Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Wednesday 29th October 2014

Well that's our last working day in October - how time flies when your enjoying yourself!
There were 20 of us on site today - the weather was not all that kind, but most of the volunteers pressed on regardless.

Brick laying continue on Platform 2C. Roger B sent me the following report:-

Roger Mike and Peter (out of shot)...
Hi Bill

Progress today was good despite the changeable weather.
Platform 2c Bricklaying, thanks to the availability of the Bricklaying Shelter Mike, Peter H and I
managed to lay 100 Blues (3 Courses) on a third of the 30 meter platform backed up by 250 Reds.

Terry and Rod......

While Terry and Rod spent time fixing the number 2 mixer, and laid 5 vertical slabs on platform 1c before
rain stopped work.
All in all given the weather, another good and productive team effort from the lads.


Dave and Steve.....

Work has started on refurbishing the centre span of the footbridge. It  was pleasing to see this work started - its no longer the HIA footbridge, but the Broadway Footbridge!

The first job was to remove the remaining wood on the roof out riggers and then to remove the hoops themselves. The latter was not so easy, with the old original rivets proving very tricky to get out. If anyone has a magnetic drill they can lend us for a week we would be most grateful!

One hoop was removed - the rest left for another day.

Peter, John and Tony (hiding below)....

Work restarted in earnest on the Signal Box today. A long debate about the height, location and size of joists over recent weeks was resolved and the merry sound of nails being hammered in resounded for most of the morning.

Way up north the boundary fence was being installed. For those worried that this is the end of the line? Well it is for the moment. The fence marks the end of GWSR ownership.

As ever, its difficult to credit everyone's hard work today. The comms installation in the phone box move nearer completion, thanks to Jim, Peter and Mike.  Chris Helm was advised by Broadway Station Support, Peter Long on the best way to document the the mains electricity distribution on site.
Julie and Will.....

Finally we had the opportunity to thank Will from Acorn Creative Signs who provided an information sign for our Bric a Brac Stall. This was  a generous free of charge contribution and they have  made a great job of the sign. Thank You!

Sunday, 26 October 2014


I received the following from Rod Liddiard,  a great Broadway Supporter.

The subject title says it all

Subject: Once in a lifetime
Wonderful footage provided by Flt Lt Tim Dunlop of the BBMF (Lancaster Captain), from last Thursday when the 2 Lancasters formated for the first (and probably the last) time with Vulcan XH588 over Lincoln enroute to RAF Marham. There were reports of up to 4 miles of standing traffic on the A15.

(The 3 shadows on the ground are amazing and the noise is wonderful)

 My  personal favourite ever airshow memory was, of all places, at Staverton (Gloucester.Cheltenham Airport). The last airshow there in the 70's featured a Vulcan that did a series of near vertical climbs with the afterburners on, and then cut them, drifted back down and repeated the exercise. What a sight , what a sound.... Bill

Saturday 25th October 2014 - take 2

What was uplifting  at Broadway yesterday was, with the prevailing wind, you could hear Dinmore Manors whistle, presumably running round at Laverton. Lovely Jubbly!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Saturday 25th October 2014 - An Enjoyable Day!

There were 12 of us on site today, and a long to-do list!

Work continued on platform 2C  with Clive and Tony laying 2 courses of blues and reds on the first stretch and made a start on the next. Weather permitting we stand a good chance of getting this completed by Christmas, I hope I haven't just wished 3 month of frost on Broadway! Talking of Blues -
Clive who I think is a Blues supporter was better off with us today -
Birmingham 0 Bournemouth 8  -what a thrashing!

Further up the track bed preparations were in progress for bringing  the 2 HIA Footbridge Towers down from Wishaw. We will probably renew these towers, but we need the originals to ensure that everything will line up properly. We have positioned them well out of the way on a neat shelf on the embankment. Steve Warren did a remarkable job of creating the shelf in no time at all. We are planning to get the towers down from Wishaw in the next couple of weeks.

Steve then moved on further north to help Dave B place 2 gate posts on the northern boundary. A small but perfectly formed team were then able to get the posts upright and concreted in, readyness for the fencing to be installed up either embankment next week.

We like to get value for money from Steve and his next task was to level some of the Mythe bricks in anticipation of getting some of the Paddington blues. We haven't shaken hands yet with Costains on the this deal, the process of shifting and turning the bricks over allowed Jo to collect 3 dumper loads of bricks to keep the brick cleaners happy. Here Vic is loading up!

It was great to be able to take the dumper over the Evesham Road Bridge again. I can assure John Baldestone  that we imposed a speed limit on Jo and no damage was done to the paintwork!

The last part of the exercise was to do some levelling out. As a result of the scraping and tidying, there is now space for several loads of bricks, wherever they might come from.

Back at the northern end of Platform 1C the bricks were duly piled up for cleaning. Here Roger H and Peter K pretend they haven't seen the pile - I think Robin is hiding to the left!

Peter K is off for a month or so to get his knees fixed - we all wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to him(and Tilly) returning soon.

