Terry Andrews and his Friend Paul kindly offered to transport the bricks from Ashchurch to Broadway. Terry sent me this report and some photos and I can do no better than to post it here verbatim.
What a lovely day to the transporting of the bricks from the Ashchurch site back to base at Broadway, however, it didn't start too well!I arrived at Ashchurch at 6.50am to open the gates to allow Paul's lorry access to the site, only to be confronted by a Network Rail pick up parked directly in front of the site entrance. Despite a search, the driver was no where to be found.I therefore opened up, removed some of our security measures (two large doors!) and had time to fill another bag with broken bricks, before Paul arrived at 7.30am.On his arrival, we had a look at the very restricted access and Paul attempted to squeeze through the small gap left, however, decided it was too tight, so we stopped and I went off to see if the NR men were working on the Army camp sidings (where they had been working last Wednesday). I had got upto the bridge when, looking back to our site, I saw a man in NR orange clothing, so quickly returned. It appears he knew we were coming, and quickly moved his pickup to allow us better access, phew!
Paul weighed a brick, of course they were very wet and weighed more than we expected, which meant that the stacks of palleted bricks were weighing nearly 2 ton, and Paul's crane could just about cope with lifting the stacks further away. The volunteers had done a marvellous job over the last few Wednesday's and Saturdays and there were more bricks than we expected, so it was decided that we would need to make two trips.We loaded 4 pallets and 4 bags of broken bricks, moved them to their position on the flat-bed with a pallet truck, which only just managed the weight! Paul reversed to the rear of the site so he could get a
run up the soft ground at the front of the site entrance as we had quite a weight on board and didn't want to get stuck! We then sheeted and roped up and left with the first load at around 9.40am, heading for Broadway, after a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit.
Rod had lent me his key to Broadway station site, and following Bill's instructions, we deposited the pallets of bricks along the side of platform 1, at the angle asked for,to enable them to be fork lifted further up the site at a later date. It was quite muddy in this area, due to the soil being removed last week to enable platform 2's footings to be dug. A really brilliant job had been done by our volunteers last week in readiness for the footings to be dug. Paul then reversed his lorry to the side of platform 1a, where we unloaded the palleted and bagged broken bricks, which will be used as infill behind platform 2a. Whilst we were there John Blofield arrived, he had noticed the gate was open and came to investigate - well done John. Whilst he was there, we took the opportunity of talking about the Gloucester hospital bricks, that Paul has kindly offered to transport to Broadway, when we get written approval for their removal - John will "chase this up".
After another cup of tea, we returned to Ashchurch for our second load. As we had run out of tea by this time, I stopped off at the tea wagon, close to the station to get the flask filled (a very important job), whilst Paul reversed once again onto the site.We loaded the remaining two pallets of bricks, along with another 3 bags of broken bricks and 2 bags of complete bricks, again using the pallet truck to distribute the weight evenly over the flat-bed of the lorry. Paul again did his reverse and speedy exit trick to get off the site and we then sheeted and roped up to ensure the load was safe.
We secured the site, leaving it ready for the Saturday gang to get the next load ready. Paul has asked that the pallets are only stacked 6 rows high instead of 9 or 10 to make it easier for his crane and pallet truck!
We arrived at Broadway and were pleased to find that the sun had dried up a lot of the mud, where we were depositing the 2pallets of bricks and two bags of complete bricks, then we reversed again to platform 1a to unload the bags of broken bricks.
One slight mishap, during the vehicle movement, a slab covering the drainage hole near to platform 1a got damaged, so we marked this with a bollard - apologies for that!We locked up the site and had another welcome cup of tea, before leaving for Gloucester at about 2.40pm. Many thanks to Paul for "donating" his lorry and time to us, we really appreciate what he has done.
There are quite a few pictures that I have taken, which I will try to send to you by another e-mail or two.
Congratulations to Terry and Paul (right) for a job well done!