Biscuits! That was the answer. Unfortunately, sometimes you can have several answers to the same question, and this is how we ended up with a table full of them. Great minds clearly think alike.
|This one is empty, Peter!
- Fishplate replacement at Gotherington (4 volunteers)
- Moving sandbags into position for the wartime event (8 volunteers)
- Shovelling ballast at Broadway. (1 volunteer)
The fact that the majority of the volunteers quickly put their hands up for sandbag carrying may surprise, until you learn that they are filled with sawdust. Not so heavy after all. On the other hand ballast shovelling at Broadway recruited but a single voice, but Robert continued doggedly from shovelling last week, and thanks to this admirable determination he is making good progress there.
We will be based at Toddington for not much longer, soon our mess coach and tool van will return to Winchcombe.
Today then we glimpsed the start of a new development for Toddington, the very first preparations for the new messing facilities for the loco department. Here their compressor hut is being moved to a new location, to vacate the space where the new extension will go on the end of the goods shed.
The first address was MP 16 at Gotherington.
We have a number of vehicle access points along the line, and this is one of the more discreet ones, at the end of a winding lane.
From the top, there is a majestic view of a straight piece of track all the way to Bishops Cleeve.
On the left is the defective fishplate, which has developed a crack. The track walkers have spray paint with them to identify the one with the problem, and this makes it easy for us to find them.
The next one was in the same area, a bit further north at Gotherington loop. As the track changes from single to double track here, we couldn't drive the Landie any further so had to carry the heavy gear the rest of the way.
Another quick change here, just inside Gotherington loop.
Weighted down with a keying hammer in the 4 foot is the fault report, which we need to consult to see where exactly the next one is located.
Unfortunately we were then subjected to a rain storm which ruined the paperwork, so had to find the third one from memory.
On the way back, we found this cap by the lineside:
As we waited to cross, Foremarke Hall got permission to enter the station.
Last thing in the afternoon we went to replace the fourth cracked fishplate, which was found at Broadway on a track walk only last Saturday. How's that for service!
Again there was a heavy shower. We replaced that one PDQ, then had the opportunity to film Foremarke hall leaving the station with its heavy train:
Monday at Broadway.
Yours truly went to erect GWR signage but ran into an Asparagus celebration. On this non-running day an entire 8 coach train had been chartered to mark the start of the Asparagus season. On offer was a return from Broadway to CRC, and it was heartening to see how quickly we were being adopted by the local community for their celebrations.
On Sunday the station was bedecked with English flag bunting, and a bunch of giant Asparaguses (Asparagi?) was planted around the station.
It was perfectly clear what the celebration was about !
The fully booked train was waved off by Gus Asparagus, in full costume including green wellies and a green beard.
How that must have itched...
The train then set off for CRC, where further celebrations took place.
The public was invited to purchase tickets by the organisers, and did so in large numbers. The train was a great success, even making the local TV news.
A quick Google check on the headlamp code here reveals this to be a
''Parcels, newspaper, fish, meat, fruit, milk, horsebox, cattle or perishable train composed entirely of vacuum-fitted stock with the vacuum pipe connected to the engine. Express freight, livestock, perishable or ballast train partly vacuum fitted with not less than one-third vacuum braked vehicles connected by vacuum pipe to the engine''
Perhaps the perishables were the Asparagus? A great day, in any case.
We erected a fourth post at the northern end of P1, so all that remains to be done now on this little heritage job is to complete lettering the other two cast iron signs, so that they too can be bolted on, probably on Friday.
There are also high hopes that the long awaited canopy lamps will arrive that day. It all depends on the courrier, so don't hold your breath, but it could be that special day.