Thursday, 15 March 2018

Activity at Winchcombe

The gang was busy at Winchcombe yesterday, but did send the Fairview lorry up to Broadway with a GENTLEMEN sign, and the refurbished wooden platform bench that is now near the north end of the canopy.

Anyone that wants to move that 100 year old bench by lifting it with the armrests - don't. They come off. Lift from under the seat instead.

If anybody has any 4 inch GWR letters that they could let us have to complete the V boards we need at Broadway, we would be very interested to hear.

The smaller than usual gang, 6 today, worked on the anti dog fouling fence and the renewal of a gate at Winchcombe. Mike also raked and sowed grass seed on the area where the builders' container used to stand. Soon it will be nice and green again here.

After the seeding job, Mike went back to wire brushing and painting the large fence panels which came from Cheltenham, and which will eventually be installed as a boundary fence at Cheltenham opposite the signal box.

Bruce has made a pedestrian gate which he fitted adjacent to the main station building.  Back in the workshop he has started on a second similar gate for the opposite end of the station building.

Since the last report on the anti dog fouling fence, the fence has been completed adjacent to the car park.  Ken is pictured giving this a second coat of creosote.  He then coated Bruce's new gate.

The two white painted gates near the visitor centre are now in and here Barry is drilling the wall for a security bolt.

Mid morning P & O came through with the first At The Races special, always an exciting moment. The fireman is holding the token that he has just received from the signalman, who is walking back to his box.

Just prior to lunch Pete, Jim and Jim H concentrated on digging out holes for more fence posts by the visitor centre.

On the same spot but after lunch Barry could be seen fitting the rails and verticals to the posts dug in earlier.

In this last shot you can see a line of posts planted alongside the platform, and the raked over area now seeded with grass. The centre post has been made in such a way that it can be lifted out for access to this (now dog mess free) picnic area, and for special events.

Laying the granite kerbs at Broadway has reached the northern end of the building. The last few yards will be finished off when contractor's traffic has finished passing over their route.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

A longer pavement

Work at Broadway is reaching a crescendo, with almost every day now seeing activity both inside and outside of the new station building.

Days before the first train - 13, and counting....

Here's the opening shot for the day, showing the northern half of the station building where the pavement will run.

An incorrectly placed drain in the foreground has had to be moved from under the pavement to outside the kerbs, and its fall adjusted. Once this was completed, the trench for the foundations of the granite kerbs could be continued northwards.

A row of kerbs has already been placed close to their intended positions.

The first of today's kerbs was then ready to be placed on its bed of mix. The trench looks deep, but most of that is for the mix. The relocated stormwater drain can just be glimpsed behind the plank. The slabbing behind the kerbs is being done by both B&S and the Broadway gang, depending on availability. By the toilets, front right, there are several inspection covers and this will need a lot more cutting of the slabs when they reach here.

The first slab is now down
Hard labour in the camp

Before thinking of putting any of the base mix into the next section, it had to be bailed out by Pete as it was full of meltwater from the snow. The Heras fencing makes it look as if Pete is some sort of a convict, but no, he is a willing and loyal volunteer! 

Here is the full kit required for laying granite kerb stones:

Bobcat with Pete in it
Two wheelbarrows with mix
Man with a shovel to poke the kerb

The row of kerbs here is approaching the end of the building.

The last one of the day goes in, with the corner of the building visible.
The machines required for tarmacing between 12th and 14th March will need to pass over the line of kerbs north of the building, so no doubt a pause will be inserted here until they are done.

On opening day, the forecourt and drive will not yet have been done. The level of the forecourt is too high (build up of demolition rubble and old layers of tarmac and years of patching) so it will be scraped down, whereas the drive needs building up.
In the meantime the gap in front of the slabs will be filled in with ballast to level the site for when the Heras fencing comes down.

Here is another view of the last two slabs going in at the northern end of the building where the toilets are. A single gate will be fitted to the spearhead fencing that is due to go in on the right. This will give access to the dry circulating area under the canopy overhang and footbridge steps, and was the original, sole access to the station in 1904.

And now - toilets! We knew you'd be interested in these...

Mike G has done a very professional job indeed, and pretty much everything is now installed, with the exception of the baby changing shelf in the disabled area, still to go. This picture shows the Gents. On the right are two cubicles, the third having been converted to a bay for the cleaner's sink.

This is a front on view of the modern cubicles, described by a heritage supporter as GWR meets British Airways. Touche !

