It was a modest number of volunteers that turned up - only seven of us. Four 'rain wimps' were absent - we know your names! It did rather lead to an 'embarras de richesse' in doughnuts, and there were 4 left over at the end of the day, with no one willing to eat or take them, as we were all full up with cheeseburger.
|Still clutching his mug of tea, Paul watches the arrival of a dumpy bag of ballast.|
We sat and discussed the low numbers of volunteers today, and of course Nicola Sturgeon, a popular topic when Paul is there.
A toot sent us out to see what there was, and it was BPS with a back-up load of ballast, needed to complete the concrete base for the shelter.
Minnie the Mixer was reported to be struggling to start, and this was because she was not used to the new team of Dave P and Paul who were 'using' her today. They also cheated, by using two shovels at once to feed her, which made her cough.
'Upstairs' as it were Neal was a welcome arrival, taking a couple of hours' break from fabricating the heritage Broadway canopy. He came with one of his many specialist tools (he has virtually everything you could imagine you might ever need, picked up for next to nothing at car boot sales and Ebay) and here he is turning a thread on to the end of one of the pipes that make up the handrails. We want these to look the same as the originals, which were held together by threaded sleeves.
We'd like to be able to say that he did this succesfully, but life is a bumpy ride and it turned out that our lengths of galvanised pipe are of a different diameter to the originals (one of which we found in the undergrowth) but worse still, different to the sleeves we had bought. He cut off the end with the wrong sized thread, and went back to the drawing board (in this case, the loco shed).
We await the results next week with great interest !
No matter, as two of us had chosen the right job for the day, that is, the repair of the underside of the shelter. This underside is not only moth-eaten, but the corner posts are all of different lengths, and yet the building is meant to stand on them. The first thing to do - in the pouring rain, but we didn't mind this inside - was to measure the actual lengths of the uprights, and mark a constant line on the sheeting, above which we are going to keep it, cutting off the moth-eaten bit underneath.
Meanwhile, concrete pouring ground to a halt, due to the heavy rain.
We knew this, because we suddenly had visitors with their hands in their pockets!
Tim eventually discouraged them from hanging around by starting to cut off the lower edge of the corrugated iron sheets, during which conversation was impossible.
Underneath, you can just make out a length of original handrail, buried in the bushes.
We also took off the old wooden door frame, which was not original. The shelter now looks much better from the outside.
Inside we will have a bench, and a notice board. This still needs making by someone, to fill the space in the upper photograph at the rear.
Meanwhile, the gang had given up and retreated to the container, to watch Paul make lunch. It was beefburgers with melted cheese on top, with second helpings for all.
In the afternoon, the rain moved off and the sun started to come out. Great ! This led two of us to investigate the end of the ivy laden fence by the roadside, where we suspected an original GWR bridge rail fence post. Would it still be there?
The post was linked to another at the top of the slope leading down to the shelter. Somewhere along this line there must have been a gate, and we will reproduce this. The roadside was post and rail, which linked the post to the corner of the bridge. All currently covered by ivy and brambles.
We hope to be able to lift the shelter on to its base in 2 - 3 weeks time, using a large forklift borrowed from a friendly farmer. It also still needs cleaning and painting. The running in board is being made up by B&S; there will also be two Trespass notices, one of which will be an original found on site. We still need two 8ft lengths of rail for them.