Monday, 14 October 2019

Short Back And Sides

So would be the standard instruction at the barber's shop years ago and so it was over the weekend as the crew attacked the lineside vegetation at Llynclys. The rain feeds the growth and eventually it threatens to take over. A good haircut was the end result.

As mentioned before the aim is to push back the growth sympathetically to the boundaries, which also helps with maintaining the fences.

So keen were the volunteers that there were no before pictures. Norman took the following pictures of progress during the day.  

The open views will be nicer for passengers and allow us to plan ahead for future work.

So let's run through a few pictures. We start with a conference to decide the next steps.

Never mind losing tools, from the vegetation we might have lost a few volunteers in the undergrowth, luckily the universal hailing message of 'Teassup' brought them running.
Looking better already.
The growth is now closer to the ground and renders visible stock for restoration.
Plenty of raw material to go at, both for vegetation clearance and restoration.
The weather was generally better than forecast with the odd dose of rain.

A view along the line to the South.
The boundaries are being worked on.
Gradually the boundaries are uncovered.
 Look at all that open space!
There are plenty of ideas of what we can do here. Just hands and funds needed!
A very big thank you to all who participated and to Norman K for the pictures.

Next weekend will see further work.  There is still time to join in!

Until next time.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Thursday Gang

Norman took the following pictures of yesterday's outside work alongside the cattle pens.  There was much vegetation to be removed and the area tidied up as part of the campaign to improve the lineside.

We start looking along the loop towards Oswestry station with the vegetation covering the walls.
Noel directs and offers friendly advice on which bits need to be removed. The volunteers offer friendly advice back to Noel.
The team soon get stuck in to removing the growth and making sure that the greenery stays in check.  It's an ongoing process which needs to be repeated annually in order to avoid an overgrown lineside.
After a severe haircut with a chainsaw the team tidy up the debris.
Thanks to all of the volunteers who turned up and to Norman K for the pictures.

Before we go a quick reminder about the Halloween trains running on the 26th October. Bookings are now be taken on the website.

If you can come along and take a ride. You might even have a surprise or two on your journey.

Until next time.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Coming Up

We are now in to the Autumn season and there are lots of things that have happened and planned to happen.

Last weekend was the first track walk from Gobowen to Llynclys with stops for train rides and food. A good group of two legged and four legged walkers set off with the guide and along the route the history and future plans were explained.  Perhaps next time we should issue gardening equipment so that errant bushes could be trimmed along the way.  The weather was very pleasant for the walk and the event may be repeated again to view progress.

Along the way there was fresh ballast seen that has been laid south of Black Meadow Crossing as part of the work to bring the extension to the cattle creep into operation.  Thanks to CHR for the following picture of the works train.

At Weston the ongoing station works were viewed. Down at Llynclys the plans are for the next two weekends to tackle the lineside vegetation. Norman and the crew would welcome support if you want to come and join up.

There is lots going on behind the scenes with paperwork, management and organising events.  Even if you can't offer physical help we can always find a way for you to assist the project.

The events team are busy with Halloween and the Santa Specials. Come along if you can or spread the word.  These are very important events to CHR as they help us through the closed season.  There may even be a few surprises along the way.

We will keep updating the blog on at least a weekly basis, do keep checking back and don't forget the website where you can sign up to the monthly newsletter.

Until next time.

Monday, 7 October 2019

What's In A Name

Guy has been busy with some research on the origin of the name of the crossing.  Here is what he found.

 Colloquially referred to as the ‘Travis Perkins Crossing’ for ease of communications and directions, the level crossing has most recently reverted to its Proper Noun name of the land on which it is situated,

i.e. ‘The Black Meadow’.

Curious as to the derivation of the name, I did some internet research and discovered the plot of land known as “Black Meadow” was included on the Oswestry Parish Liberties Of Oswestry field name map of 1838.

Later in the 19th century, it was also quoted by name in 'The Montgomery County Times and Shropshire and Mid-Wales Advertiser with which is incorporated THE SALOPIAN AND MONTGOMERYSHIRE POST' of Saturday, 1st August 1896. On page 3, in a column article headed THE LIGHT RAILWAY TO LLANGYNOG – THE PROPOSED ROUTE, the narrative reads:

    “It is proposed to leave the Cambrian Railways at the level crossing below the Cemetery, and, passing through the lower portion of The Black Meadow, the line would run on to Morda between the Paper Mills and the river, crossing the Morda road at the lowest point. ...”
[For further reading, a screenshot copy of the full article is also appended below.]

As to the true origin of the name, I haven’t yet discovered it. Could it be because of superstitious (black) connotations with historic local knowledge that the meadow adjoins and runs south of Oswestry Town Cemetery and south-west of “Gallowstree Bank”, due east of where the crossing is located and on which “The Highwayman” public house now stands?
Thanks to Guy for the research. 

Until next time

(Seat) Back(s) To The Future

Another significant milestone for the restoration of the Suburban Coach was passed recently. The seat backs which have been in dry storage were installed in the first three compartments.

Guy was on hand with his camera to capture the action.  The seats have been stored in a restored goods van as shown in the picture.

Once liberated from storage the seat backs and dividers were installed in the coach compartments.  Here is the view of compartment one with the seat backs in place.

Next along compartment two receives it's upper upholstery, note also the restored picture frames and luggage racks. 
Compartment three followed suit with it's divider now in place.
Here you can see how the open wall is covered by the seat backs to close off the compartment. We are looking in to compartment three from number four.
Here John B is receiving the next seat back for installation.

Well done to the team on reaching this important milestone. It's always nice to see things finally coming together. Thanks to Guy for the pictures.

Until next time.

Park Hall Halt

Norman and the other volunteers have continued with the clearance along the line towards the A5.  They have now reached the public footpath crossing which is about half distance from the halt to the level crossing.

Norman took the following pictures showing the latest state of play with the clearance. First we look towards the A5 with the footpath crossing just behind to see what is in store for the next sessions.

Looking back to the halt we can see what has already been cleared.  This is a husband and wife team working together on the railway.
Work will continue here to keep the line clear.  Thanks to all who helped.

Until next time.

Suburban Coach Update

Over the weekend Reg and the team prepared and sprayed the area between doors 4 and 5.

As those of you who have ever repaired bodywork will know preparation is 95 percent of the battle.  The repairs have been completed and the surfaces prepared.

We start with a look the the coach side just before spraying. You can see how much of the lower body sides have been replaced. Reg and the team have been busy.

The next photo shows the windows masked and the previously painted bays are protected from overspray.
The first coat is on and the next panels move closer to completion.
The temporary spray booth allows us to keep the dust at bay. But don't go near with dusty or dirty clothes!
With the outside done the inner door panel can be replaced, look at the finish! Well done to John and the varnishing crew.
The coach continues to make progress thanks to the volunteers. It will be a beauty when finished.

Thanks to Guy for the pictures.

Until next time.