There was a good team of 11 on the site, and we met early. We had finished our tea and doughnuts on the platform by the time Lucky came galoomphing down the slope, and a quick nasal survey of the area told him that the doughnuts had all gone.
|How people come to work at Hayles, by car and - by Telehandler. Park it over there with the others please.|
Dave had scraped together half a dumpy bag of ballast, and for one last time Minnie the Mixer was coaxed into life. She didn't like being touched by new people, and ran obstinately at a snail's pace. Your blogger had to move a secret lever from 'Tortoise' to 'Hare' and then she obliged with a happy chuntering. This made us a couple of barrow loads of weak mix, with which we finished off concreting in the fence posts.
Here's what the pathway now looks like, with all the posts in, and their foundations hidden by chippings and earth.
Jim H made a useful noticeboard for those contemplating the use of the halt.
If you want to know what it says, you'll have to click on the picture for an enlargement.
It says the halt opens on June 6th, so we are definitely off! Only the DMU will stop though.
Jim G and Paul watch the goings on with the water container. We need that area to place the new bench, at the top of the slope.
And here comes that bench. There were complaints from the gang of 4 that walked it to the neighbours house for storage last week, so to get it back we used hydraulics.
Where would you like it, sir?
The trains today were well filled, which was good to see, even the DMU. Mrs. Blogger says it's because of the school holidays, and grandparents needing somewhere to occupy the kids. We can take care of that.
After a while, Foremarke Hall rumbled past in the other direction, tender first. If you were a passenger waiting in our new shelter, this is what you'd see.
With the removal of the container, our tea making facilities have reduced to the most basic level (one tiny burner, placed on the concrete inside the shelter) and the sausage rolls have ceased altogether.
Our teapot and saucers have sat in the container off-site for a fortnight and are less fresh than they might be. Paul is giving them a good clean here.
After lunch, it's a bit of plane spotting. We seem to be on one of their 'routes' and had several interesting ones today.
The first one was this Chinook. See how it hopped over the Cotswolds edge, and then hugged the terrain down into the Evesham Vale.
It flew quite close to us too, you can see right through it here.
Behind is Cleeve Hill.
An Apache flew the other way, also close to the ground, but this one had to pull back to rise up over the Cotswold Edge, where the Chinook had come from.
Then finally, a pair of Hercules', also low, and doing a graceful bank round Dumbleton hill.
Last week we fitted the hooks on to the lamp posts, and this week Jim G brought the actual Hurricane lamps.
This is what the arrangement looks like. In real life, the lamps were very rarely caught by the camera, we know of only a single picture where you can make one out, barely.
It's all a bit flimsy, but the GWR built this halt cheaply, and these lamps were only hung up during the hours of darkness, being brought out from the station responsible for the halt (Toddington).
What does one look like? It's like this. An ordinary Hurricane lamp, with G.W.R., a number and the name of the station painted on. Jim G did all that, didn't he do well?
We are not going to bring those lamps out every time it gets dark, so we have opted to attach them permanently to the hooks, so that they are not easily removed. In any case, they are cheap to buy - only £5 each! So not really worth the effort of bringing a ladder to steal one.
|What a great map, to show you where the abbey is.|
|The board on the left.|
At the northern end is the new running in board, manufactured by our own Buildings and Services department, using partly original and partly reproduction cast letters. They have been secured with one way screws.
We have covered the board up with a piece of Terram for the grand unveiling on Monday, but the rain has made it rather transparent!
Now you can see why one of the posts was taller than the other.
In a couple of weeks all the unwanted baggage here will be gone, and you should be able to take a photograph of this site just like the historical ones from before 1960. Just like the real thing.
Please note that you should not park your car in the entrance to Hayles Abbey halt. It is in very regular use by large agricultural machinery, and the farmer would have a very dim view if he found his passage blocked. In addition, part of it is the reserved parking area for our neighbour, who would also be unhappy if he found it occupied.
The last job of the day was to locate the new GWR style bench at the top of the slope.
The bench is pretty heavy (hence the complaints from the 4 that walked it to our neighbour) but just in case we have also bolted it to 4 concrete filled concrete blocks. It's all underground, you can't see it, and the area has also been seeded with grass.
That grass will need mowing from time to time, so we hope someone can be persuaded to take this on.
We have shown that the GWSR has the skills to create an attractive heritage project, on time, and within budget, and with a very reasonable outlay. We could do more.
Next Monday then is the official opening, an invitation only event for a limited number of people, but one which will be reported on the blog, so you won't miss a thing.