A fine but breezy day today saw the volunteers split into three groups:
- A small group went to the recruitment fait at Toddington, to man the Broadway stand. We will be there again tomorrow, so do come along if you've ever wondered about joining the railway. This is your chance to check us out.
- A second group spent the day on the box, busy with the T&G boarding on the roof. This included your blogger, so that's why there are several photos of this activity.
In the previous session, the first 4 boards went up on the front. Today we continued this, with Tony and John S doing the sawing and hammering.
Here is a close up of Tony and John at work. The boards are cut to size, then pushed down into the grooves with the little vices you can see in the picture.
We shall gloss over the number of fingers hit with hammers...
As the number of boards in position increased, work had to be switched from the outside to the inside. Here is Tony emerging near the top - you get a great view from up here. Can you see me, mother?
Way down below Peter K was treating the future fascia boards with a knot sealant, and then a layer of primer. Behind him is the stack of T&G boarding, which got a lot smaller today.
- A third group today worked at the other end of the site, near the Springfield Lane overbridge. On Wednesday work had started here in clearing out the drainage inspection pits, and this work, together with further burning of brash, continued with some success today. In the morning we were delighted to see Andy P from the drainage gang with the B&S van filled with concrete rings to extend the height of the pits.
On the drainage work at the north end of the site, this report from Jim H:
Just a few details from the drain clearing efforts earlier today. Initially Robin and I wheeled the 330 metres from the bottom of the platform ramps to the northern boundary fence, and have recorded the actual or approximate positions of the 12 pairs of catch pits. These have all been numbered.
Rod, Steve, Clive, Keith G and our visiting experts from Lineside Drainage, Andy P and Stewart then spent a very tiring day digging out the pits starting at the northern end. It was amazing to see a pit filled to the top at the start of the day with stones, ballast and vegetation, which when removed, then suddenly filled up to a depth of about a foot with water.
Clive also managed with Robin's assistance to get a bonfire going and it was also necessary to move two pallets loaded with S & T concrete troughs and lids to gain access to one of the pits. By the end of the day nearly half of the catch pits had been cleared out.
Andy and Stewart then delivered and fitted new drainage rings to seven catch pits. All those catch pits which have been cleared have been fitted with temporary lids. There remain five locations where a mini digger will be required to excavate spoil in order to find the missing pits.
Dave B went off to the north to find out where the water will go to once the centre drain is connected in. The bad news is that there are another twelve pairs of manholes to clear up to the by-pass bridge and the nearly as many again to where the drains appear to leave the track bed. None of this is on land owned by the GWSR. So an interesting problem for the future.
Here are the pictures that go with Jim's report. This first one is of a trial dig to find one of the catch pits. It's not just a question of emptying the pit of a few shovels of ballast. Sometimes they have been completely filled in, or even buried and lost from sight, such as here. We can only guess its location by measuring a standard distance from the last one.
When you have found your pit, put a man in and tell him to dig deep. This one looks like a very deep pit....
Here are Rod and Stewart and with the classic tools for clearing a pit - a shovel, and a bar. These pits can be quite deep, and in the bottom there is a sump that is precisely as deep as the top of your wellingtons. You move, they fill.
|A completed pit, dug out, heightened, and capped off.|