Ideally, the cubicles should have looked like this (seen at Kidderminster) and it may still be achievable in a second stage.

The modern cubicles were ordered quite some time ago and with the urgent need to complete in time for opening it was not possible to achieve a last minute change in a heritage direction.

Here are the three sinks in the Ladies. Originally the GWR toilet had an open fire, but that was a step too far! We are having a fairly discreet white radiator, with a temporary one in front. The red stickers should peel off. Seen from this angle, the toilet looks very much of the period.

Here are the gents urinals. Due to the height of the waste in the corner we have had to go for the suspended type, but the little dividers are a nice touch.

The copper and brass will be varnished to preserve their colour.

The central heating boiler has been fitted to the store room, and will be out of sight. After much debate the flue was not sent out through the roof but directly through the outside wall in front, seen in the picture below.
A final picture shows the slabbing in progress, now by the BAG team. A bit hard to spot, but the pavement and kerb drop down in front of the doors. This drop has been expertly catered for in the cutting of the slabs, as can just be seen by the diagonal line in the foreground.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Working in the snow regardless

A snowy Wednesday did not stop the B&S gang yesterday, although our reporter Jim wisely stayed at home, given the 60 mile journey involved.

However, a few photographs are available, which we share with you below.

A week ago the additional granite kerbs required to make up a length of original kerbing in front of the building arrived from a reclamation yard in Leamington. We were very lucky to find these, especially after first spotting them a year and a half ago, and to our amazement they were still there when we actually tried to order them late last year. Slow moving stock, granite kerbing.

As the forecourt level has risen from original over the last 100 years with layers of asphalt and demolition rubble, the kerbs initially need to be located in a trench, before the rest of the forecourt is scraped back down to match them. Here Steve is excavating the kerbing trench, and relocating an incorrectly placed stormwater drain. A length of original grantie kerbing, still in situ, was buried so far down that for years we had no idea it was there. It has all been retrieved now and will be reused.

In Wednesday's snowstorm Pete in the Bobcat mini digger manoeuvers to fetch another of the kerbstones delivered earlier. Electrical contractors were also on site to wire up the BR location cabinets along the platform.

In a break between snow showers members of the Broadway gang fine tune the end of the trench dug by Steve. The granite kerbs to be used have already been laid out behind them. Big lumps of slagstone are being dug out and taken away in a barrow. The kerbs are being set on a bed of concrete, hence the need to dig down a bit further.

The sub zero temperatures were not ideal for laying either kerbs or slabs in view of the risk of the mortar freezing. Attentions were therefore switched to positioning the kerbs, finishing the trench and laying the sand foundation for more slabs, which have now almost reached the front door. In front of it there is a dip in the kerbs for wheeled access.

Snow flurries are outlined against the sky.

Indoors, the beige cubicle dividers were being positioned, as here in the Gents toilet.

This area has now been completed.

An attempt to paint the shiny copper pipes white was fielded at the last minute.

Inside the Booking Office the holes for the 4 cast iron crowd barriers were drilled in the floor (under the sheet).
We have two orginals, found buried on site but still useable, and two replicas, made with the help of a friendly nearby railway, for which we are very grateful. The disks in the foreground are replacements for the original cast iron ones, once integral with the posts, that invariably break off when a station is bulldozed. This arrangement will look the same.
Two replica wooden tops were made by our expert C&W woodworking team and await fitting.
The wainscoting in the background was given a coat of brown undercoat, which now gives you a better idea of the colour scheme. Above, the wall will be off-white.

Neal is going great guns with the replica ticket hatches. The frames have been in for a while, and now the sliding covers have been fitted. There's another row of moulding to go on, then the woodwork can be painted. No original ticket hatches were found on our Honeybourne line, but we eventually traced one, the very last one, to Yardley Wood on the N.Warwickshire line. The friendly BOC there let us take measurements, so those at Broadway will be authentic replicas.

In a remote W Midlands location a row of replica scripted seat ends has been painted and fitted with their wooden feet.

These 6 cast iron seat ends will go to make up 2 three legged benches, in a simple dark brown colour scheme as used on opening day in 1904. A third bench is also under construction, while a fourth, an all wooden one, is with C&W at Winchcombe awaiting collection after an almost complete rebuild. Well, you don't get new ones any more... we were lucky to find an original.

Light and dark stone seats were not used at Broadway, and the chococlate and cream style came much later.

Here's proof that the sun does shine at Broadway, in 'a picture we prepared earlier'. The footpath on the left is ready for tarmacing, the rest of the driveay will be levelled and tarmaced post opening. The station building at the top now looks finished from down here on Station Road. What a lovely scene.

