Prior to the big erection day, the team had been down to position the purlins, fascia boards and intermediate rafters around the station building.
Here you can see a row of them placed along platform two, ready for the Vic Haines lorry to lift them in.
There was just a small team of 4 on site, but everything went very well indeed.
It was accepted at the top, and with a bit of to-ing and fro-ing it was supended between two trusses.
The crane lorry driver is on the right, and he controls the lift from a box around his waist.
The second item to go up was an intermediate rafter, a short piece that connects the ridge purlin to either the ringbeam (here) or the fascia board (platform side).
It is wriggled through the purlin in the middle.
This was followed by another of the intermediate rafters, which was steered through the gaps between the scaffolding poles.
The intermediate rafter was pushed into contact with the ridge through a gap in the purlin. This was quite tricky, but it did fit in the end. The bottom end of it connects to the platform side fascia board, once that has been lifted in.
Last of all, a fascia board is lifted in. These are quite heavy.
There is no natural place for them to hang, so they are supported on jacks and secured with G clamps for the time being.
With the fascia board supported and clamped, a mag drill is used to bore a bolt hole through three layers of steel.
The fascia board is then bolted on at each end, and later on we will change these temporary bolts for proper rivets.
On the original building, all this steelwork rested on sandstone blocks on top of several rows of brickwork. In our construction, necessary due to the requirement for insulation, the walls are hollow so the canopy rests on an invisible internal frame. The forecourt side of the frame can be seen here above the blue plastic sheet.
Note how the top half of the purlin goes over the truss, and the bottom half under it.
Platform side, the top half above the purlin is glazed, while the bottom half is corrugated iron sheets. Forecourt side, everything is corrugated iron sheets.
Another purlin and another fascia board go in at the northern end:
Near the end of the afternoon, the last purlin is walked to its final postion, at the Signal Box corner.
It is amazing that everything fit without trouble, and is nice and straight. On the first assembly day we skimmed 1/8th inch off one of the ridges; today we cut nothing off at all, it all just went into place without grumbling.
Today we had the Vic Haines lorry to do the lifting; in 1904 and with the track already in place between the platforms, a rail mounted steam crane would have been used. In 1904, the whole structure would have been test assembled in the E. Finch yard at Chepstow, so that no holes would need drilling on site, just riveting up.
Our hearty congratulations go to the gang in the loco department who went for the heritage option, designed it, manufactured it, and finally erected it. Well done, lads!
We also thank our shareholders who helped pay for it, but look what quality you got for your money!
With all the assembly work done, a fair number of holes still remain to be drilled ( a bit under 500 in fact, but many have already been done) so here are some pictures of the finished product:
|A view through the canopy, from the southern end|
|A view from under the tree on platform 2|
|A few steps further back, a shot through the footbridge centre span. If only we could see it from above....|
|Mysteriously, a ladder appears and then this 'aerial' view is possible.|
Impressed? It was worth going the extra mile for a heritage job of which we can feel proud for many years.