Watercress Line

A Pain In The Roof


The Peter Pretious memorial bench was finally completed at the workshop at Medstead and the remembrance plaque attached. The assembled unit was taken by a gang by train to Alton and installed on the platform which was so familiar to Peter. It was positioned next to the refreshment kiosk that Peter manned, with others, for many a year and which raises very useful amounts of money to be reinvested in the station. We hope many a passenger will enjoy a pleasant rest on the seat whilst waiting for a train to take them into another era. It was difficult to get a clear photo of the inscription on the brass plaque due to reflections, and also being somewhat rushed to get back on the train that was about to depart. Anyway, passengers will be able to read the words when they visit the Railway.


At Alresford work on the shed frontage has moved forward due to the continuing good weather, although with the heat frequent breaks were taken to replenish fluid levels. The tarmac path edge at the entrance to the excavated area was cleared and the rough edge was cut back to give a good edge where we could lay concrete path edging blocks. This edging will provide a clean edge at this point and enable the granite sett paving to finish neatly. This edging will be extended further down at a later stage. We also completed the installation of the guttering around the shed roof and installed some ventilation grills.


The thoughts about what to do about erosion and landscaping of the excavation finally came to an end with a cunning plan. Paving slabs will be placed on edge vertically- actually slightly leaning back towards the chalk- all around the base of the sides, and these will be cut to slope down as the sides fall towards the footpath to the picnic site. The slabs will be set in dryish concrete and will be back filled with spoil to keep them level and at the correct angle. The top part of the back fill will be with a layer of soil in which the ASSET gardeners will plant suitable plants that will grow up the pit sides. Theses plants will be complemented by plants from the top that will grow down the sides covering the chalk. This type of finish has been very successful on other areas of the railway where chalk sides have been exposerd. A water butt attached to the shed will provide supplies for watering- should it ever rain again.


Our tame roofing team moved on from the leaflet store at Alresford to the PWay managers cabin in the yard at Medstead. The complaints from the manager about sitting in puddles finally bore fruit and wood firrings have been fixed to the roof, as on the leaflet store at Alresford, on which plywood sheets were laid -suitably arched- and torched-on felt  applied in even hotter conditions. This will  allow water to run off and not to pond and seep through the metal roof panels.


Flat roofs really are a pain and these works  should provide extended life to these structures.


Bob Brooks

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