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Friday, 21 August 2015

A productive day

Myself and Dick were over the signal box today and we finished up with a great sense of achievement! A lot of work was completed and it moves us ever closer to reopening.

The first job I did today was to fix in place the fencing I had started on Friday. I then went on to add a piece of chain by the distant signal to complete this section of fence and to allow access onto the track for S&T and other workers. Further down the site I also altered another section of chain because the supports were not very sturdy. All that is left now is for the fencing to be painted white for a better appearance

In the mean time, Dick was getting on with some turfing to complete the area by the fence and around the ground frame.This turf had to be purchased (unlike the free turf we got fro the old school site) but it is the best looking grass we have on site. Dick then went on to move some older turf to round by the sheds and then added some turf by the new building. (I've made this sound like a 10 minuet job, but he actually spent all day on it, but it really makes the site look good, Well done)

After Lunch, I decided to stay out of the mid day sun (well that's my excuse) and used this time to reinstate the Oxted display. This is an old signal box diagram and some bells which have been linked to a computerised simulator and it just runs a couple of simple train movements every 5 minuets. It adds an atmosphere to the pavilion and also makes the diagram look more interesting.













After this I went on to add some fencing around the ground frame to stop people wondering into the area where the signals are moving. This has been done with a combination of chain and ridged fencing. It sounds like we are putting up a lot of barriers with all this fencing going on, but its a safety requirement we sadly have to fulfill. (I also turned the levers around so they are now facing the right way and the ground frame is ready to be connected)


Last night, Gavin and I were over the signal box (we should have a revolving door put in) and constructed a very sturdy stand for the searchlight signal to sit on. This will allow people to view the operation of the signal in the Cowley bridge building and also not end up underneath the very heavy signal. (In all the excitement, I forgot to get any photos)

Also, our hot off the press leaflets were delivered today and they really make the signal box look great!! Look out for them in a tourist information center near you!!

All in all a good day!!

Jamie.







Wednesday, 19 August 2015

No, we're not a great western box

What with Cowley bridge and all the GWR ground frame activities, you may be getting worried that we are being drawn to 'the dark side', but fear not fellow S.R enthusiasts, we can't be changed (sorry GWR guys, we haven't got anything against you really).

Today was a wet one, and it was inevitable I was going to get soaked because today I'd planned to re-assemble the ground frame and install some track-side fencing. The result of today were:  

The ground frame is complete and in place, it just needs fixing to the sleepers.

I have driven in the required poles for the fencing and balanced the rail on top, I just need to bolt the fence to the posts.
One very wet Jamie.


Dave spent his day doing a temporary fix for the flooring of the pavilion veranda  which had rotted because of water running down the slope.




The alarm has also been serviced today and is now functioning properly (not that it wasn't already).

During the heavy rain I decided to find shelter (call me a wimp if it helps) so I used this time to strip and paint the searchlight signal casing (which Dave and I disassembled today). Once this was done and it was still raining, I had nothing else to do, so decided to admire Cowley bridge. I really think this is a great 'little' signal box and I really enjoy using it. Hopefully it will show people what a busy signal box is like and we can use it to its full potential.


 (Well done to those of you who noticed that I have installed the ground frame back to front!! If you look closely, you will notice the catch handles are on the wrong side. Back to the drawing board)

Thursday, 13 August 2015

The eagle has landed

The big news that's going around is that Cowley bridge model signal box has arrived at Romsey. As I was not around when it arrived, yesterday was the first time I had seen it, even without the bells ringing and levers clunking, it still makes quite an impression. It is a great piece of engineering and it looks to be a great exhibition at the signal box. The plan is to have Cowley bridge being operated by a volunteer to demonstrate what life would be like in a busy signal box. This will be an interesting insight into the life of a signal man.




The other work on site is a bit boring in comparison to the above news. Work on the ground frame is in its final stages, the mounting for the GWR signal has been attached to the post and the pulley and crank have been position to connect this up.



A 'Voice off' device has been installed on the site to verbally warn any intruders on the site that they are being filmed and that they should vacate the premises.






Dave has also spent much time working on the floor in the kitchen to make it more hygienic and appealing. He has also spent many hours filling out the required forms for the catering that we plan to run when we reopen.

Things are coming together and its only 3 weeks until we reopen!!!