JULY WORKING WEEKEND – SATURDAY 7TH & SUNDAY 8TH
As you may know this month’s work session coincides with the 1940’s Weekend, which means a two train service will be operating.
On the Saturday at least the plan is to decamp as far from Havenstreet as possible and recommence the sleeper changing. To ease transport issues to the worksite the selected area will be Smallbrook Station and potentially around the curve towards Swanpond. As a bonus, if the present weather continues, there should be a bit of shade to work in. The hope is to get all the sleepers and tools into position before the weekend to allow a prompt departure and return by Wickham on the Saturday morning, before the start of the passenger service.
On Sunday the base will be Havenstreet Station, though out of the public areas; maintenance and clearance in Griffin’s field being the main occupation.
Hope to see those who can make it, 8.30am at the P.Way hut, Saturday and Sunday.
WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON?
With a reduced number attending the May Working Weekend, a fencing job was found to keep gang member’s occupied on the Saturday.
Last year the accommodation crossing near Deacon’s Lane Bridge, known as Iron Gates, was formally closed after consultation with the two adjacent landowners. At the time the gates were secured out of use and the signage recovered in accordance with the closure.
The job on the Saturday was to recover both gates and sets of posts, done by 10.30am, before filling the resulting gap with two small sections of fence.
This was completed, by a very neat job, in the early afternoon, the two gates and posts being donated to the adjacent stables. To round out the day a limited amount of clearance was done beside the track towards Deacon’s Lane Bridge, and then beside the roadway passing over the bridge itself.
On the Sunday one gang member carried out the customary line patrol. The others gave the S&T installations a session of inspection and lubrication at all three stations before then completing the steps base beside the Ryde Tram in the Display Shed.
Thanks to everyone who helped the jobs along over the weekend.
WHAT ELSE HAS BEEN GOING ON?
Aside from a deeply regrettable incident on the 4th of June when, yours truly managed to put the Wickham in the dirt, the period since the last edition has seen only the usual steady activities necessary to keep the railway running.
All of the crossings have been attended to at least once as regards undergrowth clearance work, a new gate (built in the workshop) being fitted at Ashey Station Crossing to replace the one demolished by a learner (car) driver last year.
The, almost customary, six foot ‘swaithe’ has been cut along the majority of the line, especially where Giant Hogweed has been found growing in the vegetation, so as to reduce any accidental contact with it.
Both Ashey and Wootton stations were visited recently to give the public grassed areas a tidy up.
It’s full steam ahead now for the Friday Gang with the growing season in full cry. Smallbrook Station and the surrounding area, all bar the ‘island’ between the platforms, has been the latest target.
That’s the lot for now,
All the best,
Phil, Ian and Pete.
JOIN THE TEAM
The Civil Engineering Department is responsible for all of the railway’s track, signalling equipment and lineside fencing – It’s all healthy outdoor work!
Monthly working parties are organised to tackle important tasks requiring a large team, regular weekly gangs tackle lineside clearance, fencing renewals and many other maintenance tasks. We also have our ‘Friday Gang’ who do a great job of keeping the lineside neat and tidy, it’s Men In Sheds – but without the shed!
If you are interested in joining our team please contact the railway’s Volunteer Coordinator for more details.