Given the low temperature, we decided to delay the start of corbelling for an hour or so.
After a decent while, Minnie the Mixer was fed with sand and cement, which she soon spat out into the wheelbarrow.
For the rest, she behaved herself, and gave us 8 barrows of mortar for corbelling. Well done, Minnie!
Down on the trackbed, Jim gave corbelling lessons, as we felt we needed more working parties on this job, before the real frosts come.
Jim goes into the finer details of the art of corbelling, while Julian and Dave look on, spellbound.
No passing trains today, alas. It normally adds that bit of extra interest.
The southern half of the platform wall was addressed by the planking team today
They laid out the uprights, and measured up the spaces to make up individual bays, each one to be fitted with 4 planks.
Jim made up a spreadsheet which records every stage of the process for each bay, which he numbered.
The bacon butty judging panel then assembled outside and considered carefully. One panel member was less happy with his 'bacon butty with extra mouse'.
The corbelling teams placed quite a challenge on the mortar and brick supply teams, and at one point a former chairman's sports car was in grave danger of possibly receiving a slight scratch from a wonky pallet of bricks. Julian saved the day here, removing each brick with great delicacy, so as not to cause a collapse (a bit like the game of 'pick up sticks').
The generator was checked, but nothing wrong here.
Paul pressed harder, and harder, and even harder, but to no effect. The drill refused to go any deeper.
Finally, the panel of experts now assembled behind him offered the solution: the drill was going round in reverse.
Other heritage news
The Hayles Abbey halt reconstruction being led by our Heritage Group, we can report the successful acquisition of a rare GWR yard lamp through a member of the group.
What is a yard lamp then?
GWR cast iron lamp posts came in 3 sizes:
No. 1: 6' 1 1/2'' above ground. For lighting platforms
No. 2: 8' 1 1/2'' above ground. For lighting larger platforms/roads, with ladder bar
No. 3: 13' 6'' above ground, for lighting larger areas, typically railway yards, with ladder, platform and hexagonal top.
Your chances of finding an original one decrease with the size of the post, so we are very lucky to have been offered one for sale, in particular with its ladder still attached, which is quite rare. Below is a drawing of one on the left, and the actual post we acquired, in situ, on the right.
You can see that the post is equipped with its original ladder, but has a non - original top.
A top to the original shape can be obtained from a specialist manufacturer, and we are currently looking into this. It should be much larger and hexagonal, as in the drawing.
Then task looked somewhat daunting when a substantial bed of concrete was discovered around the base.
To our delight, the owner felled the post for us, and even took off the concrete jacket. Brilliant!
More headscratchings ensued with the recovery team, as it lay on a lawn, out of reach of the recovery truck we planned to use. This was kindly provided at cost by Paul, a supporter of the railway.
The post weighs half a ton....
It couldn't be rolled because of the platform attached to it.
Mark and John of the loco dept. have been most helpful. They have some shotblasting work coming up, and the post can be treated at the same time, which will give it an excellent, rust free future. We also agreed on a representative location for the post:
We'd like to thank Mark and John of the loco dept for their help, Peter, Terry and Paul for the use of the lorry and help with the recovery, and last but not least, John for extracting it on his own, and moving it to the fence, which removed two big logistical headaches for us. Thank you all!