The more-or-less regular gang of nine turned up today, despite a forecast of drizzle up to 9am, then midday, then later in the afternoon, and in fact it never stopped! It didn't deter us.
The day started with more deliveries.
BPS came with more cement, more blocks and more ballast. With all the infilling of the blocks, we are getting through the bags of ballast like a dose of salts. Plenty more were brought today, we hardly knew where to put them all.
More blocks came too. Where to put them all?
Not here.... Nooooooo
New recruit Peter had a bright idea - load them back onto the Transit (it brought some sleepers from Winchcombe) and drive them down on to the trackbed, thus saving us the effort of moving them by barrow.
We off loaded the sleepers from the Transit.
The sleepers are in treated softwood, and have been cut down to form the verticals that 'support' the planking at the front of the platform (which is really made of concrete blocks).
The BPS driver was persuaded to lift the pallets back on to our Transit, and 15 mins later it appeared at the bottom, where half was unloaded on each side.
Note that Jim managed to get himself into both pictures, but that's because he works so hard.
The Transit then vanished again, only to reappear at the top.
In fact we worked out that, as with the blocks, it was easier to take everything down to the trackbed via the Transit.
All the time it drizzled steadily. We decided to see if we could sit it out with a tea break as it was forecast to fizzle out by lunch time, but no such luck. In the end we just took the bull by the horns and got stuck in.
The second team continued with concrete infilling, trying to stay ahead of Tim and Lyndon.
The concreting was pretty hard work, certainly for the mixers and barrow wheelers, so there was a bit of job rotation.
Jim G, Peter, Julian and Yours truly shovelled and stuffed the concrete into the holes, while Paul, Dave and Jim H were on mixers and barrows.
It's strangely satisfying to see the mix being gulped up by the holes. When you give them a good poke with a stick, they settle down and some more is poured in.
Per mixer load that's 10 shovels full of ballast scooped out of a half empty dumpy bag, with capricious sides that fold in and won't let you take the full shovel out. Two of cement, and a bucket of water. You have to get it right every time, or complaints come up from below.
On receiving a phone call from Ops, we cleared the trackbed and stood aside for a special PWay train that trundled through.
In total today, we filled in just under 100 holes. A barrow load of concrete fills just 3 holes, so that would mean that the mixer crew made up and barrowed just about 33 loads. Pretty good.
We reckon we are now 2/3 of the way down the platform with infill and fifth row. We have reached the gap that we have left ourselves to access the trackbed.
Time to go home for a hot shower and a nice cup of tea.
If you want to see where the train of sleepers went, check out the extension blog.