Two days spent digging away at the bund on the embankment by the former signal box...
It's a slow job, but it's all got to go and the good news is that it reveals the site of a siding that might be of future use to us.
With that area filled in, Steve took an interest in the rail head at Childswickham.
Now that the fence has been relocated to the correct curve, we could, one supposes, recommence laying track here....
First a layer of Terram, and some ballast on it though.
Meanwhile, we continued removing that bund. It's amazing what came out of it. It's principally ash, with red and blue imperials, concrete pads, stone, and the stumps of trees that self seeded here over the years.
Some of what we found was potentially useful:
They came with the blue Transit, and were soon picking up the several hundred bricks put aside yesterday and throughout today.
The appeal for interest in the bricks was no false alarm, B&S left with a complete truck full, which means about a ton in weight. A single blue imperial can cost anything between 50p and £1 at a reclamation yard.
What else did we find in the demolition rubble?
Well, how about this: An axle box !
Extraordinary, what on earth was it doing there?
Should it go for scrap, or does someone want it?
Does anyone want it (for a donation perhaps)?
Given the large lumps of concrete in it, the most likely source of the demolition rubble is the former goods shed extension on the southern end of the goods shed. Some of the concrete plates had angle iron attached to it, which would point to the nissen hut type building that stood there until some point after track lifting took place. (see end of report for historical pictures)
Well, of course it was elevenses and today there was a special treat from Keith.
It was his birthday.
We asked him 'how many then' and he said '21'.
In case of any doubt, this referred to the number of slices. The cake was home made, and particularly tasty. You could tell.
Many happy returns, Keith !
A freight train then appeared at platform 2, towing a single ballast wagon. It didn't exactly thunder through the way the 1960s iron ore trains used to do here, but picked its way carefully between platform walls and catch pit rings in the middle.
Having rolled out a length of Terram, Steve started to ballast the area beyond the rail head.
There is a plot afoot to start a second track laying front here next Wednesday, while the other gang heads south between the platforms on Saturdays.
This points to a golden spike somewhere near the southern turnout!
Near the end of the day - the bund is still not fully cleared, but with a bit of luck tomorrow - we did a bit of site tidying up.
Adam managed to get all the concrete slab bits into the dumper with the mini digger (which needed great skill) but this huge tree stump from a self seeded willow defeated him, and Steve had to be called to use the split front bucket.
It felt a bit like 'open wide' and - 'whump' - the massive tree stump dropped into the dumper, shaking it from side to side.
Forward vision was impossible, we picked our way to the dumping site by peering round the side and driving very slowly.
Here's looking the other way. The disturbed flat area on the left is where the bund once was.
The embankment is very wide here, you can see how it easily accommodated 4 tracks next to each other. It's huge really.
One could imagine a reinstated siding here, with perhaps a waiting DMU stabled in it to allow a loco hauled train to go by?
A bit of history.
George Bryant, former signalman at Moreton in Marsh, took these photographs of the goods shed during track lifting in the late 1970s. He was kind enough to share them with us.
The corrugated shed stands on a raised platform. It is probable that when the shed and platform were removed that the brick and concrete slab rubble was taken to the northern side of the goods shed, from where we are now removing it again.
This view across Station Road bridge shows that the area immediately south of it on the left (where the box and the siding were) is flat and grassed over. Consequently, the rubble can't be from the 1963 demolition of the station, as it clearly isn't there in the late 1970s.
The up line has already been lifted here.