Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Great progress today by two teams - the platform extension team, and the signal box team.

On the extension side,  we received two loads of spent ballast, removed from the David Page shed at Toddington where a nice new concrete floor is going in. What better address than Broadway, platform 1, for this excellent backfill material? The lorry carefully reversed down the full length of the platform, positioned itself next to the extension wall, and the driver very kindly used his grab to unload and position each grab full on the right spot behind the wall, so that Dave and Clive with the rakes did not have too much back breaking work in leveling it.
The first of 20 tons goes in.
After the second load had been delivered and spread out, the infill was rolled, and in all the rear of the platform has risen by about a foot. Great!
A nice smooth result.
After rolling - check the smooth surface in the picture - the gang turned its attention to preparing the platform 2c extension area. As we reported earlier, this unfortunately cuts right through the cleaned brick stocking site, so requiring an enormous logistical exercise to get the many 1.000s of bricks moved to somewhere else. A gang of 8 led by Roger attacked the remaining piles and at the close of play they had moved and re-stacked no fewer than 16 pallets. All that now remains is a stack of heavy bull nosed parapet bricks and two cages of slates, which need the JCB to move them.

The planned slabbing exercise unfortunately did not go ahead, as Fairview had too many deliveries to make this afternoon. However, further 1c slabbing must be imminent.

Down by the signal box a gang of 3 - 4 spent most of the morning setting up a scaffolding tower inside the box. After a lot of measuring and packing, this reached the correct height and was planked over. In this way the final hole in the lever room floor was plugged, and it allows Tony to lay the inner skin bricks from the inside.
The scaffolding tower goes up inside the box.

 In the picture you can see Tony and Peter looking down on Bob, who is directing affairs from within the locking room. Running through the centre of the picture are the two heavy duty steel beams which will support the lever frame. You can see that from the inside, the box is now quite a respectable structure.

In the middle of the day, we were surprised by a sudden rushing noise, which turned into a loud roar as a Hercules flew over the tree tops at only 250ft! Did I get a picture? No. It was so low that we saw it for no more than 3 - 4 seconds, then it was gone. Long enough however for our aircraft enthusiast Tony to determine that it was a C 130, version J, from Brize Norton, he gave us the squadron name and even the registration number! Impressed, we asked him for the name of the pilot. He didn't know!

Prior to recommencing brick laying, Bob and Peter repaired to the cabin to study the beautiful drawing made by JC of the lever frame and its interaction with the shorter floor joists.
Really? A sceptical Peter looks on as Bob explains.
We then found them back on top of the box with their pencils and notebooks:
Measuring and counting the remaining shorter joists still needing to be fitted.
...and the upshot of the excercise is that Peter will now be ordering the joists and sawing them to size. Soon, we will have a pukka floor to walk around on. This is usually the trigger for as signalman to bring in a comfortable chair and a kettle.

In the foreground is the front wall, on which Bob and Tony laid two rows of reds in the early afternoon, as well as two towers on the two front corners. These towers are at now window sill level. The southern gable is one row below, and the front wall is two rows below, so that you can see how close we are to putting in the big sliding windows.
Tony rubs down the day's work, while Bob and Steve set out the SE tower up to window sill level.
In response to the question in the penultimate posting, yes, we have located the newly made cast iron name board for the signal box. Next to it was a wooden mock up, so we had the bright idea that this might look rather good mounted outside on the scaffolding:
What do you think?

Finally, a look back over the site cleared by the hard working team of 8 at the northern end:
The bricks - there they were, gone...
 Just three more (heavy) pallets to go. Well done, lads!


Dave said...

Excellent work as always, the curve on the platform and sign on the box greatly admired.

What are the plans for the windows and what will they be made of?

Great work by all involved as always.

Regards David

Jo said...

We have decided to set up a design committee, and this will meet imminently to discuss, inter alia, this very issue.
Many of us would like the box as genuine as possible, so are keen to recommend either of two separate offers we have from carpenters to make them in hardwood. There is also an argument for plastic, which is seen to be low maintenance.

Four people have come forward spontaneously with an offer to sponsor one sliding window, if in hardwood. There are 12 sliding windows in total - if you want to join them, let us know soon.

Dave said...

Since there is there is no doubt a strong body of support out there for hardwood as opposed to plastic windows, and since not all of us can afford to sponsor an entire window, why not start a fund as you did with the signal, so any size of contribution can be made. Anything to avoid the dreaded PVC!

Ian Cottom said...

Hi I would be happy to give a donation as long as the window frames are done in hard wood .

Geoff said...


Have you approached Simon Watts Joinery at Murcot turn regarding the windows? He's done a great job on the replacement Lifford Hall doors and the new noticeboard.



Eric O said...

I'd be happy to contribute to a fund if you set up another mydonate page to pay for hardwood windows. Give us a target to aim for :)



Fantastic progress by the way, I look forward to reading the blog every week.

Unknown said...

So who is volunteering to be signalman? They clearly need to get a move on with the armchair. Perhaps Margarette has a kettle on her stock he could buy.

Richard said...

Whilst I guess that in a perfect world, everyone would want the windows to be made in hardwood, who is going to maintain and paint them? We have to be practical about this.

Maintaining the wooden window frames on the boxes at Toddington and Winchcombe is a never ending battle.

Dave said...

I don't think that there will ever be a shortage of volunteers to maintain the Broadway box.
In fact if you want to avoid maintainence why build Broadway station at all, a couple of plastic bus stops will do.That would be logical.
But a heritage railway is not logical. It is a high maintainence labour of love.

Perhaps the design committee would like to take an awayday to Corfe Castle. Admire their magnificent wooden signal box and the plaque that shows it won a National Heritage Award and decide that nothing less than matching that achievement will do.

Jo said...

Good reply, Dave!

Anonymous said...

wooden sleepers, or concrete?

Anonymous said...

Jointed rail, or welded rail?

Dave said...

GWR or lego?

Anonymous said...

Cannot the CW gang make the window frames they seem to be very good at wood work the way they fix up the old coaches.

Anonymous said...

night watchman or security camera?