With so many people on site, and with lovely weather to boot, we might as well get everybody working hard.
Lucky came a bit late, and was very distracted. His owner explained that on his 2 mile daily walk Lucky had met a young lady, and hadn't stopped dancing about since!
Lucky shot off down the field towards Didbrook, back again, then off in a different direction, so we had the doughnuts all to ourselves today.
Notice the GWR 'Trespass' sign below. This is the original that we found, with a corner broken off. Here it is invisibly mended, shotblasted, painted and relettered. We will bolt it to a rail post and secure it with shear nuts, so that it won't go 'walkabout'.
The first job of the day was to cut off the end of the steel posts that hold up the ballast retaining wall at the bottom of the slopes. Just to make them neat and tidy, and a bit less likely to cut someone. You never know.
The Gennie was much in demand today, and we had to queue up to use it. Dave P was first.
The posts holding up the hand rail got attention today, one of the many small jobs that remain before we can declare the new halt ready for opening. Not yet! Hold on, at the back there.
Julian is giving them a coat of Creosote here. Paul is working at the far end with his lead beating kit, giving each post a little cap to stop it rotting from the top down.
Jim followed on with a little tin of white paint, and a ruler to get the bottom edge straight. The tops have to be white, we saw that on the old photographs.
We gave the platform surface a critical stare, and decided it was a bit high in places. We would like to put the Terram down today.
A small team was assembled to sort this out. The excess was taken to the northern end, and the area around the shelter, where there wasn't enough infill yet.
|Get me an off-cut, will you? OK....|
Paul had his circular saw with him again, and cut the tops of the posts to shape, and made more little posts to hold up the edging. Another user of the Genny.
Then it was time for that famous celebratory lunch. We thought it would be fitting for the whole gang to eat at Hayles Fruit farm, as it was nearby and had a connection with the halt - the proprietor used to take the 'Coffeepot' to go to school!
A call came to photograph the whole gang, some of which were already back in the cars and manoeuvering out of the car park. Come back ! Group photograph!
Meanwhile, back at the farm (or in our case, back at the halt), we decided to try out a first stretch of Terram and chippings.
We need to shift that enormous pile on the left there, and order some more.
The roll of Terram that has been jamming up proceedings inside the container is taken out at last.
Outside, Paul cut it into strips, which we laid out along the southern half of the platform.
Behind, you can already see the first barrow loads of chippings being taken down the slope. How do they find the energy after that big meal?
There was some serious shovelling to do.
Luckily we completed the southern part of the platform just about the same time as they ran out of puff shovelling the stuff.
This picture shows well the effect of the chippings. We had a debate about the colour, but the old photographs show clearly that it was chippings and not ash, and that they were light.
At the top, Dave P is busy recovering the original fence line between two bridge rail posts, the line between them defining our property boundary.
This bundle of greenery is not a hedge, it is a totally overgrown post and wire fence, choked by bramble and ivy.
Next week is Easter Monday, so we will move our working day to Tuesday. There won't be a blog post for it though, as yours truly will be off for a few day's holiday. Back the Monday after that!
It may be possible to do a blog post in between, as we need to make public the official opening date, and how we will celebrate it. So do check in from time to time.