|What do you mean, Multi Storey Carp Ark?
We even had the visit of Steve our JCB driver, out for a cup of tea and a biscuit, which we provided with a generous smile.
He did have to listen to a few jokes from John though, that is the price you pay for a free cup of tea and a ginger biscuit.
We set off for Gotherington Manor Lane again, to continue with the faults list from last week. It was a long, hot walk down to where we left off last week.
We had a small gang split off with the express purpose of lubricating the CWR breather at Bishops Cleeve. On the way they also lubricated the threads of the fishplate bolts.
That grease.... notice how close the tin is to Peter's leg. More of that later.
They then set off on the long, straight walk to the next station, where there is a stretch of CWR, with a breather at each end.
Notice the little dot in the top left corner?
It is an obligation imposed on us not only to acknowledge the whistle of the the loco, but to wave to every child on board (sigh). What is it about waving, but we instinctively all want to do it?
Behind the little gang is a vast new housing estate, which is marching outwards from Bishops Cleeve and getting nearer and nearer to the next peaceful village, Gotherington. Bovis, we heard, have already acquired that empty field.
Here's a picture of how we deal with the loose clips, by jacking up the rail, scraping the bed with a screwdriver (putting your finger under the rail is not a good idea) and then inserting an additional rubber pad. This takes up the extra room created by a worn, second hand sleeper.
Here is our access to the trackbed from Manor Lane. It sees quite a bit of use, not only from us but also from the Drainage Department, which has been working in the area.
|Honey, I'm home! Oh no you're not, you're sleeping in the garage tonight!
The greasing gang did both breathers at Bishops Cleeve, and walked all the way back, thus completing their 10.000 steps for the day.
The proximity of the grease tin to the user's leg had fatal consequences as you can see. And that stuff spreads all over the body, from the place where it first landed.
Further along the trackbed towards the new housing estate we found new broken glass in the four foot. This location meant that it could not have been thrown from the train (and we do not sell Magners, nor wine bottles priced at £13.99).
Somebody took them up here.
The graffiti was even dated. It coincides with a very unpleasant encounter with local youth here by the drainage gang.
We finished our day with a refreshing cup of tea outside the Coffeepot, where we met David and Diana B of Saturday and Wing Walking fame.
Today they came in mufti, giving their impressive Harley an outing, and thrilling us with the sound of it's thumping 1500cc twin engine.
Our third day of fishplate greasing. Great was our joy to find 5 volunteers in the mess coach first thing, a vast improvement on the three the previous Monday.
Somewhat tongue in cheek your blogger suggested an alternative to working in the unrelenting sun - how about greasing the fishplates in the tunnel?
Brilliant idea! We did exactly that, what a good way of avoiding sunburn.
Here we are pushing our 3 vehicles in the opposite direction, through Winchcombe station and up to Greet tunnel at the end of the cutting.
Greet tunnel is nearly 700yds long, and curved at one end, so you can't see through it. Quite light at the Winchcombe end, it gets darker and darker as you go in, until you are in total darkness in the area of the curve.
Here you can still see the Winchcombe end in the background. The TB2 in the foreground has loosened the fishplates, and the trolley crew are just applying the grease. At the rear is the second TB2, ready to do everything up again.
Here too we found fresh evidence of trespass, in the form of 3 shiny cider and beer cans of brands that we do not sell, plus a take away coffee cup, all together in a pile that would look much more scattered if thrown out of the window of a moving train.
While the trolley crew move on, Dave on the second TB2 tightens the fishplate bolts again.
Aren't these smartphone cameras flexible? These pictures, albeit a little blurred, were taken in the depths of the tunnel, and without flash.
Here the leading TB2 is a silhouette, with the light equipped trolley just arriving from the previous job. We're right in the middle of the curve, so there is no light visible at either end.
|Group photograph of the relaying gang at Greet, 14th May 1988, taken by John Lees.
Wanna know who they were? Well, here goes:
Left to right back row :- Jim Wooldridge, Ivor Dixon, (Unknown), John Tucker, Bob Mackintosh, Mike Howse.
Left to right front row :- Charles Martin, Garry Owen, (Unknown), Dave Heathcote, Steve Long, Chris Bagley, John Randall, Ed Bound, Tom Couling, (Unknown), Malcolm Hill.
Lurking in the tunnel is a class14.
Believe it or not, two of this happy group are still regular volunteers on the track gang today: Steve Long, and Ivor Dixon. Garry Owen, former HOD, drops in to help in the mess coach too. Not forgetting John Lees, who took the picture, who is also often found out on Saturdays still.
After lunch, we worked our way back through the tunnel doing the other rail, and mid afternoon our little gang of 5 emerged again at the Winchcombe end, blinking in the bright sunlight, and somewhat greasier and blacker than before.
Greasier and blacker? It's because of this 'Advanced Lubrication'.
And we thought it was just oily black stuff. Boy, it sure gets everywhere, no matter how careful you are.
Afterwards you have to drive home...
This is an interesting development. Why the new cable? Because the siding with the 3rd rake on it is going to be completely relaid and (partially) straightened. The old cable ran an irregular path and would be in the way. The siding improvement is for C&W who want a proper running stock siding, on which they can do light maintenance without having to lie in the dirt, or scrabble around for water and electricity.
The relay has nothing to do with the possible location for a carriage storage shed, the site of which is being discussed at this very moment. A recent investigation looked at siting it on the other side of the running line here, at the back on the right and reaching right to the gates of the yard, where the decrepid stock is currently parked. This would give a full 8 coach length, and on firm ground. Other factors also play with the location, and we await the final decision.
A further fishplate greasing session will take place on Monday (perhaps combined with the replacement of 6 bolts in the tunnel while we have a possession) so do come and help.