Notes from the Chairman
by Steve Millington
Spring is here at last and as the rest of the nation dig out the barbeques and paddling pools or head off to the nearest garden centre, the usual suspects at Kidderminster are trying to decide how to make best use of the warm weather and sunshine. The extra daylight hours (which just tricks us into un-knowingly working later into the weekend evenings!) are proving handy when we are trying to get so many jobs done around the site. So I will try and summate as much as possible without the editor picking up the larger pair of his scissors.
The Storage shed has reached another milestone as the concrete floor has now been laid in the extension. This was achieved over three weekends by means of a concrete mixer, wheel barrows and a lot of shoveling. The shelving is next on the agenda for this project, just as soon as we can work out how it actually goes together?! Inside the shed, the GWR benches are drying out nicely ready for Bob Brown to get out is chisels and spoke shave to start their restoration. Six of the legs will have to be replaced due to rot and damage, this work has just been started, however we still have to decide the best wood to use.
Mick and Bob Brown have completed repairing what was a dilapidated lamp hut which has been 'planted' at the bottom end of the car park to house some of the SVR 1940's weekend items out of sight. The Friends have carried out the metalwork repairs and will leave the painting and flooring to others.
The Thornycroft has had its brake parts back from Exeter, and along with the manufacture of other components it is hoped the front axle will soon be back together and as good as new. This will then allow the brakes to be installed and it should be able to move under its own power for the first time in a great number of years! Alas with so little time, work commitments and so many other things to do, patience is a most definite prerequisite.
On and around the concourse the gentlemen's toilet privacy screen has been erected and painted and the barrel clock has had its movement sent away for repair by our specialist. The Midland Red Bus timetable cabinet has gone back up and Jane has applied a cork backboard in order for the latest information to be displayed. We have also taken the opportunity to fill some of the empty station notice boards with posters advertising the Friends and most days our display board can be found under the station canopy with a donations bucket. We do get some donations, which all helps but we do need to rally together to find a way to raise more income to allow us to fund some projects.
The restaurant building has been worked on by Mark, Bob Leonard and Keith. The walls have been repainted with a more suitable hard wearing colour and the picture frames are now being French polished. Mick, Bob Brown and I had lunch in the new facility one Saturday which everyone would have to agree is an outstanding visual improvement on the old shack which used to grace our concourse with its presence, so credit where it's due and hats off to the Railway for that! However we could not fully understand why the air conditioning was working overtime on a hot day, to provide the public with a nice cool environment to eat, while the external doors were wedged wide open all day long! I'm not sure, but I think trying to cool the underside of the canopy may be being a little optimistic!
Finally, an EGM was held on the 10th of April to finalize the constitution, this lasted for just over 3 hours where eight of us all tried to reach an agreement on its content and text. In addition, Officers put forward comments received from our members who could not attend. As you may imagine trying to get eight people to agree, at times, was difficult. Some additional items were also brought to light for us to sort out, such as Insurance for our collection. At this point the Treasurer went exceedingly quiet!
I cannot mention everything happening on and around the site as there is a lot of work in progress, not to mention the every day maintenance which is being carried out, but eventually we will be able to relax and enjoy with our visitors the fantastic ambiance which we are starting to achieve.