Watercress Line

Pway blog - Saturday 20th October 2018

A report by Corina Silk with photographs courtesy of Chris M and Corina.

A crisp day greeted the gang of 8. After tea and a chat they divided for work.

Adrian C and Pete walked up the line to Alton, while Chris and Brian Hi went down the line to Alresford on the line inspections.

Eddie and Martin W went down the length of the line to check the oil sprayers and replenish the oil in the point oiling cabinets.

Corina and John stayed at base to do some work on the Wickham Trolley frames, and then went up to Alton to meet Adrian and Pete for breakfast.

Whilst having breakfast they received a call from Chris M and Brian Hi to say that they had come across a broken fishplate just past the first bridge out of Ropley on the Alresford section. Adrian, Corina and Pete immediately returned to base, collected a skirted fishplate and caught the service down to Ropley to effect its replacement. Walking approximately half a mile out to the “first bridge” they were unable to find the broken fishplate. It transpired that the walkers had forgotten that the first bridge was at Northside Lane, and the bridge they were referring to was the over bridge in Sutton cutting, half a mile further on!

After much cursing, the trio arrived at Sutton bridge with aching arms and changed the plate. It was decided rather than walk back to Ropley (uphill) that they would walk down to Alresford for a well-earned cup of tea and to catch the train back. A stop was made at Ropley on the way as Adrian had been informed by another member that they thought that the Great Missenden Signal Box frame components had been found up by the top water tank. This proved to be correct, and the good news is it looks like most of it is there, so it can be installed once the box has been restored.

Eddie and Martin W meanwhile returned to base to start cutting the sheet cladding for the rear Wickham Trolley frame. The first section was temporary fixed by the end of the day.

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