Sunday 2 February 2014

Saturday 1st February 2014

 There were 11 volunteers on site today - the threat of gales and  a drenching is not always appealing!
Nevertheless the weather fooled the forecasters again and it was bright, cold and  windy - a day for keeping on the move.

We had been asked by John Balderstone,  the GWSR Bridges Engineer, to try once again to determine the depth of the top surface of  the footings from the  underneath of the  Little Bucklands bridge deck. It sounded easy enough on paper but the only practical way to do it by hand was to drive a metal bar through the ballast until it struck the footing.  A team of 3, Jim H , Jo and Steve B  went and had a crack at it. However it was difficult to ensure that the rod had reached the footing  and not a big stone! The difficulty of ensuring that the rod had reached home, plus the the large amount of water around, plus a drenching from passing traffic, caused the job to be abandoned with uncertain results. Back to the drawing board me thinks....
Here is Jo's report from the trip to Little Bucklands and Laverton Bridges:-

We dug the inspection hole deeper and probed it with steel rods, but couldn't really find the bottom. The rods went down well enough, some further than others, as the ground is rocky.

The good news was that Andy P found the source of the water coming out of the road cutting, and also the pipe it was supposed to go into. About a 2ft length of a large clay pipe has collapsed, causing a steady flow of water along the road. He managed to dig out the blockage, leaving the pipe open but the water flowing. This has now stopped running along the road, leaving Little Buckland bridge relatively dry underneath.

Less dry was Laverton halt bridge. Despite a very clear depth gauge showing more than 3ft of water, someone in a Discovery tried to drive through, with predictable results. What part of 3 feet deep didn't they understand?

Greg Wigg dropped by to lend me 3 large pieces of GWR china that his son had previously dug out from the same site where we had made our own finds. I backed this up with another hour of digging, and got another hatful of GWR pieces. This will keep me busy on the next rainy day, trying to match pieces up. Such fun, holding pieces of GWR history in your hands.

See you on Wednesday,

Back at base a team were pulling together as many red bricks as could be found to complete the Platform 2B wall. At lunchtime the weather was deemed stable enough to do some bricklaying and the "novices" had a go at laying some corbelling.

Under Clive's guidance they didn't make a bad job of it. We will see if it passes inspection by Roger "the corbeller" Brindley on Wednesday!
Up on the north-west embankment Dave and John S got a bonfire going, burning more of the debris from Brian's chainsaw work.

The completion  of Platform 2B of course begs the question as to what we do next, platform wise. Well platform 1C is born and I can tell you more of the detail on this next week.


Perry said...

That Discovery could now be hydrolocked. That'll be fun.

David said...

...and how did the driver's window get broken ? Did he have to smash his way out to escape, or was it an attempted break-in by a villain to either nick the vehicle or something from it ?

Jo said...

I understand that a woman was stuck inside, and this is how the fire brigade got her out. Second hand info though.

David said...

Said Discovery is now resting with logs under its axles, having been pulled out of the water by thieves so its wheels could be robbed.