Saturday, 21 May 2016

A tidy up, and storage at Winchcombe

On Wednesday the B&S gang were busy at Winchcombe.

First of all, they sorted out all their edging slabs, wall top blocks, bricks of all sizes and concrete blocks into piles and then put them on to pallets, or into stillages. This will make it much easier to find a particular piece of building material when you need it. It's amazing the different sorts of material that there are.

Here is the area round the back of the B&S shed, now looking very tidy. During the clear out, it produced about 4 tons of rubble, and a pile of rotten pallets, all of which was disposed of.

Now, if you need a 3 inch blue, you can go straight to it. Or a 2 7/8ths inch model, B&S can help you!

Our last report showed the gang at Toddington, where a concrete base was put down for a weather proof cover for the admin office. Since that report, the gang has produced all the necessary components in kit form, and a start will shortly be made on assembling it in situ, if the weather allows it.

The other job at Winchcombe was the construction of two sand and gravel boxes next to the B&S shed. It struck the gang that the drainage gang, also based at Winchcombe, was using the same sand and gravel as B&S, but from different sites in the yard. This meant two piles of everything, and two sites. The brainwave was to combine the two in one neat storage area, an idea which will reduce the overall cost of sand and gravel due to buying in bulk, and make ordering much more efficient. Space is also saved, as the boxes are shared.

In this picture the component parts of the two boxes are being sorted out, ready for assembly. The materials used are cheap - some off cuts of H section steel, a few left over old crossing pads, and second hand sleepers. Very economical, but with good effect.

In the background is the new C&W extension, and, interestingly, a bracket signal lying on its side. Wonder where that is due to go?

One end of the boxes needed an additional support, which was welded on at ground level. Could be a neater weld, but hey, it's only got a job to do, so it's fine.

Finally, the finished product:

Didn't they do well? A few more sleepers that need inserting, and we're ready for the first order of sand and ballast.

No news on Hayles Abbey halt this week, due to holidays of key players. Back soon, then we should make a start on block laying.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Hayles update

Just a short update to say that preparations continue behind the scenes in order to make a start on the platform wall.

The delay experienced was caused by sourcing issues (which supplier is the cheapest) but has now been resolved in favour of the original intended supplier, who has quoted a very attractive price indeed. We hope to have a delivery shortly. There is also a secure container on site. A source for a mixer and two barrows has also been found. So it looks as if we should be able to start work as soon as we have the materials.

We reported earlier that a member has offered a GWR corrugated iron shelter of the same type as originally at Hayles Abbey halt. We reported that this came from Fosse Cross, but the kind donor has now pointed out that he has two such shelters in his garden (who knew?) and while he did indeed recently recover one from Fosse Cross, it is the other one from Usk that we are getting. Arthur 'two sheds' Jackson springs to mind....

Your blogger was able to inspect both for our readers. The Usk one is 100% GWR and has an angle iron frame. The Fosse Cross example is also clad in corrugated iron, but has a wooden frame, being M&SWJR. Therein lie the subtle differences. No stone is left unturned to make Hayles Abbey halt as real as possible!

On the B&S side the gang has certainly not sat on its hands, but the issue here is the finding of people able to photograph the activity. Ideally we would like to report weekly, but this has not proved possible in practice due to the absence of photographs. We hope to make a new report next week though.

In the meantime, you might enjoy these two photographs of P&O, taken during one of the test runs on a non-running day:

Emptying the ash pan at Toddington, prior to departure for Laverton.

P&O passes under the road bridge at Stanton on a test run to verify the speedometer