Wednesday 6 February 2019


The well populated PWay team split itself into three units today.

- team one went to Broadway to assist the S&T department in threading the comms cable from Toddington to Broadway under the line, and further along, back again.
- team two went to Winchcombe to unload concrete sleepers
- team three continued with the winter relay at Toddington.

Team one reported at lunch time that they had threaded once, and went back to continue.

Team two spent quite some time at Winchcombe yard waiting for the lorry to arrive from the NE with just under 100 second (third?) hand concrete sleepers.

Eventually (sigh) the lorry arrived, having waited in a layby not far from its destination until prodded by its owner to make an appearance.

This is the third of 4 deliveries, all ex - NYMR relay.

Some are better than others (the ones we saw were all quite useable) so we are paying 2 different prices according to quality, and will use some on the main line and others in sidings, such as for the new carriage shed.

Winchcombe yard also has the original Henley in Arden roof hoops from the staircases. You can see that they are fairly well rusted, especially the lower ends where wood met steel.

We have reproduced these in new, and a start has been made in fitting them at Broadway - see below.

At Toddington there is a seemingly endless number of chairs that need to be bolted down, fishplates to be drilled and Panlocks to be put on - 500 sleepers worth.

Is that an S2 chair I see there? It is ! Fie, you S2!

The bolts needed liberal applications of black, liquid grease - luckily we had John for that.

Behind, the TB2 is being used to screw down the bolts inserted by the team in the foreground.

All these rails were loosely laid in on Saturday, and our job was to smarten the whole thing up with the remaining chairs and fishplates.

One last pair of rails remains to be laid. We will do that when we know the exact length required.

The gap for the last pair of rails is here in the foreground, while at the back is the long section already relaid and bolted up that stretches all the way down to the signal box.

More 25Kg chairs lie in the cess, ready to be shoved in under the rails. After a while they become heavier, strange.

500 sleepers = 1000 of these chairs to be picked up and wriggled under the rails.

Here's one for your scrap book - a view of the loco yard from above. On the right some of the cable troughs removed from P2 at Broadway.

Towards the end of the afternoon the chair placing team was nearing the end of the rails laid so far. Good work, lads !

The S&T dept. are counting on a hot summer this year and are having sun shades fitted to Toddington box
Work on replacing the sliding windows on the signal box was well advanced today.

Broadway progress

The canopy team, aided and abetted by a member of the Broadway gang, arrived on P2 at Broadway on Monday and peered at the staircase roof hoops.

Which one goes where?

Soon after the first one was up. It's currently secured by 3 bolts on each side, but these will be replaced by proper rivets before we go much further.

Two more followed, after we worked out in which order they had to go. They all look very similar, but each one has its place, and it was a miracle - or perhaps Neal's professionalism - that all the holes corresponded perfectly.

At the end of the day we had three up, with the last and lowest one still do do. It shouldn't take very long, we'll fit that one in when we have a spare few minutes.

In the golden light of the setting sun you can get a better idea of the size of the staircases.

The two hoops on the intermediate landing are still a bit out of true as we had to use smaller bolts. The holes lined up +/- OK but there was baked in metal after the galvanising and we need to drill that out to make the holes big enough for the final rivets.

Down by the council car park new signposts have been planted.

Not only can our customers use the car park soon (early March) but we get a free bit of advertising.

The actual car park entrance is a bit further to the right, it didn't all fit in the first picture.

Lighting and some signage have been fitted. The parking meters are not yet in place though.

Inside the future Broadway cafe the replica GWR clock has been fitted and it is reported to be running well. It really was 8 minutes past three when the picture was taken!

What would improve the Edwardian look further would be Bakelite sockets and switches. These have been sourced and costed, but the will to spend a few £100 is sadly not there.

The white ceiling and yellow walls should be separated by a moulded picture rail. Our bigger brother the SVR have just done this with their new cafe at Bridgnorth. You can see the effect here:

A picture showing the walls of the recently built cafe appears in the second row of photographs in the above link. Why can't we do that? It is how rooms looked 100 years ago. We have the knowledge.

This is where the counter is going.

If you follow the C&W blog, you can see that they are making a terrific job of it, together with a three part wall unit consisting of shelving and a central mirror. Great ! It looks just the part, and it was copied from a photograph of the real thing.

Outside, Neal was pumping dry the trench which will receive the concrete base for the newel posts at the end of the steps. He then dug out a few corners to make it square, ready to receive the concrete next week.

On the platform, the V board announcing REFRESHMENTS has been made up, and it looks great.
Its origin is a board with BOOKING & TELEGRAPH OFFICE acquired at a railwayana auction. The BOOKING OFFICE & part will be re-used for a V board over the entrance, still to be made up. The TELEGRAPH letters have gone into store.

Is this right?

Peter from the Broadway gang is a wonderfully skilled smith who made all the metal parts for fitting the V board in authentic style over the cafe door.

Here the board is getting a test fitting.

