Sunday, 21 December 2014

Saturday 20th December 2014 and Our Last Working Day before Christmas!

Last minute Christmas shopping was obviously on people's agenda today, but we still had 10 volunteers beavering away.

The finished stage of the brickwork in the background
- 10 more to go when the scaffolding has been raised.
JC and Tony continued to work in the crow's nest on the Signal Box - the wind was bracing up there! Nevertheless they finished the last course of bricks before the 3rd lift of the scaffolding is required. JC has also invested in some thermals, which shows winter is upon us - a lesson for us all!

Back on platform 1C,  Roger J and Dave H set to at shifting and levelling the remaining scalpings delivered by Fairview last Wednesday. There were about 3 tonnes, so not a bad effort by hand!

We have been having some logistics problems in retrieving the footbridge stairs from Wishaw. Nevertheless we will overcome these in the new year and one of the possible interim locations for the  stairs is over in the  car park area; the area that George Law have recently vacated. Here Jim, Roger J and John B carry out some clearance of the embankment area.

A cheque  is presented by Chairman Paul Dunster
We had a  welcome visit from The Arden MG Club, who had previously contacted us with a view to making a donation to the Broadway  Station rebuild. A contingent from the Club duly turned up at 11.00 and I was pleased to receive  a cheque  for £200. Our local funds are always low at this time of the year and this donation was most welcome! The Club have visited the GWR before and are hoping to focus their 25 Anniversary event at GWSR.

Our thanks go to Roger Jackson, Arden MG Club Treasurer, for making the arrangements.

A slight disappointment for me was that there were no TC's, TD's or TF's in the vehicle contingent - some talk of it being too cold!. I have such fond memories of driving my first car, an MG TD Mk II which gave me five years of wonderful  "British" motoring.

A surprise visitor today was Terry Andrews and his wife Libby. Terry is an active member of the Wednesday gang and I guess he just couldn't keep away!
Caught on Camera!

This is the last Post before Christmas - Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year to all the Blog Followers - keep up your support - we cant do it without  you! 

Most importantly of all, thank you to the  BAG Team of Volunteers who have worked so tirelessly this year - what a  great team you are!

PS Jo was away this weekend but will be back in the New Year

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Wednesday 17th December 2014

It was a busy and productive day on all fronts. There were 20 volunteers on site and there was much to  be done. Where to start???

Work in progress - Peter Q, Roger J, Dave H, Vic, and Jim H
hiding under the bridge.
 The modifications to the footbridge span  enclosure took centre stage with  a team re-setting the height  of the structure and preparing all the side panels. ready for final assembly.

By the end of the day the first section was firmly in place, which then sets the alignment for the remaining panels. As the picture suggests it was getting pretty gloomy by close of play, but you can see all of the days hard work stored beneath the bridge.

Further north work was continuing on bricklaying on Platform 2C.  On the main section the corbelling is coming along nicely in the hands of Roger B and Peter H and here Clive is continuing  work on the ramp.

Roger B Report:-

Hi Bill
Platform Team Update. Another busy and productive day by the Team.
Team 1 Bricklaying - Platform 2c Section 2, I completed the last course of stretchers on this section and then commenced and completed half of the first course of Corbeling.
Peter H backed up and completed the last course on section 2 with Reds.
Section 3 Clive and Peter H completed the last but one course of Blues & Reds.
Clive & Peter H laid the first course of Blues & Reds on the Slope on Platform 2c.

Over on Platform 1c Steve the JCB and Rod the Dumper man moved 20 tonnes of scalping behind Platform 1c which had been delivered in 3 loads by Richard from Fairview during the day.
Most of The scalping was levelled by Gordon, Chris and David before we ran out of daylight.
The last delivery of scalping needs levelling and the rolling, perhaps this can be completed on Saturday.

We had Steve Warren and the JCB onsite today to help us with a couple of jobs. The main one was to load some scalpings in behind 1C. By the end of the day 20T + was loaded in and raked and levelled by Gord, Chris and David.  What a slog!  Here Rod locates the services marker tapes, (water and electricity).

 Here is a top class shot from Jo showing the dumper being loaded, and the panoramic view of the northern end of the site.

Behind this viewpoint  Brian M and Steve B were continuing the charge on  clearing the cutting of trees and shrubs. There will be bonfires on Saturday me thinks!

Down on Platform 1 Mike S was continuing with his labour of love in restoring the line side cabinet for 1C. I'm not sure of the need to salute the cameraman.......

The other job that Steve Warren was helping with, was to load some infill in along the eastern boundary fence line. The George Law cabins have now gone and we were able to start the task of filling the ditch and grading the lay of the land in order to continue with fencing. Some good progress was made but there remains some work to do - these jobs are never as straight forward as you(I) think!

 Across we go onto the Signal Box. Here is JC's report :-

Hi Bill,
Tony , Bob and Myself were short of a mixer man today so one of us had to keep stopping to mix the Mortar, but we managed to lay 4 courses of bricks to the outside face work and 3 courses to the backing up on the inside.  The damp weather did little to assist us with drying of the joints so we had to resort to the 'flame thrower' to help dry the mortar.
A picture from the security camera at the end of the day
Note the height of the rear wall!
If all goes well on Saturday we should achieve the finished level all round for the scaffolders to raise us up to the last level and thus  we have only 10 courses to gutter level in readiness for the roof carcass, and then it will take shape very quickly.


Finally we had visit from the P Way Gang, checking on  progress since their last visit. They were on their way to  their Christmas lunch. Here they are giving the Signal Box the once over. Julie didn't let them leave until she had frisked them for all loose change. The Shed profits were good today!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Birthday Treat on the Santa Special!

