Mrs. Blogger was persuaded to produce a cake:
|Peanut butter and chocolate - Yum!|
It was peanut and chocolate. It was a test: if successful, another birthday cake will appear on Saturday!
We can report that the cake did indeed vanish, despite apologies for peanut allergy and diets. Others very kindly jumped into the gap and consumed twice their share.
We decided to continue with our fault finding mission on the southern half of the line. Last week we reached the northern breather at Bishops Cleeve, so to Bishops Cleeve it was. All aboard!
Head scratching now, as we consult the track walker's spread sheet.
On the left is the former goods yard of the station. Years ago now already the British Legion built a clubhouse there, and a couple of years back it came on the market and was bought by a nursery, which made a very good job of fettling up a fairly dire building.
The GWSR had a crack at acquiring (part of) the site, but was outbid by the nursery. We are not rich, sadly.
The local village site has two good pictures of the former station. Have a look at this one:
It's taken at the same place, but looking in the other direction. The passenger station was at the back of our picture above, by the pine trees in the distance. So the British Legion site would not have got us back our station anyway; it's covered by housing already.
The breather had a loose base plate bolt (tightened) and a loose bolt on the two short lengths of rail that hold the breather together.
That was a bit more tricky, as the bolt was spinning and it would normally need an insert.
The steel coil insert would not go through the hole in the old rail, and with the hot weather we did not think it wise to remove the rail. The best fix we could devise was to fill the old hole with a piece of sapling, and then screw the chair screw back into it.
Job done! All nice and tight again.
Having addressed the breather, we moved further towards Gotherington and eventually found the loose fishplate bolt that was reported. We failed to find the neighbouring one, said to be located in the next joint. Must have been tightened by the track walker then.
Here is the bolt that we took out. The problem is not the wasted thread at the bottom, but the two lines of thread nearer the nut. It was here that the nut was spinning, having stripped the thread.
How, we do not know.
We solved the problem by loosening the other three bolts, and then knocking one of the fishplates sideways with a keying hammer. It was a great feeling of victory when we got the new bolt in, without damage. Another problem solved!
Note also the Genny on the Landie. This is a really useful machine, which we use to cut through the seized bolts with the 115v angle grinder
What a lovely locomotive, with its polished motion.
2807 Got that one though, did I underline it?
The Cotswolds side of the line is still intact, with no housing estates visible.
This herd of cows came to protest loudly at something, but there was nothing we could do to help. It was a mixture of milking cows and their calves. Not a good combination to approach in a field, the mothers are very protective.
|Keeping an eye on the clip repairers from the Landie. Have they finished that one yet?|
Further south still from the conurbation that is Bishops Cleeve, we can see Cleeve Hill at the top here, and another herd of cows in a very dry meadow.
When they saw us, they all came cantering towards the hedge, moo-ing loudly.
We were clearly expected to provide something, but what?
Right at the top, John informed us, was a former hill fort, whose outer defensive ring was interrupted by quarrying. Fascinating.
With Bishops Cleeve now receding fast into the distance, we replaced out last set of clips and pads here, using the trusty pan jacks.
Or Land Mines, as they are also referred to by some.
Quite a few people were in the DMU today, which is good news. Were they just travelling from A to B?
Before we go, news of a brand new project from the railway's Heritage Group. A long gestation period after the completion of Hayles Abbey halt has finally come to fruition.
Read all about it here, in the revamped Hayles Abbey blog, now retitled: Heritage Herald Blog.
Onwards and upwards ! We are the GW (S) R.