Welcome to the new Hayles Abbey Halt reconstruction blog! We've moved it to a separate site in order to make it easier to find, for those who didn't know it was hidden in the B&S blog. More and more people are taking an interest in it, so a quick access to what we are achieving is important for the outside world.
To recap, here is a historical photograph to show what we are trying to rebuild (the RH, down side only, as we have only single track here):
So, and on to today's fun activities, with a mega team of no fewer than 11, which resulted in a record number of concrete blocks laid - 120, out of the grand total of 1200 to be done. We received a friendly delivery mid week (squeezed in between running trains) of 3 pallets of blocks. That's 3 x 40 = 120 blocks, but at the end of the day they had all gone again.
What exactly is it that makes this job so popular?
Is it the work?
Is it the cameraderie?
The fresh air?
A sense of achievement perhaps?
We kick the day off with a nice cup of tea, and minutes later the gang is assembled outside the shed, armed with a hot brew and a doughnut each.
What is there to see?
There were three teams again today -
Tim and Dave on the catch pit...
...Paul M and Paul R on the southern platform slope...
...and Dave P and Julian on block laying at the rear of the southern stretch of the platform.
Here they are, having a bit of a rest. In fact the occasion of this rest wasn't tiredness, but rather a delivery of somewhat sloppy mortar, which they decided to sit out until it had gone off a bit. Well, that was their story.
Paul M? Well, he changed his trousers afterwards, as you can see just to the left hand edge of the picture, where his bare knee is sticking out. We can't show you any more, as this is a family blog.
Towards the middle of the site, after much measuring, head scratching and cutting, Dave D and Tim succeeded in finishing the block wall around the catch pit.
We see them here, placing the last piece of the puzzle. The blocks slope inwards slightly, and the top is so shaped that a standard catch pit ring will fit over it. This will eventually be closed off with the usual lids.
After the southern pit was completed, the experts held a Pow-Wow around the northern pit, which is of a different design, as a little closer to the track.
How to cover this hole, given there is no wall at the front?
It was decided to run an upside down T bar at the front, which will allow the corbelling to continue, and then cover the rest with standard concrete lintels.
Last week we had a sudden and rather disasterous interruption of our pleasure in listening to 1960s hits (the Beatles and Manfred Mann spring to mind). The concrete block dropper - for it was John - made a gallant effort today to pacify the injured victim, Jim G.
These magnificent substitute radios were humbly offered in compensation. John even produced a tiny one, credit card sized with an earpiece.
Alas, Jim decided to stick to the moral high ground, and brought his own replacement. He produced a new tranny, which looked exactly like the old one. It appears he actually had several.
Here we see the great shuttle action, as we ran all the 120 newly delivered blocks from one side to the other. This was certainly a lot more convenient than bringing them down from the top. More please !
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Now that you have found the Hayles Abbey Herald blog, we're afraid that straight away there is going to be a bit of a hiatus in reporting.
First of all, due to Friday running and Bank holiday Monday next week, it will be 14 days before the gang can come back.
Secondly, your blogger has finally succumbed to the pressure from Mrs B and booked a holiday as well. You'll have to make a personal visit to the site if you want to know what's going on, until reporting resumes some time after 15th September.
Until then, Ciao !