25th February-3rd March 2019

They think it’s all over, well it is now. The Annual Womble Work Week is finished for another year. The major project this year was the big lineside clearance scheme near the 14½ milepost. After a lot of work, 15 large, and I do mean large, bonfires finally disposed of the scrub, brush and branches off the trees. On Tuesday we had 14 people on site burning scrub with another 3 working at the station! Most of the felled timber, quite of lot of which was rotten and/or leaning dangerously towards the track, has been recovered. Some of the small logs have been loaded onto rail wagons, others have been collected but an awful lot are still to be removed. However, the large embankment is now clear and shows clearly the old narrow gauge incline up to the quarries. On the other side of the line the riverside and retaining wall have been cleared of timber, although there is a good days burning still to do there to get rid of the last of the scrub. Just north of this the gardens of the old No. 1 Newtondale Cottages have been cleared, allowing the snowdrops, and soon to bloom daffodils, to be seen. Both cottages, twins to those at Levisham, have had the small scrub cleared and 1 large tree removed. The old well has been uncovered, as has the old garden path. These cottages were built by the NER for the Platelayers and fell out of use when the trackmen were moved elsewhere. Meanwhile, back at the Station, the timber frame has been braced and the rafters screwed down on the new shed. Its new black corrugated iron roof has been fixed into place. In the Ladies Room, the skirtings have been removed for a repaint and the lino has been lifted as it is worn out. New lino has been purchased whilst a padded underlay has been fitted. A start has been made on repainting the walls. The ziggurat garden, outside the Booking Office, has been dismantled as a lot of the sleepers were rotten. The soil has been removed to use elsewhere. There is a lot of soil to dig out, so the job is still ongoing. Quite a few old bricks and lumps of concrete were in the base and have been put aside for use on another job (later in the year). Although Weighbridge Teas were not open to the public they did support us over some of the days, whilst carrying out a deep clean of the Weighbridge outlet. It’s not long now until they re-open for the A4 running session.

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