Two days of hard work has seen the completion of the Platform 2A footings. This is the culmination of 8 weeks of fund raising efforts by the Broadway Area Group and generous donations made through the Steaming to Broadway Blog. Thank you to all those who contributed directly or offered vital moral support. Today the first goal of laying the platform foundation was achieved. Well done to all those who took part over the past 2 days.
Out with the Old
The old footings came out in massive chunks. Steve Warren, Graham Morrisson's JCB Driver gave a master class in how to gently extract the 110+ year old footings so as not to damage the sides of the new trench and juggle the resultant piece of concrete onto the 6 tonne dumper. Here a Jo Roesen video shows the action being played out.
The spoil was taken to the car park for crushing and recycling.
In with the New
Here Hanson deliver the second load of new concrete. BAG member John Crawford in charge of the shoot here. John worked tirelessly over the two days to ensure a perfect result was achieved on the whole job. He only required a couple of assistants (Clive and Jo) working with him each day
The End Result
The job was completed by lunchtime on the Tuesday. Here the footing, fresh concrete glistening in the sunshine and ready for block laying on the 25th April 2012. Brilliant!!
What puzzles me about the original demolition is 'why did they bother?
Many stations (e.g. Gotherington) became dwellings so what was with the bulldozing. What was expected to be achieved?
I can only assume that following the introduction of "Elf & Safety" someone in higher management foresaw an 'event' of some wandering drunken imbecile stepping off the platform and the owning authority being held responsible.
It was therefore considered perhaps cheaper to flatten it than to fence it.
Not at all. In 1962, when demolition of Broadway Station started (as far as I know) the line was still in use but the passenger services had ceased and so all the platforms were bulldozed (at Toddington not very well thank goodness) to remove the need to maintain them and to remove what had then become a possible obstruction to through trains. Platforms have a tendency sometimes to lean out towards the track (as was the case at Cheltenham Race Course) if not maintained so BR removed the potential problem; after all, the motorway age had begun and no-one would ever use local railway stations again. It was most regrettable that Broadway station buildings did not survivc but again, if no alternative use is found, buildings will invariably become a liability which either need tending or demolishing.
However, all is about to be put right and I'm amazed just how much progress has been made on Platform 2A this week alone! Outstanding.
What exactly was Toddingtons alternative use 1960-80?
The yard was taken over partly by a garden centre, which still exists of course. The main part of the yard weas still ownerd by BR but I believe the goods shed was used by a local engineering or haulage company. The station building was taken over for use as a store by the aforementioned garden centre which is the main reason it survived. I'm sure more bloggers will have more detail. I remember looking around the Toddington Station building in 1980 and wondering whether the whole project was just a foolish dream! Amazing how things have turned out.
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