First thing, Julian was already on site (he's very keen, our Jules) and busy getting the kettle all steaming so that arrivals could enjoy a good cuppa on this frosty morning.
Shortly afterwards, Lucky the Dalmatian galloped up and gave us the onceover, but without finding anything. Dang !
A rival dog later in the day would be more lucky... Stevie's Gypsy called at lunchtime, and had half a hamburger. Didn't seem to appreciate it though, just looked hungry for more.
Last week, no fewer than 6 people tried fruitlessly to start Minnie the Mixer.
This week, we had to have a plan.
Here is Dave, giving her some TLC. She is having her oil level checked, the lucky girl. We don't do that every day, you know. Mmmmmmmm.
Next to the pampering, some bribery was tried.
This worked, as Minnie then sang into life on the second pull!
You've got to know how to treat them....
Here they could be trimmed and improved. This natural sandstone suffers from spalling, so we turn them upside down, and remove any loose layers.
Dave D is having a go with the bolster.
Later, Dave D also had a go with the disk cutter, and this always attracts a crowd.
Much more success in this today, thanks to a new cutting disk. Another treat from us. We spoil our people.
The slabs ex CRC2 come in all sorts of lengths, and here is a long one, about 5ft in fact.
With our special slab handling grabs (patent pending) this big one is carefully manoeuvered across to the area where we were laying, i.e. the northern end of the platform.
A thick bed of mortar is applied, and the slab gently lowered down. It is deliberately laid a bit too high, so that we can tamp it down to the right level, using a heavy fence post which is ideal for the job.
No firm news on finishing the landscaping yet though, maybe in a fortnight. We are in a queue. Platform work is slowly coming to a close, so we need to prepare the next jobs, one of which is the laying of the slab for the hut.
In betwen all the slabbing and brick laying, Tom is calmly working his way down the platform, applying a final layer of creosote.
Looks good, doesn't it?
Yes they did !
Here is Julian with the very last brick laid at the new Hayles Abbey Halt.
All that remains to be done here now is the placing of the edging slabs.
The replica running in board is going to be made by the Building and Services gang, for which we are very grateful. They also made the CRC2 board, so have the experience. For the first time on the GWSR, the letters will be in cast metal, another step up in the quality of the build. We also have 2 trespass notices, the one we found on site (currently being repaired) and a second bought on Ebay. Just need some bridge rail to fix them on now.