We started the day with 4, went up to 5, the 6, then back down to 5. But, enough to do important work!
Mrs Blogger fulfilled her promise and made a second 'cake', in fact a tin of Rocky Road, all chocolate, biscuits and marshmallows. That went down extremely well with the morning's tea.
Then we were off to Gotherington Skew bridge, to prepare for a dose of stone blowing (possibly next week) by digging out the dipped joints that had been reported here, and along the straight at Manor Lane.
It was a low and strong sun today, a bit awkward for photography along the line. Here are Nigel and Tim just approaching a dip, which you can make out on their left. Ahead is the famous 3 arch bridge, a favourite place for photographers.
Well, were were underneath, trackside.
We do all this by eye, there is no measuring required at this stage.
We identified a dipped joint, and Bert lay down on the track and gave us an estimate as to how many sleeper beds to excavate, ready for the stone blower next week.
Then we dug out the beds around it, so that when we do the actual stone blowing, we can concentrate on that activity alone.
Insulated joints seemed to dip more often than plain ones. Here we are digging out an insulated one, which you can see by its yellow pipes protecting the S&T wires for the block.
2807 then headed past our picnic site.
It was very hard work today, armed with mattocks and shovels, digging holes between the sleepers.
Of some hindrance to us was that this area had oversized stone ballast dropped on it years ago. You can't shovel big stones, they just cause the shovels / mattocks to slide over them. They are also poor at holding the track, as with bigger stones, you get bigger voids between them. Some were as big as grapefruit.
The first up train today, we noticed, had a face at every window, but there were seats still available in each compartment or table. No one had to stand. So that seems OK.
Now for a bit of news: 4270 is back. Did you see the first picture of it on this blog?
|Do you have any chocolate? On this loco? You must be kidding, mate!|
We closed the day with refreshments at the Coffeepot.
Some remaining Rocky Road from Mrs. Blogger remained in the tin, but not for long. A volunteer was found willing to take them home - in his hat.
Monday's fishplate greasing
We had a small gang out on Monday, another hot day. Well, they all are at the moment.
The ingenious solution was to use the little transport wheelset to take them up to a Permaquip trolley. This was hooked on to the Landie, in rail mode, and propelled to the site (at the end of the Defford straight).
Our pleasure then was great when, reaching the end of the next stage at Hayles Abbey halt, we were joined by Bert Ferrule, whose mere presence boosted our numbers by an amazing 33%.
Thanks, Bert, it made a big difference and was much appreciated.
Here we are about to break for lunch under the shady road bridge at Hayles.
Although the Hayles platform shelter (ex Usk) is certainly shady, it is also very hot inside, so despite the comfy looking bench in it, we preferred to sit on the trolley in the breeze under the bridge.
Some Broadway bits.
We had a rare visitor in the sky at Broadway:
And then it was gone again...
Back at the station itself, work continued on Friday under the roof. In the rush to get the station ready enough to start earning some desperately need hard cash, we were asked to concentrate on the ticket selling and lavatorial side of the business, leaving the roof for a later date. And this is now.
A story we were told by the children of one of the original gangers here was that he liked his drink and kept the supplies up here on the roof space, away from prying eyes. The empty bottles were flung under the trees along the drive, where we did indeed find a few.
Here is its loco, 47 376 just running round at the north end.
A video of the train leaving again is available here:
Cast GWR style letters have been ordered for the next V boards that are still left to be made: REFRESHMENTS, WAY IN, WAY OUT and OVER FOOT BRIDGE. From the text you can guess that we are thinking ahead to include what is required for platform 2. We were able to lend the foundry almost all the original letters that were needed for this, thanks to our growing collection of cast iron GWR letters. If anyone has any for disposal, or would like to swap, we'd be interested to hear (breva2011 at hotmail.co.uk.). We have some spares in both 4 inch and 12 inch sizes.