First, back to the matters in hand on the railway.
Friday at Broadway.
We're waiting for the scaffolders to arrive, so that we can make a start on the roof of the steps, and other woodwork related to them.
In the meantime we are putting up the spearhead fence and cast iron posts along the forecourt, to complete our frontage up to the B&B.
The spearhead panels have long feet (in a slight departure from the original) and here John is digging out a hole for one of these.
The feet will stand in plastic tubes in this area, and in the picture Neal is cutting one to length, before settling it down into the hole John dug.
Three holes were required. The first inches below ground are difficult to dig through, as you have to break through the slagstone blinding the GWR laid in to keep the underground clay at bay.
Once through the slagstone you are into the solid blue clay, and here Neal's auger comes in jolly useful.
A smaller hole needed here? Neal has a smaller auger. Of course.
These gate posts, cast from a pattern specially made for us, a very useful. They are multifunctional, and can be used to attach either gates or spearhead fencing panels. Or even act as a newel post, which is what we are doing at the bottom of the steps.
What do you think of it so far?
The blue tube in the middle is for the canopy end post.
Yes, Hi There! Nice to see you too.
Having cleaned the posts with a wire brush, we put on a protective coat in the afternoon.
Wednesday at Manor Lane
|Our PWay train brought to Manor Lane by the Winchcombe yard shunter.|
It's a lovely view of the Cotswolds; but turn to the left and the advancing housing estates are just 2 fields away.
We commented on that last week, and here is a picture.
|It's a long road with a 25Kg Animal stretching your arm.|
The track walkers produce an excellent report which details precisely where even the tiniest fault can be found. One of these was a report of a fishplate fitted upside down (years ago, it must be said) and this was located at the north end of the loop. We loaded the heavy stuff into a wheelbarrow and pushed it as far as we could, but the nearer we got to the target location, the harder it got to push, so eventually Dave picked up the heavy Animal and just lugged it to the site.
|A wrong'un, obviously upside down, see.|
Arrived on site, we looked and we looked but couldn't find the upside down fishplate, which was spray painted to help us.
Eventually we made a phone call, to discover that the location was the other north end.
Well, who knew. With that vital piece of information we found the plate soon enough, and put it the right way round without problems.
Job done, now for some broken plastics.
Next, several broken plastics on the list. How long do these things last, we wondered? They were all replaced with new without problems, even this one, worth a photograph because the issue is one we have never seen before.
The plastic 'biscuit' isn't broken at all, but hanging half off to one side. How on earth did it get like that?
|Our little team of two deals with an upside down fishplate|
After lunch we united and became a team of 12, except that two gang members dropped off, so the greasing team stayed at a net 10 volunteers.
We started by the PWay train stabled in the far distance, can you see it?
We had the three vehicles out, a TB2 to undo, the trolley with the compressor and the greasing unit, and the second TB2 to do the bolts up again. Three men on each, and one to 'prep' the bolts with a large spanner if they were too stiff.
Some of the nuts were really very hard to undo. Too much for the power of the petrol TB2, and too much for the spanner too it seemed, as a lengthening of the leverage was required by means of a bar stuck in the end to get this one off. Plus two men to pull on it, Jules and Paul.
But, mission accomplished, and we got this one loose too.
|Greasing the CWR breather at the beginning of the CWR section.|
With just half an hour to go before our train was due to be picked up again, we finally reached the breather.
We had just done three quarters of a mile, from the PWay train parked way back at the beginning of this long straight. We felt good.
Martin, John R, Jules, John B, Robert, Dave D, Paul and Dave P.Alan and Mike could only do half a day, so didn't make the snap.
Saturday - Monday in Scotland
If you love trains and good food,you might enjoy this: a three day mini break by private train to Fort William and back. It's called The Statesman.
The luxury train is made up out of 7 Mk2s in Pullman style, a Mk1 full kitchen and top-tail haulage by two class 47s. You eat and drink all the way there, and all the way back.
To keep the carriages fully watered up there are occasional water replenishment stops, such as this one at Penrith. This is an opportunity for a quick visit to the front to see which loco is pulling the train.
Here it's 47 593, with the beautiful name of GALLOWAY PRINCESS. Despite the 14 hour journey, she remained immaculate throughout.
On arrival at Fort William, the train reverses and hence the leading loco is the other class 47, D1944, CRAFTSMAN.
Another immaculate turnout, here in BR two tone green.
The scene is Glenfinnan viaduct, on the way to Mallaig.
Loch Treig allures with its black, peat laden water, just under the distinct snow line a short walk up the mountain.
Elsewhere there is just emptiness and wild nature.
Thanks to the train, you get a brief view of this secret landscape, here off the horseshoe viaduct.
Now it's back to earth with a bump, and fishplate greasing today. But it's good to be among friends again on the gang. Custard doughnuts today too, a real treat.
If you like the class 47, you might be lucky and glimpse our very own 47 376, which carries the name FREIGHTLINER 1995.