They say that as you grow older so time seems to go by more quickly. This certainly seems to be the case producing the newsletter! Last time I wrote at considerable length about manufacturing our speartop fencing, and how it was to be our sole occupation for the coming few months. This has proved to be the case even though we have pulled out all the stops in order to get the job done as quickly as possible.
So now we have all too quickly come to the time when I need to put pen to paper (in a figurative sense) and I'm going to have a real job filling the pages.
While on the subject of speartop fencing, I would like to put on record our thanks to Dave Postle and the Trustees of Kidderminster Railway Museum who have kindly donated a few panels of fence, so that we now have enough to complete the job. The panels are laid out by the Storage Shed so together with the few we already had we can see at a glance exactly how many we have got to tackle. In return for the panels we have agreed to help the museum people put together some panels for their own use, but on the understanding that they do the 'unskilled' part of the job. This was actually carefully worded and rather sneaky on our part because all the really hard physical work is the unskilled part and the skilled – if you can call it that – consists of drilling holes and welding whole thing together! Easy-peasy!
Just as well, because in a few more weeks we will be getting sick of the sight of the stuff.
We had a meeting with Nick Ralls about our proposed re-erection of the G.W.R Bus Garage formerly at Bridgnorth. The S.V.R Holdings Company has put in for planning consent for three buildings of the same type and size as our storage shed. One building is to go to the west side of our shed, and the other two to the east (the track side) and they will be spaced out and aligned in a neat row. The trouble is that all concerned seemed to have been affected with collective amnesia, and our Bus Garage was completely forgotten (having previously been agreed by all parties).
So the planning consent is to be modified to include our building and all being well we will be able to proceed as originally planned.
Having agreed to sort out that little problem, Nick asked us, by way of a return favour, to consider resurrecting the canopy on the big goods shed (AKA the North Star Carriage Restoration Building). This canopy was partly removed by the S.V.R some years back leaving only the supporting brackets – "accusing fingers pointing at the S.V.R" as Bob put it. The reason was that after a few lorry strikes and many years of decay, parts of the structure were threatening to fall on passing pedestrians and parked cars underneath. The cast iron 'dagger boards' looked particularly lethal.
In a moment of enthusiasm I agreed (on behalf of the Friends) to tackle the job, if and when funds are available from the S.V.R. It seems huge but in actual fact not as difficult as it looks because apart from some repairs and painting of the brackets the canopy only consists of corrugated iron sheeting nailed(!) to some substantial timbers which in turn are bolted to the previously-mentioned brackets. By way of water run-off, a gutter fits nearest to the building. This will need replacing too, and probably a standard proprietary valley gutter section would do the job.
Obviously we cannot do everything at once, but this is an ideal job for the future because it will produce a very dramatic improvement to the appearance of a superb building which is in full view of the station and certainly deserves some TLC. An additional bonus is that the job will not have to be funded by the Friends!
There are a couple of small jobs ongoing at the moment. One is the restoration of the G.W.R drop dial chain fusee clock which faces you as you enter the King and Castle bar. This clock has become unreliable so has gone to our resident clock restorer Mark Ryan for the full treatment, involving re-bushing of the plates, fitting a new spring, cleaning and setting up. This clock hasn't been serviced since B.R days!
The second job is restoring (for a second time) the original G.W.R Stationmaster's bicycle, which 'belongs' to the station. This was fully restored in the 1980's but annoyingly has been neglected and badly knocked about. As this item is now well in excess of 60 years old it deserves respect and careful use. Let's hope it has better treatment in the future!
Mick Yarker. June 2010