After a bit of a rest during June and doing odd jobs in early July the time had finally come to get on with the next big job. This was rebuilding the section that follows on from the new start. This is the area that had the “rock garden” straight down the hill and then a 90 deg bend. The plans had been developed over months and the CTC / Big Lottery fund had paid for 35 tonnes of Limestone to surface the section.
Thursday 22nd July
When I arrived at 7pm Phil, Chris and Jess had already done a lot of digging. They’d been working on the line right at the end of the new section. We shifted a load of the old bits of concrete and used them to reinforce the new berm. A few large rocks were moved into place as extra features. By the time it was dark then the new line was there and the old trail in that area had been filled back in.
Saturday 24th July
We had the crushed Limestone delivered in the morning. The next job was picking up the powered wheel barrow which we fitted in the back of Chris’s van. After a major food shop we were ready to get moving material.
At this point Anthony turned up and got started with the barrow. I told him to hand over to someone else when he got bored, but that never happened. The new barrow proved to be a good trick. It holds approximately 250kg of material which is about three times as a normal wheel barrow. It is also possible for one person to operate it all day without tiring, as Anthony proved. This then frees up other people do do digging rather than pushing barrows around all day.
We were soon joined by Jess and , sorry, name not known. By the time Phil arrived at 1pm we’d already surfaced the lower half of the second downhill and were making a start on the upper bit.
Chris bbq’d the sausages left over from the previous night which went down well.
We had a few issues with the engine on the barrow and this was fixed by jamming the choke open with a twig.
Our anonymous man turned up for a while, as did a new recruit whom we’d met in the car park earlier in the day.
We dug out the climb up the new section and the switchback at the top. Various bits of old trail were filled in too. The surfacing got as far as the top of the second downhill.
Simon turned up just before we finished, making it 10 people who turned up in one day.
Sunday 25th July
We like setting ourselves ambitious targets, so on Sunday we wondered whether we might dig out the bottom half of the first downhill, the switchback at the bottom of it and surface the whole lot. We’d then be able to join onto the existing trail and have half a downhill, the climb back to the top and the second downhill.
Phil and myself (Tom) met Chris at 10am and got started. The bottom half of the first downhil was gradually dug out whilst the climb was being surfaced. Pete arrived when Chris left, so we had three people: two surfacing and one digging. Just as Pete went off to watch the Grand Prix then Lee and Jenny arrived with a large selection of cakes. When they went then Pete came back and then Anthony, Mr Anon and then Chris too. More complicated stage directions than an Am Dram comedy.
We got all of the digging finished including the switch back, the whole lot surfaced and all the old trail filled back in. We reckon that we’ve got about half of the new section done in what was one evening and one weekend. Around 200m of trail was cleared, dug out and surfaced.
We had 8 people involved on the Sunday, and in total 12 people turned up at various times over the weekend.
How it looked on Thursday afternoon.
How it looked by Sunday evening.