Thursday, 16 July 2015

New Broadway Station Rebuild Blog

A new Blog is now being maintained, cataloging progress on the Broadway Station rebuild. It can be found  at :-

Good luck chaps!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The Last Post - 1038

Dear Blog supporters and friend's of the Broadway Station Project.

Those who think I am removing the blog in a fit of pique do not know me at all! I will leave a copy of the Archived Blog on line, but it will not accept further comments or changes.

I have also created a new Blog call "Steaming to Broadway - the Next Chapter" which can be used by the BAG team if they wish.

Monday, 11 May 2015

A Monday update

Yes, it's Monday, we know. But the CRC2 gang, a subsection after all of the Broadway gang, moved north from Cheltenham for the rest of the day, after casting another step at CRC2, and finishing off the drain behind the wall. So you get an extra Broadway special.

There's something very satisfying about slating the roof, and we suspect this is what drove the gang to drive north and carry on. After tea, of course, and some mini Swiss rolls.You can get quite absorbed in the slating, and if you are not careful, you can slate yourself right into a corner. Can you still get down from there, John?

This view shows the southern face of the roof completed, leaving only the back to do now. John has a mouthful of nails; now is not the time to ask him a favour.

Downstairs, Keith got the job of Manager in Charge of Supplies. The beautiful slates are tightly packed in crates, and have to be teased out, put in a wheelbarrow and taken up to the roof in the hoist.

Elsewhere on the site, we find Brian with a sack full of cowslips that he brought from home. These he planted on the Malvern side of the cutting. Ideally, we would like to return the sides to their 1960 condition, ie a meadow with flowers. This will need a lot of hard work rooting out the brambles and self seeded tree stumps, but regular strimming should see the meadow return.

Another of our regular gardeners is Vic. He has done exceedingly well with the strip with the Cotswold stone wall, and here we see him weedkilling 1c so that it does not get overgrown before we are ready to put the top level of tarmac on.
Behind Vic is the grass that was sown there a few weeks back to secure the bank, and drive out the weeds that will inevitably rise up here, unless you get the grass in first. It's looking good though.

In these two pictures we see Brian and Keith breaking up the crates in which the slates were delivered.

Some of the fencing material was also moved back a bit, with the whole area being tidied ready for our open evening. It's on Friday 22nd May. Will you be there? It's your chance to see the works from ground level, have a drink and a snack and chat to us. We'd love to hear from you, especially if you have some memories or souvenirs of the station as it was.
Anyone know the name of the last stationmaster for example?

Having finished the southern face of the roof, the gang moved round to the rear. We do admire the colour of the slates, and the regularity with which they are laid. A brilliant job.

Once this face is finished, the ridge tiles can be placed. We still need to source these, not all have the correct angle, and ours have a special roll on top as well.

The chimney that you can see also needs its flashing to be added.

Peter Q mentioned that next time, he would be starting on the wall paneling in the interior.

Check us out on Wednesday !

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Saturday 9th May 2015 - Broadway Area Group AGM

It was the BAG AGM this morning and there was a good attendance. This may have been enhanced with the knowledge that the  GWSR plc Chairman, Alan Bielby and Commercial Director, Colin Fewell were in attendance for the first part of the Meeting. This was to help the volunteers understand the current Broadway Project  Financial  and Design Strategy. It was a lively meeting, but there were  no bodies left on the floor at the end of it. I think everyone appreciated the time taken by Alan and Colin to further our understanding of some of difficult decisions ahead. The remainder of the meeting proceed as planned and I only came away with a few flesh wounds.

Back on site work continued on the Signal Box  and some great progress was made.  By close of play 3 sides of the roof had been slated and a start was made on the rear.Here is a nosegay of photos from Jo.

At the Northern end of the site work was continuing on the Footbridge. Here the results of Peter K's efforts removing the rivets from the tower hoops. As you can see, no easy task and in the end the Mag. drill decided to give up the ghost - so near and yet so far. If anyone has a commercial 115v Mag. Drill they can lend us, or indeed sponsor us for a new one it would be much appreciated.

Roger Johnson, fresh from manning a polling booth set to in the span booth to remove further rust from the bottom joints.

More to report on Wednesday!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Wednesday 6th May 2015 - and the Wind Blew!

The strong winds over  the past 2 days have set us back a bit for one reason or another. Yesterday  a gang were up at Wishaw doing their darnedest to get the remaining footbridge materials back from Wishaw. The culmination of this exercise was to retrieve the footbridge Stairs themselves - everything was lined up, crane in position and then the crane driver  broke the bad news that the wind speed was too high to  safely operate. 18m/s, The limit is 10m/s. To be fair the driver hung on until 17:15, but the wind wouldn't relent. So that was a  real bummer(pardon my French). Everyone was so keen to get the last parts of the footbridge jigsaw down to Broadway - myself at the top of the list! Hey-ho there is always another day!

 However that is not to diminish the successful work that was completed -  two long hall trips with the GWR Truck. Cheers Roger!. The parts now reside by the Footbridge span shelter.

"The loneliness of the long distance chipper!" 

Ray Hughes who does shifts for us at Wishaw and Broadway is here chipping more paint off one of hoops. A great job Ray!

The first job of the day elsewhere was to install a new heavy duty manhole cover in the driveway - the old one had one to many brick lorries driven over it! JC has done many of these you know - I think he  said he had built the M5  It was good job and I'm sure it was filled and levelled by the end of the day. Talking about filling in the old onsite sewer, now defuncted was filled in with ballast and concrete today - many arm stretching barrows of concrete were required.

