What a wonderful, crisp, sunny morning. The sun was out, the frost alarm went in the car, and the morning mist was hanging in the hills above Stanton. As one of the volunteers mused: ''If only we could bottle this''.
We decided to watch the mist swirl about the hills, sitting with tea outside the container.
No, dog, no.
Well, just the one then....
Jim H worked through two bags of ballast, while Jim G, Paul and John shoveled it in the holes and tamped it down.
Jim G brought his radio and balanced it between two of the deep holes. There, it led a charmed existence. Several times it nearly plunged to the bottom of one, neatly followed by a shovel full of concrete. We wondered if you would still hear it then, perhaps a little muffled?
A second team consisting of Tim and Lyndon made a stab at completing the block laying today.
Here you see them finishing the fifth row on the southern slope.
They then moved on to the northern slope.
''Did you hear that Lions do it three times a day?
Hell no, and I've just joined the Rotary.....''
The exact quality of this joke is illustrated by the fact (or maybe it's the age of the volunteers here) that it took Jim over a minute to realise the meaning of the punchline. Oh dear. Back to work, you lot.
Moving swiftly on, a start was made today in setting out the reproduction sleeper platform wall.
Here a site meeting is in progress, with a sample sleeper upright, and a strip over the top to hold it in place.
How's this going to work then? Neal has the answer, see further down the post how we did it.
Further down the platform, Dave has moved the back filling to the southern half. It's very satisfying, this.
Julian is giving precise hand signals, so that only a minimum of shovel work is required afterwards.
Neal is the man with the shovel, ready to pounce.
At the end of the day, this job was completed, with the exception of the last 5 blocks.
It means that all the block laying is now complete, bar the hole we left in the middle to access the trackbed. We're quite chuffed about that.
The upright sleepers are held back by strips screwed to the back of the block wall, which will eventually become hidden.
Finally, 'X' marks the spot, and the first upright sleeper is screwed into place.
Above it, a line of planks has been laid out so that they can be creosoted and test fitted, to work out the spacings.
The planks are being creosoted to give the right colour, and three rows of them will be fixed to the front, one above the other. See how that would look? (the ones in the picture are not yet in their place, just laid there to get the spacing right)
Next week, the last of the concreting. We hope. Another 4 bags of ballast are being ordered, as once again there is none left.
Finally, a question.
What is this cast iron object, found on site?
It seems to be broken off at the top, and has a T shaped groove cut into it in the middle. There is a bolt hole on the left. Something from a signal box frame perhaps? Any ideas? Jim's radio gives an idea of the scale.