And then it was up. REFRESHMENTS are go! Now you can look down a line of 4 V boards. There will be a fifth eventually, under the new canopy extension. This will say 'WAY OUT' and have a pointing hand to show the way. We have procured all the replica letters for it, it's just a question of getting the new board made up.

Inside the cafe 28 tables and chairs have been sourced, and there are piles of crockery, coolers, tableware et all waiting to be set out. The kitchen has had its worktops fitted, tiling applied and a sink fitted. We are revving up for an opening in March.

More scripted benches like the ones in the picture are also being sourced, after we saw that some arriving trains had full benches and more people waiting around the platforms without a seat. Our new season reopening is not far away now, what will it bring in terms of visitors? Have you tried our new car park and cafe yet?

A final look at the station today, showing the new REFRESHMENTS V board in the background.

We should also be able to place some replica posters and poster boards, giving the place more colour. The original station had poster boards in every available space, so we are working on that.


  1. Well done on the relay.
    What a difference the new sign makes at Broadway.
    The room would look good with a picture rail.
    Regards, Paul.

  2. Thanks for the update, Jo. Yes, it's obvious looking at the SVR and Broadway pictures - Broadway looks too modern with the wall colour going up to the ceiling. I remember having a picture rail in my parents' house - removed in the 1960s I think to bring things up to date! Shouldn't be too expensive to do provided you can get some nice moulding. Re the sockets - those white ones really do stand out. I see that a bakelite double 13A outlet is between £15 to £20, but black plastic are around the £5 mark. Black would be a bit less conspicuous don't you think, if the brown bakelite ones are out of reach pricewise?

  3. Time I think for a whip round for those bakelite sockets.Put me down for one!

  4. It's not about the money. We have £200.

  5. A great blog as usual Jo.

    It is good to see such excellent progress on all fronts especially with the continued development at Broadway. I can’t wait to see the finished foot bridge steps and the V boards look good.

    Inside the refreshment room I think that the installation of a picture rail and the ceiling paint shade applied above it will look good and may give the impression of a wider room. You have my vote for Bakelite electrical fittings so go wild and spend your £200.



  6. Edwardian Style Refreshments

    Directors, are we spoiling the ship for a hap'eth of tar?

    Like many shareholders, I would like to see the heritage of our railway maintained. The SVR refreshment room (1910) is an excellently balanced Edwardian interior. Broadway (1904)and GWSR is creating a non-traditional room with a high ceiling and a narrow corridor-like appearance. A picture rail would compliment the dado rail, wainscoting, period fireplace, clock and lighting. The original GWR design can be copied from Toddington, where there is some excellent woodwork.

    In our Welsh stone cottage (coincidentally 1904) every room has an Edwardian picture rail with the white ceilings painted down to the rails. All pictures, collages and icons are suspended in the traditional manner.
    As for the "hap'eth of tar ", I will fund a picture rail. You have brilliant, versatile craftsmen who could carry out this work.

    We are not just a commercial company but an organisation that must preserve the historical provenance of the GWSR for the future.

    Mike Rose - committed shareholder.

  7. I'm still not really clear on how these decisions are made. I can't imagine directors busying themselves worrying about expenditure of a few hundred quid, they're more worried about the thousands, so I don't think there's much point criticising them, I doubt they had much to do with it. I suspect these sorts of decisions are made a bit lower down the management chain.

    I don't think you can get around the corridor like appearance, we're trying to squeeze a cafe into a building shape that is just a narrow booking office and waiting room type shape.

    Happily, unlike some previous contentious items, these things are relatively simple to replace, and if the money's there I really can't see why any reasonable person could object to those things being done. In the short term it's still looking really good, finishing touches can come later if necessary - much like the posters and signs on the station itself which progress every time.


  8. Stratford Railway Club have given all its takings from our monthly talks to fund furniture and other catering items for the new Tearoom , which it will be called . Many of us feel that we should give a voucher to those visitors buying a car park ticket to be spent in the Tearoom or the Shop at Broadway , rather than just money off which is unnecessary .

    A few sheckles from us all can enable the finer details to be added in the Tearoom to make it authentic and pleasing . john M.

  9. The Tea Room looks good, so Jo, We will put £50 into the fund for replacement sockets and switches if that helps, tell us were to send to please. We also need to keep ahead of the SVR with our themed stations, we are sure that other blog readers and shareholders would also be ready to chip in with a few quid each. Do we need all need to start another whip round if so we are prepared to take the donations and put the money in in one go once it is all there. Don't know if this is something we can legaly do but we are prepared to assist although from a distance! Your and blog readers comments readily accepted.
    Paul & Marion

  10. if you send a donation to GWRT and be specific and confirm where and what you want it spent on ie Tearoom fittings at Broadway ,the money should be allocated to this good cause and finish the room ready for the new season . john M.

