We set out from Toddington, after lugging and pushing two heavy TB2 machines from their place of storage some distance along the trackbed until we reached a crossing, where we lifted them on to their trolleys.
Here you can see the fishplate greasing group at work. In the far distance is the first TB2 undoing the bolts, in the middle a group of two prising reluctant fishplates apart and greasing them, and in the foreground is the second TB2, doing the bolts up again.
Just because you have loosened the bolts it does not mean that you can apply grease to the fishplates. Almost always they are stuck to the rails and need a good bang with the keying hammer, followed by some levering them open with a jemmy.
After the picnic, we went back down again, doing another half mile along the other running rail, until we got back to Winchcombe again. We will be back next Monday to carry on, volunteers permitting. Ideally we need at least 5 - the bolt tightener needs an extra boot to hold the head of the bolt in while the nut is tightened. Not too hard that, is it?
Today, Wednesday, the normal and somewhat larger gang met. Our mission: ballast shovelling at Broadway (4 gangers) and at Winchcombe, removal and replacement of several fishplate bolts that had seized on Monday, thus preventing the greasing of the attached fishplate. It's never straightforward, this stuff!
We loaded all the materials for cutting bolts into the Landie, then jumped into the passenger seat for the short drive up the line.
Whoa! No can do, there is a Landrover exhaust system in there already. What the.......?
It was warm and muggy today, with a strong breeze too. The sky was dark and foreboding, as you can see in the picture. It is the longest day of the year too, bar one.
While we wait for the second one, John regales us with one of his interminable shaggy dog stories. This is the one that ends with 'a multi storey carp ark' and a number of us have heard it before. More than once too. Probably the reason John B (top) is staring at his boots.
After a while of working the 'animal' it feels so heavy that people are very grateful for a bit of help relieving the weight. Paul gets a helping hand from Dave and John here.
Back at the base we empty the Landie again, but find that the nearside rear tyre is very low.
Peter gave it a good lot of air from a compressor in one of the wagons.
|Can I start yet?
While we were at it, we just checked the other side as well. That was OK.
|A study in blue and green
If you have the time, why not take another look at the 'Early GWSR' Flickr site? Another 80 photographs of the 1980s have been added from John Lees' collection. And we're still only in 1986! There are a few more to come, and we will post them in batches after scanning and repair of blemishes arising after 30 years in storage. Those were the pioneering days...
John Lees joined in 1981 and has taken photographs of PWay work right from the beginning. With his private pilot's licence he also flew along the line twice, taking pictures from above. The latest batch just posted shows, inter alia, the pictures he took in 1984, during the second flight.