We needed 12 volunteers today, not least of all to load the two Landies to the gunwales with all sorts of heavy equipment.
And we got 12 volunteers. Bless them.
Mind you, we meant 12 volunteers for lifting, not committee forming to give points from the side for style. One ducked out as he had 'put on clean trousers this morning'. Must have read the call to arms email, that one.
The grease was to be distributed by compressed air (isn't that asking for grease everywhere?) and the system involved a sort of pressure cooker type pot with a lid. Nothing can go wrong with that! Well no, unless of course you open the lid because the grease has stopped coming through...
This is the distribution end, with pipework leading to two grease guns.
Love the volunteer who thinks some blue gloves will stop any grease getting on to him. Ha! The grease is cleverer than that.
In fact some are too close. Here we have a hedge of conifers that someone has planted just 8ft from the rails. That can't be right?
The contractors from the slip have now put their surplus material on this new hardened road, but instead of lengthening what we started, they have set off from the Working Lane end. Now there is an unmade up gap in the middle, still to do.
A casual gaze around the mess coach easily reveals those who go out and mess with the grease, and those who stay behind....
As you are probably wondering what the Latin inscription says, we have translated it for you:
A harbour in a storm for anyone
It does have a certain rural charm, it's true.
Disaster struck when we returned !
The evil grease monkey had overturned one of the tubs. As it had a lid we thought we were safe, but it turns out the lid was loose.
After some emergency swabbing on site, we cleaned up the Landie back at Winchcombe. Of course some of the grease had jumped on to various tools, and like some sort of virus it quickly moved on to gloves before infecting overtrousers and similar such kit. We hope it spared Dave's Freelander, with its immaculate interior. This morning.
Team 'doer upper' was moving along nicely, with its 3 members in perfect tune operating the machine, pushing it from side to side, and putting the boot against the bolts to hold them in. When we got tired, we swapped around. You can barely see the home signal in the far distance, where we started earlier in the day.
Necessity is the mother of invention: Bert went over to a bush and broke off a suitably sized twig. This was pushed into the hole, and it held the socket on for a fishplate or two, until the twig snapped. We then - got another twig! This went on for quite a while, but it got us home.
Tuesday at Toddington
We managed to get another 4 volunteers together, and set out to do the cleats on the other 4 stringers for the footbridge steps.
Neal, John, Chris and yours truly got a nice rhythm together and, despite a late start, got all 88 rivets in by mid afternoon.
Result! That's the stringers done.
As there was still some daylight left, we carried on by parking the 4 stringers to one side to clear our little working area for the next job: riveting the uprights that carry the roof.
Again we bolted them back to back to make a frame against which we could push the jammer. One such frame, consisting of 2 uprights, has 12 rivets in it, and we did two frames. That makes 112 rivets for the day, a result with which we were best pleased.
There is still no sign of the squeezer we had intended to borrow, so we are just carrying on doing the rivets by hand, which is proving just as quick.
Still to do are the uprights in the background, and 3 more off picture on the ground. We have penciled in Friday for this.
After that the units we have made up will be cleaned, and sent to be galvanised. That should only take a week, so completion of the fabrication looks possible by the year end.