upstairs, Tony and Bob built a tower on the SW corner, which also fitted up to the (dummy) window on the side. A second dummy window can be seen on the rear. The actual window for this has been ordered and should be delivered any day now.

Another sterling job was done by John C on the rear, where he raised the rear wall by 5 courses around the chimney. That wall is looking quite high now. Lovely decorative work in reds and blues too.

Not so often mentioned is Peter's carpentry work. Here he has made a lovely little cupboard for our broadband connection, which will be located in the bottom of the phone box - a very suitable place, with its BT connection!

Profiting from the luxury of the bricklayers' shelter was Roger, who spent the day laying a very professional line of corbelling blues on 2C. Behind him, we can just make out Peter H, who advanced the cause with a layer of reds on the middle section of 2C. These reds are freshly cleaned, and come from the interior of Winchcombe goods shed - GWR, to GWR again. We recycle. Those dark blues underneath are from Avonmouth.

The back breaking slabbing - soon a thing of the past.
Having cleaned themselves up from the ankle deep mud of the drainage ditch - note the new trousers - Terry, Rod and Mike even had time to lay a number of slabs on the northern end of platform 1C.

PS A big  "thank you" to all who turned out today and managed to do everything on the to-do list. Brilliant!


Saturday, 22 November 2014

Saturday 22nd November 2014 - A Quick Report of the Day!

Well that was  a good day! There were 14 of us on site, including Jo, who put his battle weary  camera to good effect, as you will see!

John S on chainsaw duty and Dave B in the distance....
The fencing down the eastern boundary continued, albeit hampered by small tree growing around one of the  original GWR  boundary markers. The tree took a bit of extricating -the chainsaw was needed to complete the job.

JS Rear view....

The chainsaw was also needed to continue the eastern bank clearance. Needless to say the compulsory bonfire was lit to good effect!

Keith and Steve  take a well earned rest....

Bricklaying was continuing at a pace on Platform 2C.

Tony working on the corbelling...

Clive on the northern end of the wall......

All was quiet on the Signal Box today. Here John S and I take stock of what is require next:-

As you can see the front trimmer is in place and the short joists  ready to be fixed and levelled. This will be finished on Wednesday, together with some more brick laying, weather permitting.

Robin and Andrew continued with the brick cleaning.  Julie came along to help Doreen in the Shed. Marguerite had taken a fall at home and was feeling too bruised to come in today - get well Marguerite and we hope to see you next week.

Mist Rising from the Signal Box

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Wednesday 19th November 2014 - What a Productive Day!

There were 20 Volunteers on site today - there were plenty of jobs on the to-do list, some made more difficult than others by materials and brickwork being pretty  much soaked. Nevertheless the troops were undaunted! Importantly Jo was back in action, both with his camera and his sunny disposition - great!

To my great joy, bricklaying restarted on the rear wall of the Signal Box. Here are Bob W, Tony and Paul in action - they were joined after lunch by JC who had been AWOL with me at a meeting at Toddington.

The brick laying itself was a bit of a nightmare because of the dampness of everything. It took great cunning an guile to keep the show on the road - even temporarily storing some bricks in the mess hut to dry them out more quickly! In the end at least 3 courses were laid right across the rear wall. Very satisfactory!

Equally tricky was the bricklaying on Platform 2C, although the shelter keeps some of the moisture off. Here is Roger B report:-

Hi Bill

Platform 2c moved on a pace today, Clive and Peter H laid 300 Bricks.
I managed to set out the first 10 Meters of Corbelling and laid 50 bricks.

Rod, Terry and Steve, moved 3 Dumper Loads of Bricks, to Platform 2c to update diminished stocks, and then laid backfill at the end of Platform 2c and also by the Broadway Sales shed to improve access.

The same team with the addition of Mike, set about laying the Drainage pipe. and Lamppost electrical services pipe on Platform 1c.

The team then made and installed Platform 1C Lamppost and Running in Board shutters.

Overall a good team performance.



On the Driveway the eastern boundary fence continues to make its way southwards. Here the foreman Vic (left) and his apprentice , Gord start the next panel.

Back on site the potential for lots of wet weather coming up means we have to keep things pretty much under wraps. Here Peter Q and Dave H are making a template out of ply wood to produce an accurate curvature of the corrugated roof on the Footbridge. All good stuff!

Even the Shed made good profits today, Julie and Doreen were heading for a record for winter takings.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Saturday 15th November 2014

There were 18 of us on site today, soon to be 16 when Jo had a mishap with his trigger finger and had to be taken to Evesham A& E. He has since  assured me he is ok and doesn't want any fuss!

Back on site  a bricklaying party were  continuing with Platform 2C. Tony and Roger B were working the southern end, and managed to get  as far as the first course of corbelling.

Clive and Roger J continued with the centre section. In total 400  red backing bricks were laid and 160 blues. That's a pretty impressive total!

Farther north a gang of fire starters continued with the clearance of the eastern bank (I have been told that it's not an embankment in a cutting they're pedantic in Canada you know!) All I know is working at 45 degrees all day plays havoc with your knees and you certainly know you've done a days work at the end of it!

The brick cleaning continued with renewed vigour  with the extra supply of reds from Winchcombe. Roger H and Robin smile sweetly when asked. Half of the bricks cleaned are now in 2C!

Down on the eastern Boundary Vic started the green palisade fencing, at the northern end. Four panels were completed. I have to say I got absorbed in helping and instantly stopped taking photos! More on Wednesday.

One triumph  of the day was on the Signal Box, where John S mange to get the bracing bars connected  between the lever frame the rear trimmer. Again more pictures on Wednesday. I hope our proper photographer is back then!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

New Blog Header

The new Blog Header is now based on Fred Lea's wonderful illustration of Broadway Station.  Construction will start  on the Station and Waiting Room in the Spring of 2015. If we are to see trains operating at Broadway in 2018, we need all the financial help that you, our generous supporters can give us. There are a variety of ways that you can make donations - please visit the GWSR Website  at :-

12th November 2014 - A Small Part of Paddington Comes to Broadway

A month or so ago a regular blog viewer became aware of Crossrail activity at Paddington which he thought might benefit us at Broadway. Having made the initial enquiries and established contact with a named individual, he passed the details to me. My subsequent enquiries confirmed that a large number of bricks were going to be excavated out of an old GWR turntable pit.

Because of the distance away from Broadway, Bag Volunteer Jim Hitchen went along to have a look at what potential there might be for a hit squad going in to recover some of the  treasure. Unfortunately the bricks were held together by some strong mortar and the likelihood of recovering a good number in a day would be small. Nevertheless I did persuade Costains that we would benefit if one of the load of bricks could be diverted to Broadway for our use.

 Costains, who had been so helpful in directing the Mythe spoil to us, free of charge, generously agreed. A lorry load arrived yesterday and we will see how many good bricks it produces.

 I would like to  thank Costains for the trouble they took in  in accommodating our request and to Matthew Brinklow in particular who dealt with us in a friendly and professional way.