Sunday 27 May 2018

Signage and the gala

No volunteering on the PWay this Saturday, due to an important mission to secure a cast iron sign for Broadway.

Mission accomplished, is the good news. But first, work on the V boards at Broadway.

On Friday a small group set about mounting the original V board from Bletchington station - generously donated by a well wisher - after restoration by a volunteer.

It was found in the wreckage of the station during demolition, and we are delighted to be able to use it, unchanged, over the platform doorway for the booking office at Broadway.

The original brackets were designed to be bricked in during construction, so we had to make up a new set, which are being bolted on here by Peter.

The interesting bit with a V board is the angled bar and hooks that attach it to the facade. Peter had made a replica set, and is here drilling a long hole right through the brickwork under the corbelling. The hook above has a long threaded bar on it and a nut inside the roof. This allows it to be repositioned in and out a little bit, in order to get the board perfectly level.

Then came the big moment. It was screwed on from underneath, and the bar with the hooks attached to the top. Would it be level?

It was !

Here it is in situ, compared to the first two by the toilets. Now on to the next one....

The next one will be over the front door. It needed a lot of head scratching and pen sucking. It had to be the same height, so which brick is that?

What would it look like when up? There wasn't a V board here before, but neither was the door with its canopy.

We also have plans to widen the canopy to extend over the two windows, because at the moment it does not work well as a shelter from rain, and looks a little odd being so small. You can see that it is actually wet underneath.

The new boards will hang here, but of course we will have to change 'OUT' to 'IN'.

We are considering having more letters cast (4 inch and 6 inch) to make up these boards, as well as REFRESHMENTS on the platform side.

If you have any spare letters that you could give us, (4 inch or 6 inch) that would of course save a lot of trouble and costs. We also need two 'Fingers'.

Meanwhile in the cafe, there is slow but steady progress. The walls have been painted yellow and the interior woodwork will be Brunswick green.

Mike is busy here, while earlier Neal had completed the skirting boards, and we have agreed a price and a source for the new slate fireplace. The order should go out any day now. It was entirely sponsored by a group of well wishers who were willing to pay that an original black slate fireplace would go in. We have used an original at Toddington to get the shape and sizes. A grate and hearth are also part of the deal, thanks to the external funding.

Now, back to that cast iron bridge sign.

See it here on the right? (Above it is the WAY OUT that we have, but not the pointing finger it should come with)

An alert reader drew our attention to a recent auction of railwayana, and yesterday two of us duly set off in the hope of acquiring it for Broadway. Fingers crossed...

And..... mission accomplished! Against fierce postal bid competition, and by putting our hands very deeply into our pockets, we managed to get it. It is the correct size and with the correct wording (a later version no longer 'requested' people to use the footbridge, but told them to do it rather more bluntly). A bottle of wine is included in the picture to give a comparison for the size, it may have been consumed later in a rush of exuberance!
It is likely that we will have a duplicate cast by a friendly foundry, as a second one would have been located on P2.

Then, at last, our 2018 gala. Today was already the second day of the three. The decision to go for 2 ticket hatches at Broadway was a wise one, as they were both busy today, and we haven't even got that car park yet. We heard that yesterday was busy enough to make even the finance director smile - no mean feat, that. Today was slightly more muted as the weather forecast, as announced, was not so good but in practice it was fine and Broadway stayed dry all day (not so Toddington just 5 miles away, we heard).

'What's a push-pull service then?' 'We start the DMU and push the Pannier out of here, saves massively on coal, see?'
First one in and out today was the Pannier with the 3 car DMU. Although it was the first train into Broadway today, it was already pleasingly filled we noticed.

You didn't have to wait long to see the next one, and it was Dinmore Manor, steaming right through the station to the northern end, with a loco trailing behind.

That loco was one of our visitors, Britannia 70013 Oliver Cromwell. What a smashing engine that is. Here it is pulling its fully loaded 8 coach train and Dinmore Manor out of the station.

When it returned after lunch, we took a video from under a tree beyond the goods shed, which you can watch here:

The film concludes with a lovely whistle as the train accelerates down the hill beyond the Childswickham Road bridge.

The next visitor to Broadway was the long awaited King. It faced north, so was a bit trickier to photograph into the sun, but 'luckily' the weather started to cloud over and Joe Public was still clustering around the station building, until the train stopped.

The arrival of the King shows perfectly how the length of the new platforms was calculated when we built them - 8 coaches, with a loco at each end by the ramp. It fits perfectly.

The 'future maintenance' container is almost hidden by the lamp hut, but perhaps it can be removed one day?

A second shot of the King was possible when the topped and tailed train pulled out of the station again a few minutes later (some turn around times were very smart at 9 minutes) and here it is passing the new BOOKING OFFICE V board.

The loco is being admired by our Routemaster bus driver, who (on request) waited long enough before setting off for the village centre to allow people with cameras a shot of the leaving train. Very kind, that.

Here is the Routemaster outside the station building. This too was well patronised. On ordinary days it is a taxi service with an MPV.

The next train - all you had to do to see them all was sit there with a cup of tea and wait - was hauled south by our very own resident loco 35006 P&O.

Here are driver and fireman waiting for the off from the guard further down the platform.

Tea and biscuits were provided today by the Broadway volunteers from a tent on the platform, and hopefully soon from the cafe itself. Takings were brisk, we heard.

P&O's train was backed up the the CVR USA loco 5197. It was a bit of a Marmite loco, some loved it, some pretended (we hope) to dislike it. We loved it, especially the atmospheric whistle. Today's Broadway stationmaster was certainly impressed.

Finally, an extra word about the surplus lamp posts in the yard at Winchcombe.

We've got a total of 7 (possibly 9) of them, of which 6 are identical to the top three here.

The cost is £150 + VAT each. They are sold by the plc, anyone interested can contact the office.


  1. Congratulations on acquiring the "Bridge" sign, a worthy addition! We visited the GWSR again on Saturday and I photographed the newly-installed booking office sign. The whole place looks wonderful, even though there is still platform 2 building etc to finish. I had a quick peek through the refreshment room windows and progress on it is indeed swift. Also very good to see a temporary refreshments gazebo by the footbridge. We had a great day, thanks to people like you who have motivated what seems like an army of support for this amazing railway. If someone had told me back in 2007 that I'd be taking a "Britannia" to and from Broadway Station, I'd have told them to dream on. Well done!

  2. Excellent pictures and captions.
    The B.O. sign does really look 'the Biz'.
    Well done on the footbridge sign.
    Regards, Paul.

  3. Thanks for the update and the good work. If you watch carefully 70013 also releases a smoke ring just before childswickham bridge. Graham

  4. Is it possibly worth keeping the lamp posts for use at the new station to be built at Pittville Park? Dennis Drinkwater.