Monday, 27 February 2017

Jim H's jottings

...and excellent photographs!

Unfortunately your blogger had to go in for a check up today, so couldn't make Hayles. The gang carried on regardless, with great photographs from Jim, as you will see.

We thought we'd kick off with a picture of long ago (or so it seems), namely 22nd July 2016. We had just started building the block wall. Today we put the last slab on, so check out the comparative picture at the end of the blog and see how we did.

There were 9 of us today, despite the rather dire forecast. Plus Steve, who dropped in first thing to discuss the size and position of the slab, which we hope he can excavate on a mid-week day in the near future. Lucky the Dalmatian arrived late, we were already at work, so he missed out on the pleading stare and remainders of doughnuts. Got to get out of the basket earlier than that, Lucky!

We had two Johns on the mixer today, hope they looked after Minnie OK, as she likes her oil level.

The objective today was to lay the last three slabs, and to carry on with the fence posts and hand rail.
Here are Dave D and Pete laying the first of these three, despite several prolonged showers.

The second, rather large slab then went on at the top of the slope, leaving just one last one to be done to close the gap.
Finally it was the turn of the final and last slab, just a small one. It was so short that it didn't fit our slab holders (too long) but the slab was so short that it could be lifted in by hand, which is what we did.
Here is the proud gang that did the deed. We feel so chuffed, we're going to treat ourselves to a lunch out, favouring a local gastronomic location whose owner actually went to school using our original halt. We had to go there!

Today's objectives were to finish laying the last 3 slabs,  sort out how to fit the handrail and install another 2 handrail posts, plus try to set the edging board at the back of the platform and level out the infill in anticipation of having the roller in the near future.

It was at this point that we ran out of cement, which was just as well, as we had finished. A bit was left for some more fence posts though, just about.

Weren't we half pleased with our last slab, and to find that the RAF had favoured us with a special Chinook fly - by. Hats off to them, guys!

After the slabbing finale, we addressed our cunning to the vexed question of the angle that the handrail pipe should take through the posts.

Paul and Julian scratch their heads over this.

We must have got something right, because the first length of pipe is in, and straight away we had our first customer.

How's it leaning Jim? Just right?

Two extra posts were put in at the top end; to do any more is a bit tricky as the container is in the way. We probably need another 2 - 3 posts here though.

Here the extra posts are in, and you can see the handrail coming towards the camera. All but one length have been put in, which is a relief because it was very tiresome having to haul out all the pipes from the container every morning, they completely blocked the access.

Paul, assisted by Julian and John, eventually managed to sort out how to drill the hand rail posts.  Paul holds the post, Julian is on the drill, and John gave instructions either up or down to keep the angle correct. 
Lyndon also spent some time levelling the platform infill, in expectation of a day with the roller from Broadway. However, the conclusion was that we really need Steve to skim the infill a bit, so that we can set the boards for the rear of the platform. In the picture we had a go at setting the levels, but ran out of energy (the rain....) so only got the one peg in.

A surprise visitor today - you never know what might come along, even in the closed season - was the return of the tamper, here on its way with the ballast regulator to finish off the ballasting at the Winchcombe relay site. It will be there for several days, prior to services resuming.

Finally, here is the comparative photograph next to the July one at the beginning of this post. This is what Hayles Abbey Halt looked like at the end of today. Didn't they do well, it's almost finished? Well, there is plenty more to do, don't worry.


  1. Why is Paul drilling the handrail posts with a saw?

    1. Ah, you had to have been there, Paul ;-)

  2. Nice to see Lyndon at his post!!

  3. I'm glad that you got the right "angle of dangle" on the handrail! Looking good!

  4. Incredible work by you guys, looking at the "before and after" photos. It's amazing what can be achieved with the help of tea, hot food and Lucky. He must be a station mascot! All grease to those elbows.

  5. Yes, does look somewhat different! You deserve the lunch trip. Regards, Paul.

  6. Cn you say when the hut will arrive as I need my summer residence to be wind and waterproof, the handrails seem to be just the right height as well!(LOL) As for using the saw to drill holes, is this not a standard procedure for Paul to do it a different way? Anyway, special lunch is well deserved by the team, great work on this project and so close to completion. Well done to all.
    Paul & Marion

  7. Great work, I'm looking forward to using the halt soon. Graham