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WED 13 DEC

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Saturday 16 December

Track Pack - June 2015

July Working Weekend - Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th

With most people appearing to be available to attend on the Sunday, this month the plan is to carry out work in the following areas:

Saturday will be based on the Wootton section, either at the station itself or along the line towards Havenstreet. There is still some cutting back/tidying to do in the station area, along with a bonfire to prepare if the weather is favourable. Once this is done, or everyone has had enough, a wander towards Havenstreet can be taken fettling up the remainder of the ballast from the visit of the Tamper.

On the Sunday morning, a trip by Wickham to Ashey Station is on the cards. The changing of a half dozen or so sleepers being the main task here. There is also some ballast fettling to do, and it would be good to fight back against the ivy encroaching from the adjacent hedgerow. Depending on progress, taking into consideration there is a two train service in operation, the fettling can either continue in either direction, or one of the plentiful trains can be taken back to Havenstreet. There are a few sleepers on the bank there that are down to be replaced.

Hope to as many as can make it for the weekend. 8.30 start time, in the P.Way hut at Havenstreet. However, as you probably know there is plenty of parking for those who fancy meeting up at Wootton. Ashey though is a bit more of a problem so it is probably better to meet up at Havenstreet on the Sunday. 

What's Been Going On?

After the recent rash of clearance work the gang were relieved to find Sleeper Changing on the agenda for June’s Working Weekend.

The original plan had been to work at Ashey in the morning, before moving on to Wootton later on. Operating conditions meant this would be impossible, or at best uncertain, so as a result, the whole day was spent at Wootton. Not that this proved too big a handicap as a full day was spent in and around the station doing a variety of jobs. Primarily this involved the fitting of eight new sleepers into the platform road, the majority being done by dinnertime, the final 2 or 3 afterwards.

After returning the Wickham and trollies to Havenstreet at one, a few loose branches were removed from the fir tree adjacent to the loop before worked stopped for the passage of the train associated with the Grand Opening of Train Story. The Wickham retuning after this train had arrived at Havenstreet, ready for the trip back at the end of the day.

Three of the removed sleepers proved of sufficient condition to be “upcycled”, or is it recycled or downcycled, as replacements for three of lesser quality in the run round loop.  With this job completed by three-thirtyish, the time to the end of the day was used to continue taming the bank area around the Ground Frame hut and beside the ditch there.

Sunday proved to be less popular with gang members, the day was spent oiling and inspecting the signalling installation at Havenstreet station. 

Many thanks to all who helped out over the weekend.

What Else Has Been Going On?

All the crossing sites have received a visit from the brushcutter to keep the vegetation to an acceptable level for visibility purposes, along with the parts around the line’s overbridges. In connection with the Rowlands Bridge session, the area of bank towards Havenstreet, associated with the sighting of Down Outer Home Signal, was cleared before the running of the Midsummer Specials.

The Signalling equipment at each station has received its quarterly dose of inspection, gauging and lubrication.

A slightly unusual task befell us on the 12th when a trip was made to West Street in Ryde. The railway had been offered a lattice Signal post in the back garden of a house there, which for 40 odd years has supported a Radio Ham’s aerial. Further investigation revealed that it was the post that once carried Havenstreet’s Down Distant signal during the BR, and presumably SR, eras. Fortunately on its previous move it had been reduced in height somewhat, a photo of the time revealed it was a bit of a monster, so proved fairly straight forward to take down and remove from the garden. Thanks to Derek Bishop and the Museum staff for their assistance with this project.

The Friday Gang have been hard at work, the new 'Billy Goat' making short work of munching through the lineside banks. After spending a day of two clearing up to and around Long Arch bridge they have sped off towards Smallbrook; last seen halfway along Swanpond Copse. 

All the best,

Phil, Ian and Pete.



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