Normal B&S reporting should resume next week, when kinder weather will enourage our usual contributor to leave his distant garage.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Beautiful loos

Just a quick picture report today - a picture speaks a thousand words.

The B&S plumbing team was busy in the Broadway toilets again today, and sent us this series of photographs for you to enjoy:

The end of a row of 5 toilets in the Ladies. The corner will be a small cupboard.

The same row in the Gents, who will have only two toilets, the planned third one having been offered up last minute for a cleaner's sink.

The Gents will have these three wash basins, with legs, all beautifully plumbed in with copper piping. Quality British plumbing still exists !

The Ladies will have 4 sinks, according to the plans. Pipework still ongoing here.

The Disabled toilet has the same heritage quarry tile floor and brick shaped wall tiles, but the fittings are a modern, compliant kit bought as a package. The handrails are dark blue.

Outside the slabs under the canopy have been completed, including the entrance to the Ladies in the LH corner here. The platform is now very useable looking, really impressive slabbing work here. Wainscotting in the Booking Hall was completed and work was going on fitting the skirting boards. There was talk of fitting picture rails too, a nice touch.
The granite kerbs on the forecourt have passed the main door, where they dipped briefly to allow wheeled access.
Extra hours are being put in by everyone in the Broadway gang, a heroic effort to get the station useable for the opening, which is marching towards us with giant steps.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Plumbing at Broadway

.... and lots of other stuff. B&S are very busy these days, so here is a little round up of the day yesterday.

In the workshop Mike continued top coating the 3 doors.  Two are for Winchcombe SB and the other is for a storeroom behind the toilet block at Toddington (the white one).

Thanks to Graham Morrison and his men the Winchcombe yard road is complete. No more bouncing over water filled potholes, brilliant. The PWay gang's Landie seems to have ground to a halt and the gang spilled out in disbelief. Whaaat?

Work has started on the anti dog fouling fence alongside the new Elf Centre.  The gate post at the top of the steps is now in.

Blue carpet tiles are now fitted in the upstairs room of the new Elf Centre.

Elsewhere upstairs a contractor was busy fitting out the kitchen area...

...and the cupboards/display cupboards to the rhs of this upper room.  

Apparently B & S are lined up to do the lhs in due course.  Presumably during a heat wave in the summer!!

However, the main job for the day was at Broadway again, where B&S are now helping on two fronts.
Austen was using the vibrating plate preparing the ground for further slab laying. The slabs have already been stacked against the wall, ready to go down with the vacuum pump parked on the right.

After laying a few rows of slabs and protecting these with scaffolding planks, Pete had a go on preparing the ground for the next two rows. There's a huge effort going on at Broadway now in slab laying, out in front as here, on the southern end behind the modesty screen, finishing off under the canopy, and still to come, the large area under the canopy extension on the northern side. Areas not slabbed will be covered in modern tarmac.

Having thoroughly vibrated the sandy area in front, Pete takes a breather to discuss progress with his namesake. The purpose of the wooden disk is as a drain protector - 'Made in Winchcombe'

Here's a little blast from the past to see what we are trying to recreate. B&S are building the pavement on the right, using the same slabs and granite kerb stones. They're doing very well, don't you think? The 5 bar fence up the drive has also been recreated.

This is the end of the (very rainy) day shot, showing another 5 rows of slabs laid. The pavement is a bit wider than before.
On the left you can see a modesty screen post, and a newly laid slab at the foot of it. A dropped concrete kerb in the foreground allows access to the side gate out of shot on the left. This wasn't here before, but was felt necessary due to the larger numbers of passengers the station will be handling in future, as well as giving quicker access to the kitchen door.

Mike and Phil worked in the toilets again.
Mike was busy in the Gents, where he was plumbing in the wash basins with beautiful copper pipe.
After considerable debate, and mainly due to the way the wastes were laid out earlier, it has been decided to fit modern wall mounted urinals.
Phil was fitting out the disabled toilet next door.

While it has the same heritage wall and floor tiles as the two adjacent toilets, the sanitaryware is a modern kit which exactly meets the legal requirements for a disabled toilet.

Meanwhile a contractor was fitting out the Ladies. You gents can have a priveledged look inside, but not for long....
The wash basins are not quite so far advanced as in the Gents. Here the frames have been positioned. 

The same toilet pans as in the gents are being fitted, with corner cut feet and basins, and lovely old fashioned handles.