Tuesday 24 May 2016

Contractors' second week

Little Buckland

Good progress is being made by the contractor at Little Buckland. The culvert has been fully excavated, the old salt glaze pipe removed, replaced by a new double skin pipe and at the time of the visit was being back filled again. A road roller dropped into the hole is used to compact the infill.

In this picture the Malvern side outlet is being rebuilt by a brick layer, who is standing in only half an inch of water. Lucky with the weather there, it could have been a lot worse, so conditions are pretty much ideal.

The Cotswolds side still remains to be done. Despite several dry days, there is still water here. Whether this comes from the (raised) ditch along the road, or from the fence line along the foot of the embankment wasn't apparent to yours truly.

Infilling continued this morning, and at this rate the contractors will soon move on to the next job, which is at Peasebrook farm, where two culverts will be repaired.

Laverton Loop

The plucky PWay gang continued on Saturday and took out the remainder of the southern loop pointwork.

In this picture you can see the ballast removed from in between the timbers piled up on the left, and concrete sleepers and new rail from stock laid in the gap. All the rail between here and the foot crossing by the stop board in the distance has now had the fishplates removed, been cut to remove the bolt holes, and dragged up to close the gaps. It's now ready for welding up. One of the special insulated block jointed rails with the 6 bolt fishplate lies on the left.

Looking north, the lighter rail is the new material. The joints in the foreground are ready for welding.

This detail shot shows how an IBJ has already been inserted; it's quite fast progress.

Next, the existing rail in the former through road will be replaced with new from stock, and used elsewhere. The current stock should take us up to the road bridge, just short of the northern loop point, in the far distance. The gang also has some work to do in the yard at Toddington, so there may be a short break on the extension while this is done.

Harvest Home inn.

Not an extension item, but no obvious place for the news and it is of interest: The Harvest Home inn at Greet, close to Winchcombe station, has been pulled down!

A developer plans to build three houses on the plot.

The new house owners will have a grandstand view of the railway - check out the bracket signal just visible across the former car park in this picture.

The history of this building is sketchy, and if anyone knows more, a comment on the blog would be welcome.
It was built, apparently as a watering hole for the labourers of the new line, in about 1905. It was not unknown for railway employees to nip over the bridge and into the pub, providing it was a quick one!


  1. I wonder how long before one of the owners of the new houses complains about some aspect or other of the railway.

  2. It's sad to see the Harvest Home go. The people who ran the pub were great supporters of the railway - they always advertised in the Cornishman.

    I hope the owners of the new houses are made aware that there's an operating railway at the bottom of their garden. Years ago, when the line was disused, I recall hearing a story about some people who bought a house close to the line at (I think) Bishop's Cleeve. They were advised by their solicitor not to worry about the old railway as it would never be reopened!

    1. I heard that, apparently they sued the solicitors when we arrived!

    2. My parents bought a farmhouse with the Ashford - Maidstone line running along the bottom of the garden. This was in 1964.
      The vendor reassured them that the line would soon close.


      Many years later I travelled on it, in - a Eurostar!

  3. Had a similar story from my line manager when I was a Guard at Kidderminster. He told me how he had a terrible mornings discussion with some new residents who had moved into a house at Hagley. He said that they had told him that the estate agent selling the house had assured them that the line at the bottom of their garden was certain to close very soon! My traffic manager had the dubious duty of telling them that as it was the main line to Worcester from Stourbridge that there was no plan to close it and that it would remain. They were not too pleased but had to be told not to believe all that estate agents tell them!!

  4. I should think having a beautiful heritage line running at the bottom of my garden would be an asset and a good selling point...

  5. The Gardeners Arms in my day. I think it was there to service the horse market that moved to Greet from Winchcomb town centre at the turn of the century. In later days, when Honeybourne Landsdown was a single block, trains often "paused" at Greet for the driver's mate to pay a quick visit.

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