A general enquiry into the GWSR put the BAG Volunteers in touch with a supporter wishing to donate 400 engineering blues to Broadway. The lead put us in touch with Mr & Mrs Loverage at Andoversford. BAG Volunteer Terry Andrews offered his services, together with his friend Paul to attempt a retrieval. Terry's email to me takes up the story:-
We met the lovely couple, Brian & Joy Loverage at their home in Station Road, Andoversford today to collect the blue bricks they have kindly donated to us for use at Broadway
I was joined by Jim Hirtchen, who drove over 60 miles from Milton Keynes, at about 11.30 to help me move the bricks from the side of the house, across their patio and through a side gate onto a bridleway, For the first 20 foot or so we had to carry the bricks to the patio along a path that was too narrow to use a wheelbarrow , where we loaded them onto a small wheelbarrow that Jim sensibly brought along and stacked them in piles of 100 brick along the side of the bridleway.
In total there were 401 blue bricks, plus 8 large blocks used on bridge parapets and then some blue small paving blocks. Brian and Joy agreed to have their photo taken, so I am sending a copy of this (also includes Jim) along with several other photos of the recovered items which we have delivered to Broadway.
Paul from Tecton, who has donated his time and his lorry for this, arrived just before 1.00pm with his lorry and reversed along the very narrow bridleway to where we stacked the bricks, and we proceeded to load the lorry. In view of the very restricted access, Paul had to use his smaller vehicle, so two trips are necessary in view of the weight of the load. After taking the first load to Broadway, we returned to Andoversford and loaded the second load of bricks , which Paul will be delivered some time tomorrow.
Brian and Joy were pleased to receive a couple of my shareholders tickets as a thank you for donating all these items to us, and are looking forward to a day out on our railway, we also expect them to visit us at Broadway to see how we are getting on, and hopefully their donated bricks will be part of our platform 2!
Incidentally, Brian and Joy's house backs on to the old railway line from Cheltenham to Bourton on the Water, and they have actually purchased a 60ft by 60 ft section of the old trackbed, which they have landscaped and forms part of their lovely garden.
Thank you to Brian and Joy for their kind donation (and a nice cup of tea!) Jim for his help in recovering and loading the bricks and Paul from Tecton for providing his labour and transport, free of charge, we had a very successful day,
I cannot thank Terry, Paul and Jim enough for their efforts today. I am particularly fond of the Cheltenham Kingham line and it will be good to know a small piece of it is resurrected at Broadway. I don't see this as just the recovery of 400 bricks but the preservation of a piece of railway history and some fond personal memories of a great little line..