    1. Jo has said that money isn't the issue, but that said, if there's money sitting in a GWRT account that can *only* be used for certain things, I find it hard to imagine it will sit there untouched due to some people's stubbornness...

  11. Surely the debate about electrical fittings is that modern 13A three pin outlets weren't introduced until Circa 1960, so aren't Edwardian. On the other hand, period fittings don't meet modern safety standards. The least obtrusive modern fittings would appear to provide a good compromise.
    Graham (Teifi Valley)

  12. The debate about what is appropriate for the Tea room shows as usual the potential for human beings to see things differently. To put things in proportion I'd be curious to know whether Broadway had any electric supply when opened. And just how many GW stations the size of Broadway had refreshment rooms ? I didn't support the provision of the Tea room because I thought it would be "authentic" but because I believed it necessary to the business of satisfying the visitor. And if the room is full of them no-one is going to even see the sockets anyway.

  13. The easiest and most cost effective switches and sockets to get are the brass Georgian style. These are much better than the modern white version and would be more in keeping with the period of the room. Alternatively they can also be obtained with various wood finishes - double sockets are around £15 each.

  14. It was1910 before a third round earth pin was added to the round two pin electrical socket at the time and these were single rather than double. Electrical appliances were in their infancy and very expensive, only around in wealthy dwellings. Also one per room if you were lucky, that's if electricity was available. There was no national grid, electric was supplied by local companies at different voltages, AC or DC there was no standard till later. The the thing the station can do is situate the sockets for a purpose hidden from show and any sockets needed for a vacuum and such, camouflage and keep to a minimum. That make sockets with a flush front plate that can be either wallpapered or painted to blend in with the decor, they use them at some historical houses of the National Trust. Light switches can be a round dolly switch they once had they now make replicas of.

  15. The trouble is, there's no such thing as an authentic Edwardian 3-pin socket. Even the supposedly 'period' style sockets on the market look exactly like what they are - modern sockets with a brown, black, wooden or brass finish. Frankly, you could get the same 'period' effect by just painting the white sockets brown.

    If I was really keen to hide the sockets, I would recess them into the wall by about 20mm and put a little hinged flap over them, so they'd vanish into the panelling when not in use. But that is perhaps a fussy solution to what is, after all, a small issue. Why not just put the sockets in unobtrusive locations, like on the sides of the chimney breast, so they won't be immediately visible?

    Incidentally, my house was built in 1906 and had electricity from new. Some of the original wiring is still present (although not in use). It's interesting to see how the Edwardians did it: two cloth-covered wires in steel conduit - no earth wire. I assume it used the metal conduit as earth (if it was earthed at all). As far as I can gather, there were no wall sockets of any kind, although that wasn't a problem in 1906. There were hardly any domestic electrical appliances at the time - certainly none that the occupant of a small terraced house could afford.

    Later, it became usual to plug appliances into the light sockets using a little bayonet plug - a method which was still common decades later. I remember my grandmother doing it in her 1960s bungalow. I think I've still got her light-socket plugs tucked away somewhere, if anyone wants to demonstrate this authentic period practice at Broadway!

  16. OK everyone, lets stop the nit picking! we will put the money in to the account as John Mayell has said above. So if we do have these sockets already fitted then yes, lets try to camoflage them from immediate sight and just move on from what is becoming a laboured commentry. We all agree to be different. All we want is Broadway to look the part, we are not in a competition to make the most acurate model of the station. But you all have to agree that the volunteers who have built this beautiful station have done a great job. Lets not spoil the finished article with major debates over the electrical fittings please? Can we all now say debait over and move on please? As an aside, Michael Johnson's comment about his grandmothers antics with bayonet plugs, gosh, I remember my mother doing that with the iron plugged into the ceiling light!!!OH HAPPY DAYS!
    Paul & Marion.

    1. Agreed with that, but before we lay this discussion to rest can I just suggest that whatever solution is agreed on we really don't want to go down the road of painting the existing white sockets, as once you start plugging things into them the paint will get scratched and knocked off.

    2. The project manager asked me to source more appropriate fittings to replace the white ones, which were temporary.
      I did this, but so far the job has not been done.
      We do not need money for this.

    3. I too remember my mother plugging the iron into the light 'flex' (as we called it). Thinking about it. It was quite a dangerous practice as lighting wire had noe earth then and the iron itself had only two wires. Glad to say that no accident happened when the iron was in use but it so easily could have.
      Further to my comment about G.W.R opposed to GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY at the top of notice boards, if you look closely at the large one at Gotherington, you can just make out that it was lettered GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY. I now remember a standard size board coming from Cradley Heath and Cradley station that was lettered thus but I never saw one lettered G.W.R, only on the posters themselves. It doesn't really matter as one of my S.V.R friends used to say when we put in bottled gas lighting at Arley, "If it looks like it ought to be there, then it will be accepted as correct".
      Regards, Paul.
      Regards, Paul.

    4. P.S. There was never any 'Town gas' at Arley.
      Regards, Paul.