As you probably all know, it absolutely tipped down on Friday. We had one absentee - a hospital appointment is no excuse when we are building something as important as this - and the two that turned up for work had to resort to heavy duty rainwear and an extended tea session in the cabin, until there was a slight reduction in the downpour. But not a cessation of course.
First, a quick look at the P1 roof.
The corrugated iron sheets, painted with 4 coats of paint, now go all the way down.
Strangely, it seemed to us, there was no curtain of water at the bottom. We don't know where all the water in the corrugations went.
As we couldn't paint, nor use electrical equipment such as drills to fix further sheets, we decided to manufacture more dagger boards in the dry.
Here is Neal taking a pattern off an existing board. We still have the intermediate landing and lower half of P2 to equip.
We then retired to the workshop to cut out the basic shapes of the 25 or so we still need.
It's dry in here too.
A supply of painted T&G board was readied earlier and is in storage for this very moment.
We peeked out of the door and found the source moving towards us - the Peak. It was a fire and drive course, without the 'fire' bit.
The departure was a bit of a non event, so a video of it was started but soon deleted again. No roar, no splutter, no 'Tractor' type growl. Just a slow forward progression until all you heard was the click of the carriage wheels on the joints.
The enormous length of this monster is very striking though, so for the still photographer it is clearly attractive.
After a welcome lunch in the dry in the mess hut, we renewed our sawing activities, until Neal had made up two nice big piles of dagger boards.
These were squirrelled away in his van, for further treatment at home (cutting the slot and drilling the holes, then primering the sawn edges.)
After that, we called it a day. A wet day.
Saturday on the Defford straight.
The rainy Friday eventually dried out, but as the sun set a very menacing looking cloud began to surge over the Cotswolds edge:
Major puddles everywhere first thing on Saturday. But with a stroke of luck it didn't affect us too badly, as Saturday was the day of our bi-annual personal track safety exam, so we stayed in the mess room and studied.
Amazingly, just as we completed the exams, the sky slowly cleared and we set off for the Defford straight in the two Landies with the genny and tools.
The Defford straight is the long stretch between Hayles Abbey Halt and Chicken Curve, in the far distance in this picture.
Note the new, concrete bridge with handrails.
The same bridge appears in this 1986 picture, now looking back towards Hayles Abbey Halt.
The track from Defford, hence the name, was replaced with standard FB on SHC type concrete sleepers. In the old picture you can see the pots being removed and the bolts extracted. In this condition they were used on the new Winchcombe platforms instead of corbelling bricks.
The replacement track is the one we were working on today. It's pretty good, but suffers from dipped joints along part of it.
Ahead of us a series of dipped joints then. The section improves beyond the tree in the distance.
We divided the 8 volunteers into two groups. One on the Kango hammers and back filling, the others further ahead digging out the next cribs.
Its a bit hard to see, but there are several dips along this bit, our work to come.
On the other hand behind us the rails are nice and level, as this is how they should look.
This is the work we have already done.
We hope somebody notices. Well, we know, anyway.
|Bert Ferrule and Steve on the Kangos. The dynamic duo.|
Slowly we moved down the line, here in almost exactly the same spot as the 1986 picture, and looking the same way towards Hayles.
33 years separate the pictures. It boggles the mind to think about that.
Surely not that tired, Ade? Well, he has a full time job as well you know.
The next one is the subject of some debate.
35006 said goodbye to us, under a cloud of spare steam as she left Winchcombe with a train north.
See you again next week!