Pic: Paul

In the same area the heavy gang finished off the extraction of the bricks from the old station foundations and barrowed the bricks away( I think that is now all of the bricks Robin!)

Pic: Paul
Finally to our current showpiece - the Signal Box.JC lead a team (John S, Paul, Tony, Peter Q)  fitting the roof slates. I have to say I've looked forward to this day for some time!

Despite the wind everyone was pretty cheery at the thought of completing this major milestone.

Well it was an impossible ask to complete it, but a couple more shifts and we will  be looking for ridge tiles!

Pic : Paul

 Thanks to my BAG Committee Chums who spent the the morning locked in  the Office with me, sorting out some urgent matters.

Finally Julie gives a smile to all comers - so please come along!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Saturday 2nd May 2015 - Goodbye to Dot the Drott

 A great Saturday turnout with 19 volunteers doing their best to move the project forward.

 The Signal Box Gang were back in action. The first job was to finish off the slate batons at the rear. Here John and Paul tackle the top batons from the front, whilst Tony hands up the materials.

The morning saw the job completed, which effectively meant the Signal Box is now totally waterproof.

The fitting of the cast iron guttering was the next job to be completed, with all of the correct parts finally to hand.

Here JC applies the mastic to the joints and the Box takes another step to completion.

A pallets worth  of slates was lifted to the top of the scaffolding in anticipation of starting the fixing next week. Here the slates are stacked neatly around the edge of "top floor" by Phil B and Clive. Personally I cant wait to seem them in situ and the scaffolding removed.

Work was continuing at a pace at the northern end of the site on the footbridge. Peter K was wrestling the old rivets out of the roof support hoops, now removed from the old towers,
Here Keith  G is on the painstaking task of removing all of the old paint.

Similarly in the footbridge span shelter, Roger J was chipping the rust out of the joints with the Hilti. Both jobs set your wrists tingling!

Back on the  old Station foundations Ron and Phil were extracting the last of bricks for future use.

I'm not sure that Robin was particularly pleased with their efforts - he feels obliged to clean them!

The  efforts to keep the place neat and tidy continue. Here Jim H is defying gravity with his mower - stripes optional Jim!

An old friend is in the process of being removed from site this week. Our old friend "Dot" the  Drott Shoveller is being put out to grass and restore by Chris Capaldi. I have a great affection for the old girl - we didn't use her much, but she was a symbol of progress 4 years ago and raised my spirits. It was a bit like having a Sherman Tank going up and down the track bed however!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Wednesday 29th April 2015 - A Very Successful Day!

 Jo was out of commission so Jim H kindly posted this email report to me, as I was away in Manchester today.

The day started off badly as the promised heavy shower duly arrived as we were getting organised.   However the good news that the planning application for the new Sales Shed had been approved, coupled with the sun coming out finally got us into a more positive frame of mind and out of the mess room.

Vic managed to repair a puncture and we now have another serviceable wheelbarrow.  He was then joined by Chris and David who spent the rest of the day raking and sieving the recently deposited topsoil on the station approach.  

The group of BBC trainees arrived on time and were escorted around the site by John B, who like myself, was persuaded to do an interview on camera.  This isn't for a live broadcast fortunately.  The group left us to film in Broadway village before moving on to Toddington.  They were clearly impressed at what had been achieved with the station rebuild, and were keen to come back again to document future progress.

Roger J spent most of the day in the footbridge shelter removing the "crusty" rust which will then allow better penetration for the shot blasting when that takes place. There are five panels to do along each side and Roger has managed to complete the first four of these.

Steve, Terry and Dave started the day recovering the bricks which had been dug out from the old station building site and transporting them either to the north end of the site for brick cleaning, or if broken across to platform 2 to be used for infill when the gap on that platform wall is closed. 

With the arrival of Steve Warren and his JCB attention was transferred to the job of connecting the recently extended centre drain across to the recently cleaned out cess side drain.  This involved transporting copious amounts of pea shingle and several mixes of concrete to complete. 

By the end of the day this task was complete and the water that had been building up in the centre drain was clearly flowing into the cess drain as intended.  So the first milestone had been achieved.

Milestone two was the completion of bricklaying for the platform 2 wall.  This was accomplished by Clive and Peter who both then assisted with the centre drain. We still need some 40 coping stones to complete the northern end of platform 2 but a very significant achievement nevertheless.

With a JCB on site we couldn't resist asking for some mechanical muscle to lift the two double hoops apart from the old footbridge towers.  Steve as usual obliged and with Roger J and myself assisting these were safely separated and lowered to the ground. 

 We then fitted some bracing timber to prevent these twisting out of shape.  For those working on the footbridge this was also a significant milestone.  Only 5 rivets to get out, two bits of welding and probably 4 man days of paint chipping and these hoops will be ready for shot blasting!

And finally the one that didn't quite make it.  The "A" team of John C, John S, Peter Q and Tony commenced fitting the guttering to the signal box.  Unfortunately it was quickly discovered that the corner pieces were the wrong size being 4.5" instead of 5". 
Attention was then switched to fitting the roofing felt and the horizontal battens to which the roofing tiles will be attached.  Three out of the four sides were completed and a start made on the fourth side.  A plan to have the correct corner sections couried to us, should enable both the guttering and the roofing felt to be completed on Saturday, weather permitting of course!

So in the end the day turned out to be a success for the 17 volunteers who signed in today.


Jim H.

Cheers Jim - maybe some more of Jim's photos in the morning!

John B on BBC Camera 

The BBC Team stand no chance against Auntie
Wainwright  aka Julie

The Signal Box Gang in Action

Digger Steve Master Class
Terry, Dave H  and Steve B