Fully booked

Remember back in early February, our 162 year old booking hall was being prepared for its annual repaint

Now with less than three weeks to reopening, it’s looking very smart

Great job – and a bright smart welcome to our passengers 🙂

Signs

Since the new refreshment and toilet rooms were completed, the signs have needed some attention as the weather has shown up the not-quite up to WW standard of the workmanship.

So during this closure, this and the Gentlemen signs have been taken down for some WW-level of TLC.

Letters unscrewed

Stripping down

Sign under repair, letters being cleaned

New gloss black for Gentlemen sign

Repair process underway

A smart booking

Some weeks ago the annual prep and repaint of our 162 year old booking hall got underway, with much sanding, plastering and undercoating.

The platform canopy valance also needed lots of fettling with glue and clamps to replace rotten teeth.

Now as we get nearer to reopening, it’s all looking very smart, and redecoration is nearly complete.

The lobby is looking much smarter – bright and welcoming.

The doors onto platform 1 have been repainted.

And the canopy valance had a complete repaint following the repairs.

Great work by our station and wailing wall teams who work together during closure combining skills and enthusiasm.

Parking the rail

The Wailing Wall Construction Company has tackled many jobs in its time, big and small. One of the more strenuous tasks is digging holes, and this was needed last month in preparation for the new ANPR parking control system that goes live after tomorrow.

The signs have to be mounted at very precise points and heights – all laid down in the planning consent (needed because of us being in the conservation area). Reusing rail lengths makes for very sturdy and appropriate posts. In this case they were cut by the PWay team to 3 yards apiece, and we needed five of them, weighing in at about 270lbs each.

To meet the specification, holes had to be dug 2ft6in deep, to support the height of the signs, and in the positions where there was no existing structure to fix to.

post in hole, concrete ready
next post on rollers
once more with feeling…
final post concreted in place

Availability of the rail meant we had no time to paint it before installing, which would have been much easier. Fortunately the weather was kind and the black gloss was quickly applied.

Andy painting the sign 3 post
sign 5 on a painted post
sign 1 with payment machine against cleaning cupboard
signage and lower payment machine
sign 4 against the signal box

Annual booking

booking hall stripped for painting

Every winter closure brings our booking hall its annual date with sandpaper and paint brushes. The same team plan and carry out the process – Stephen, Ann, Chris – taking pride in making the first impression for our passengers the best possible one.

plaster damage

As the station dates back to 1862, it’s not surprising that weather has taken its toll on the stability of the internal plaster. Each year this gets patched very gently – too rough and more falls off – to give the smoothest surface for a fresh coat of buttermilk, chosen to be warm and bright, and dark chocolate gloss.

plaster damage by platform doors
repairs to damaged plaster
looking toward the main entrance doors facing the town
primer on the platform doors
patching and priming on the outer lobby window reveal
where it wasn’t painted last time, under the wonderful mounted map

It takes many weeks to complete the whole process – each layer of plaster, primer, topcoat, takes a long time to dry – and the team are only available on Saturdays, but gradually it all comes together.

getting smarter…
getting there…
lots of drying time now needed…

With the longer closure this year, a more thorough job has been possible. The ‘after’ pictures will look very smart!

Four waste bins and a bench refurb

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The four latest waste bins have received their final top coat paint finish in Light and Dark Stone.  Sixteen (ie four a-piece) six-inch sections of angle Dexion were cut ready to be attached to the bin legs to prevent the timber sitting in moisture.

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In the tent the latest refurbished bench got its final coating of Buildings Chocolate Brown and will be put back into traffic on Tuesday on Platform 2. At this time the next bench will be transported to the tent workshop for attention.

WWCC Sat 27 Jan

On the weather front, it was just another dull and rainy January morning and the prospects didn’t look too bright either. Nevertheless, there were advances on several fronts.

The footbridge lamp standards got a second coat of ‘County Cream’.

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More rationalisation of the stores was in evidence.

The hole on the pub wall was filled with a strong mortar mix, which will hopefully solve the damp wall at the rear entrance.

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Under the heading of good housekeeping, the pub door onto the platform was rubbed down and painted in its first top coat.

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The timetable boards were black painted. The shop window frames were washed down and reputtied ready for painting next week. A strip light cover was replaced in the ladies room. The canopy lights were wiped clean.

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Following these small but important jobs, the workshop was left in the hands of those responsible for the current reorganisation.

The tent was rearranged to allow better access for the bench refurbishment operations.

 

WWCC Tues 23 Jan

Another grey day, but at least we had another good turnout.  Today’s main effort, involved finally getting the three remaining footbridge handrails in place, this was successfully completed and the footbridge left open to visitors.

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The two Platform 2 extension markers were hammered into the ballast at the appropriate distance from the south end.  Elsewhere, we were made aware of a problem involving the DPM under the rear edge of the slates on the Plat 2 shelter, which was flapping in the breeze.  Approximately 12 feet of the material had to be repositioned under the edge of the slates, using ladders from the Loco Dept.

Finally, back in the shed. both footbridge lamp standards were rewired in the correct cable onto new lamp holders, the refurbished lampshades were given a coat of green paint on the outside, approximately the same colour as the original green enamel.

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WWCC Sat 20 Jan

Working with the Wailing Wall is like waiting for a bus, sometimes you wait and next to nothing happens, then like today there are so many bodies in the workshop, you have trouble getting in to unload your stuff.  Still mustn’t complain about the attendance, only the weather which started out all drizzle and fog and later developed into full scale snow storm, which fortunately later turned back to rain.

Today’s activities included security matters in the workshop, to which end we now have super secure locks fitted to both tool storage areas either end of the shed.

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More chocolate brown was applied to the Booking Hall doors out on to the platform.

Two new sections of point rodding were cut and drilled, to be used under the lamps from the footbridge. The lamp standards themselves were rubbed down and received a first coat of County Cream and Buildings Chocolate Brown as appropriate.

Two further sections were cut to form marker posts for the proposed extension southwards of Platform 2. these were sign written and await fixing when the weather permits.

The afore-mentioned weather precluded work to fit the footbridge handrails which are now completed and waiting in the tent.

The Railwayman’s Arms platform door outside face was given further paint-prep attention.

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There was a need to shore up the tent which has suffered in the strong winds, to the extent that the curtain rail at the front had become unbolted, matters were put in hand to rectify the situation and maintain security.

The cubicle door inside faces in the Ladies Room were rubbed down and given a first coat of white gloss.

The reorganisation proceeds, albeit slowly, still as hopefully the weather improves then the pace will quicken.