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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Latest edition of 'The Signal'

The latest edition of our news letter 'The Signal' is hot off the press and available on our downloads page.

Or, click here to open a PDF copy directly


Saturday, 25 April 2015


The fitting out and decoration of the Cowley Bridge building has begun...

The new timber flooring is to be retained as is, apart from sealing.  This meant that the first job was to line the floor area with polythene sheeting and dust sheets.

The next step was to spot paint on the exposed screws with oil based primer to prevent them rusting and it showing through. No, the building doesn't have some awful disease and so no ointment is required!  When the primer was dry the screw holes were filled with wood filler.  This was then sanded smooth, which is a laborious task but well worth the effort.

Now it's time for the primer to seal and prepare the bare timber for painting.

James, Dick and myself met on site on Saturday the 25 April to discuss the finer points of the fitting out and the electrics.  I had come prepared as Peter and I had already had an in-depth discussion the previous day, and so I was armed with Peter's viewpoint.
It's not just a case of "throwing" some paint on the walls and ceiling of course.  We needed to discuss colours, dado rail, window reveal edging, corner quadrants and several other things that all give the building the finishing touch.

Barry Young arrived in due course and we all talked about the electrics, which he is kindly going to carry out for us.

All this means that I, with Peter's help, have my work cut out for several weeks to come.  Having these meetings will hopefully mean that we can get the fitting out exactly as we want it at the first attempt.

Well, let's grab that paint brush again...


Sunday, 12 April 2015


Today was our usual workday (but a weekend late because of Easter). 

Ground fame base
Ground frame lever tops
The day started out with Lucy continuing work on repainting the ground frame. The bottom part has been nearly completed, and is just wating for the top coat of paint and the catch handles and leaver tops are also waiting for a top coat of black. The levers will eventually be painted in the correct colour for their purpose which will probably be red, one will operate a GWR ground signal and the other a cut down GWR lower quadrant signal (these will therefore match he GWR ground frame).

In the mean time, Gavin started work on renovating the pivot for the lower quadrant signal to go with the ground frame, and Ben continued to work on the corresponding aspect plate. These will be mounted on a post, and then attached by mechanical cable, to the ground frame.

Level crossing post hole
Neil continued work on the site's gardens and showed off his very impressive rhubarb which will make a lovely crumble, come autumn. He later proceeded to plant some shrubs that had been brought in by another member and then proceeded to help Dick who was tasked with removing the old level crossing gate posts. These posts had been in the ground since the project opened and have, over the 20 years, rotted away and therefore need replacing. We hope to have the gates rehung, on new posts, before we reopen.

James worked on the Level crossing gates by giving them a first coat of primer.

Dave continued his work in the Pavilion, working on the flooring by the toilet.

Matthew and Tom also helped with the gardening and mowed the lawn.
After today
Before today

Colin worked to relay the path along the front of the site, this had been removed to lay cables to the new building, but the path can now return as the work has been completed. You could say, its on the path to recovery ...

New, stapled netting
Old loose fitted netting
Jamie started by attaching wire netting to the pavilion to stop birds nesting in the roof, the rest has been left as there are already birds nesting so will be finished in the autumn. He later moved on to tiding the shed, however didn't get too far as we all had to stop for a meeting.

All in all, not a bad day.

Friday, 10 April 2015

End In Sight For Heritage Centre Redec.

The end is in sight for the refurbishment and redecoration of the Heritage Centre.

The display area is now complete apart from the floor.  When the other areas are finished this will be sanded down and decking oil or a similar product applied.

The toilet has already been completed and is much improved.

The kitchen area is well on the way...

The kitchen door has been cut in half and a small serving shelf created.

The kitchen has been redecorated and some new shelving put up (storage is always a problem).

The lighting has also been improved.

The new flooring has been started in the toilet lobby and kitchen.  This will match the floor in the toilet itself.

Various other work has now been completed such as...
The new door and frame fitted between the kitchen and toilet lobby, as can be seen in the top photo.
The kitchen wall has been extended up to the ceiling, with provision made for access to the storage area above the toilet.
A new ceiling has been created in the toilet lobby.  This is easily removed to also allow access to the storage area.

Still to be completed are...
Cleaning of the tiled areas including the grouting.
Sort out the low level cupboards and decorate inside.  This may involve moving the under-sink water heater to one side to allow for more storage within that cupboard.
Other various "snagging" problems.

The whole building should look a great deal better when work is completed.