Paul, ever solicitous of our welfare, was 'mother'.
'' TEA UP ''
Paul has a loud voice. It carries. It has to, it's a long site. We gallop towards the sound.
The tea is poured, the doughnuts are lined up. Men amble around with their hands in their pockets, waiting.
On his way to loading sleepers at Gotherington, Steve brought a pallet of blues for us. Good thinking, we will need quite a few of these when we start corbelling, which is soon.
Steve carefully deposited the 400 odd bricks on the platform, and continued on his way. The cigar lighter on his JCB isn't fixed yet, so he's in the Telehandler today.
|The new platform - will it fit? Neil eases by very carefully.|
There were several teams at work today, a luxury you can afford with 11 volunteers.
Tim and Lyndon inspect the inspection hatch, and add a little mortar here and there to finish it off.
Here is Dave at the northern end of the platform, filling in the last of the holes along here.
The mixer was very recalcitrant today, cutting out when swivelled, or sometimes just on a whim. Five minutes with a cup of tea in hand usually cured it, but then it would do it again. Arghhh !
Along the same northern section, Tim was dealing with the slope. Blocks had to be cut at an angle to make the slope, but some places made the cut blocks too thin, so mortar and concrete were used to achieve the transition from level to slope.
Just a handful of blocks now need laying here, and that's it for block laying, with the exception of the access gap in the middle.
Tim is first in the queue.
Tim had a go at levelling the ash and ballast infill with a shovel. It's quite a job, one that you would rather see done by a JCB, but no can do today.
Tim did rather well, don't you think?
The newly loaded sleepers will be taken up to Little Buckland, and the Dogfish then drawn forward to Stanton for loading of a further delivery of ballast, expected on Thursday.
This was called because we had come across an issue last week when we did the first test fitting. After the first 4 boards were in, it turned out that the posts were leaning sideways. Surely not? But they were.
Further investigation revealed that the boards had been sawn in half, slightly off centre. This meant that we had two stacks of boards, some this long, and some that. There was an inch of difference.
Here the boards are being laid out to have the lengths equalised with a circular saw.
Once all were the correct length, Jim H and Julian painted them in Creosote. This not only helps to preserve them, but also gives the right colour effect, as if they were a row of railway sleepers. Sticky work though, it gets everywhere.
With the boards now really starting to go up, we reckon that we can start some corbelling very shortly.
Next week - bacon butties !