My 2 sons and their families took Joan and I on a surprise trip on the  Santa Special yesterday. What great fun!

It was very well organised - full of good humour from the volunteers,  and of course the compulsory visit to Santa's Grotto! The children young and very old thoroughly enjoyed it.

5542 took on  water at Cheltenham.Why, under a similar regime wouldn't we want a water facility at Broadway!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Saturday 13th December 2014 - A Different Day for the Broadway Volunteers

On Saturday it was our annual Christmas Lunch at the Childswickham Inn. It was  well attended with a 40 + attendance of volunteers and their better halves. It was a very nice meal, and well presented by Kevin Donegan and his team.  We all had a good time, albeit tinge with sadness because of the recent passing of  our colleague  Doreen Walters.  Here, her two friends,  Marguerite and Julie received bouquets from the the BAG Committee for all of their sterling work  in the Shed during the year.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Wednesday 10th December 2014 - A Good Day All Round!

 An attendance of near record proportions today, with 25 Volunteers on site and keen to get going on the tasks for the day.  Where to start? We'll start at the north and work south!

The hacking back of the vegetation on the cutting continued at a pace, with Brian M leading the charge with his chainsaw. I'm having to double up on a picture here with Roger, Peter  and Clive continuing with the bricklaying on 2C. We are having to keep a steady pace going on this wall such that completion will allow us to start the infill and reduce the risk of further slips.

Here we see the bags of crushed concrete that have been strategically placed in order to protect the edge of the cutting.

Here is Rogers report with my apologies for  duplication of info:-

Hi Bill
Today's progress.

Team 1 - Bricklaying Platform 2c, Section 2, I completed one & half rows of blues which takes it up to Corbeling level. Peter H followed me and did the backup.
Weather permitting it should be possible to finish the remaining half row of blues next week and also commence Corbeling.
Platform 2c Section 3, Clive worked on the front (Blues) and the back (Reds) bringing this Section requiring 2 more rows before we commence Corbeling.

Team 2 - On Platform 1c, Terry and Rod laid nine & a half soil retaining slabs which completes this Section. The finished job looks superb and very professional.



Sticking with the northern end of the site, Terry and Rod finished off the laying of the rear slabs along platform 1C. At least they can celebrate the fact that this is the last long run of rear slabs (apart from filling the gap by the gate). Frankly we'll all be queuing up to do that - it will mean the "Job" is just about done!

One task which fell foul to  two clapped out angle grinders was the removal of the hoops on the footbridge towers. Here Steve B is doing his best, but the equipment gave up the ghost - a job to be resumed next week!

Talking of the footbridge, work continued on building a working enclosure for the centre span.

Here Peter Q and Dave H  start the task of building the wooden skeleton of the enclosure. It's a big task - it,s a big bridge!

So we move across to platform 1 where Mike is refurbishing a line side cabinet. This is always a labour of love - they have a good deal of rotten wood inside, that has to be replaced.

Further down  platform 1 Peter T was installing a small communication equipment cabinet in the telephone box. We at last have  a phone and Broadband connection - hurrah - could BT have taken longer-  possibly, but I don't see how!

Finally over to the signal box where bricklaying by JC, Bob W, Tony and Paul was making really good progress. A good summary from JC:-

Hi Bill ,
just to give you a few facts and figures, today we laid 8 courses of bricks on each gable end and they are now both up to the level for the next lift of  scaffolding.  We have just 5 courses to lay on the rear wall when winds allow.

The starter flue liner was also fitted today and the arch former was removed late pm.


 It was  Graham L 's treat today when he brought in the biggest cake seen for some time(ever?) at Broadway, to celebrate his birthday which is on Friday. He was also celebrating getting his full WP. Quite a lot to celebrate - Happy Birthday Graham the cake tasted great! Understand the cakes have to get even bigger and better on subsequent birthday!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Saturday 6th December 2014

An icy cold day limited the number of jobs that could be done today, so most of the  12 volunteers gravitated towards the ongoing removal of the vegetation on the eastern bank of the cutting beyond platform 1.

I think 4 fires were going at one point which  allowed hands to be warmed from time to time! It is hard work on the slopes and I applaud those who stuck to the task all day.
In the background  are the footbridge towers, awaiting dis-assembly.

Here is the interim stage of the slip repair. It has made quite a "dent" in the bank, but when its finished you will not know it was there.

Robin, our Senior Statesman, continued to clean the Paddington Bricks. The tough mortar slowed him down a little, but  he was well pleased with the number cleaned by the end of the day.

Finally Jo caught me in a contemplative mood planning the next actions on the cutting.  The wintry
sunshine is just disappearing over the pines.

 I have a sad piece of news to report. Our very good friend and supporter Doreen, who has worked  tirelessly alongside Marguerite and Julie on the Shed, passed away suddenly on Thursday. It makes it all the more poignant  when we had been laughing and joking the previous day. The Broadway Area Group's sincere condolences go out to her family. She was a lovely lady and we will miss her.

Friday, 5 December 2014

A Friday Extra!

Broadway is not immune to instability in the  embankments and cuttings and this  slip appeared last weekend behind platform 2C The trick, when possible, is to take  prompt action, which we duly did.  Here George Law staff begin the task by removing the slip material, which  is mainly blue clay.

The remedial action is in 3 stages - remove the offending material -  shore up the  cutting with stone - re grade when the platform wall is complete.

Here is the first stage:-

The next step will take place on Monday - watch this space!

On another front, Jo road shotgun with Richard from Fairview to retrieve some red bricks, a line side cabinet and some braces for the Signal Box from Winchcombe.

It was not the best of weeks for Richard and we appreciated his help today.