Jo sent me the photos below and a report. I would like to echo Jo's sentiments below - the BAG are a great bunch of hardworking volunteers - I feel so proud to be part of the team.
11 men ventured out to Avonmouth today, including Jim and Roger from as far away as Milton Keynes. It was bitter cold with 4 degrees on the thermometer first thing, but by lunch time the sun had come out and many were working with bare arms. We really threw ourselves at the task today, with the intention of clearing out the rest of the blues, so that this could be the last brick extraction day. And so it proved, we started to flag at 4pm and this coincided with the last useful bricks being dug out of the floor, and chiselled out of the wall. Phew!
We started the day with a souvenir picture; the team in front of a dredger in the port, which we felt symbolised the location. Jim and Roger are missing from the picture, as they were held up in traffic. I tried to repeat the picture at the end of the day with everyone on it this time, but just as I was setting it up, the dredger moved away ! Very shy, it came from Wales, see.
Mike and Vic once again stayed outside the fence and filled the dumpy bags with the bricks that were being thrown over the top. They can now say with some pride that they handled every single brick that we will be taking, and put it into a dumpy bag. We collected a final 2500 bricks today, which gives us a grand total of over 7500, well above our initial estimates of 4-5000. The number of dumpy bags filled and ready to go is 54, for a total weight of 30 tons. Each constituent brick in that total was dug up or chiselled out, carried uphill out of the pit, thrown over the fence, picked up again and put in a bag. I would like to thank this heroic team. Not only did they achieve a miracle, they were great fun to work with. What a happy bunch they are !
Next – the move by Telehandler across the former sidings. I am on the case. We have located a hire company only yards outside the port gates, and a member of the loco dept has offered his help in operating the machine for the day. I will arrange the rental tomorrow, and then look into a suitable road transport firm to take the load back to Broadway.
See you on Saturday – we need two days rest now!