And now the hero of the day award and it goes to Roger J! We are starting the arduous task of inspecting the side drain catch pits. I have never seen quite so much soggy muck come out of such a small space. Roger persevered all day and Im convinced it was just his hat showing at the end of the day.

How he's going to explain this when he gets home I'm not quite sure. Well done Roger.

Thanks to everyone for their efforts today - particularly Jim H who was duty officer for the day.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Well October seems to have raced by, but we were blessed with another gorgeous day for working. There were 18 volunteers on site, ,enjoying the Autumn sunshine.

At last work has restarted on the Signal Box. JC John S and Peter Q set to at installing the floor joist trimmers. The preparation for this has taken  some time to  achieve. Peter K did an excellent job on fabricating 8 trimmer support brackets, which were finished off and painted by John S. They did the job nicely, and when the job was completed,  adjustable props were used to level the joists. This will allow the remaining joists to be hung next time. I will have some photos for you on Saturday.

At the northern end of the site, work continued at bricklaying on Platform 2C. Here is Roger B's report:-

Hi Bill

Today's progress  report.
A temporary repair to the platform slabs that were damaged during the (delivery of the footbridge span) on platform 1 was completed.
Completion of the pointing of Platform slabs on 1c slope that were laid last week.

Don't breathe...
Rod tells me what he'll do with the post hole bar
if I change my mind again on the height of the slabs...

Rod, Terry and Steve removed and relaid 15 vertical retaining slabs at the back of Platform 1c.
A great team effort and result by the team.
Peter H and Mike T completed the backup brick laying on the first course of Platform 2c.

Clive and I constructed further piers on Platform 2c which will allow blue bricklaying to commence next week.

Clive also laid a second course of Blues between piers.
Overall a good days work on all fronts.



Work continued terminating the comms. system in the Phone Box and the Office. A mains cable was also laid from the Platform 1A Electrical cabinet to the phone box. Ron T and new starter (at Broadway) Ray H  carried out all of the digging, whilst Jim H carried out the finishing off of the termination.  More pics on Saturday.

The fire starters had a very decent bonfire going - very autumnal!

More to come on Saturday!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The end of the Broadway era as recorded by Brian Parsons in his Spotters Notebook.

As promised I've attached a copy of the page, in my train spotting notebook, which covers the day I took the photo of 3847 in November 1963(*). Also, you will see that two weeks later on Sunday 1st December I saw ex Midland 48088 'on a train clearing scrap from Broadway station'. I've no memory of that day but I guess the line was closed to other traffic whilst they loaded the demolition debris.

Just for fun I've attached my sound clip of 6918 Sandon Hall which I recorded at the Broadway station site in 1965. I was using an early portable, reel to reel, tape recorder which accounts for the very poor quality by today's standards. According to the notes I made at the time it was hauling ten coaches of the 10.05 Wolverhampton to Kingswear express.  

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Saturday 18th October 2014 - The Last Brick Cleaned (For Now!)

It was difficult to know what to headline today - the cleaning of the last brick on site after 5 years of  determined slog by the gallant few, or the setting up of the footbridge for ongoing work.

Jo shifts the last of the reds behind the 2C wall
In the background Robin is cleaning the last few....
 Lets start with the bricks. The piles of  uncleaned blue and red bricks have been gradually dwindling over the last few weeks and today the last one was clean by master brick cleaner Robin Elliott. I'm not sure whether Robin will be please or sorry that the last bit of mortar has been chip off! My guess is that he'll have had a tear in his eye, or was that a bit of brick dust!

John S measuring the correct size bricks for
laying behind 2C

However, as we treated Robin to a new wire brush today I think maybe I will follow up the 60 tonnes of Paddington Station blue bricks on offer - we can't waste a wire brush!

The stairway to heaven and good humour abounds.
Jim(left) has been eating and sleeping this bridge move....

Now back to the footbridge - what a monster structure it is. The game plan for today was to build some steps up to the footbridge floor and to cover the floor braces with wood to make a safe surface to walk on.

This was a slow painstaking job to ensure an absolutely stable surface to work from.
 Here the waterproof flooring is cleansed  of old screws and nails ready for installation.

It really is worth coming along to see the span - it may look forlorn in its current state, but the excitement it engenders for the future restoration of the bridge and the completion the station is palpable among the volunteers. Just look at the faces of the chaps above... 

Embankment clearance (above Johns head!)

There was a sterling effort at clearing the eastern embankment beyond 1C today. Steve B, Ron,  and Vic kept the loppers going and it really is looking impressive.

 A  welcome visitor today was Brian Parsons.

 Brian used to live in Broadway and became a loco fireman based at Worcester. After the end of steam, he was second man on various diesels, including up and down our line. He was a regular spotter and photographer from the horse dock at Broadway station, and was kind enough to let us use copies of the many pictures he took – see
It was thanks to Brian’s careful notes that we discovered the date the station was demolished – November 1963. We are very grateful to him for his recollections and photographs, and it was great to see him in person for the first time.