Watercress Line

P-way sat gang blog 10th Nov

Saturday 10th Nov 2018

A report by Corina Silk with photographs by Corina, Neil and Adrian.

A very wet and windy day greeted the gang of 11. After tea and a chat work began. No service trains were running during the day as the annual Walk the Line event was taking place. The gang were able to take advantage of this by being granted access to the track under occupation to carry out some sleeper replacement work down the line between Ropley and Alresford. Adrian C, Corina, Eddie, Martin W, Brian Hi, Brian Ha, Chris, Keith H, Tony and Pete took the tools down to bridge over the cutting at Bishops Sutton, the closest access point.

John M meanwhile remained at Medstead where he was on standby as the designated Wickham Trolley driver (and Person in Charge of the Occupation), to respond with the appointed First Aider to any calls for assistance or emergencies, should any of the walkers have experienced any problems.

After a couple of sleepers had been replaced by the gang, Adrian and Corina went up to Alton to collect Neil and Paul who had travelled down by Network Rail metals. Corina was dropped off at Medstead, where she set up a stall selling cards to raise funds for the Wickham restoration project. Adrian, Neil and Paul continued down to Ropley to erect the concrete coal bunker that Neil had made especially for the station. This now sits resplendent on the area of granite setts professionally laid by the Building Group adjacent to the gentlemens’ toilets.

Just after lunch the rain became very heavy and the gang returned to base to dry out. Seven sleepers had been changed, great progress considering the weather conditions. Neil and Paul also returned, and after removing their high vis trousers left Adrian and Corina in hysterics. Paul was sporting a perfect ‘tide line’ on his jeans and Neil looked like he had a mishap.

The Walk the Line event seemed to have been a great success with over 800 plus people reported to have passed through the signing on points at Alton

and Medstead. The proceeds from the event will pay for the much needed ballasting of Wanders Curve between Medstead and Ropley.

The gang would also like to congratulate Paul on his 20 year long service award, which Neil presented to him on a recent trip to Dunster and the West Somerset Railway.

Photo gallery