FRIENDS OF CARROG REPORT - JAN 2012
In January Ron managed to paint the inside of the Tea and Waiting Rooms both the walls as well as the woodwork. This is always an awkward job as it can only be done when the Railway is closed down. The salt which had to be spread on Platform 1 to make it safe during the frozen weather over the 2010 Santa trains lifted the White Lining paint into rubbery strips. It took three weeks scraping to remove most of it before the edges could be repainted.
White Lining is an annual job which we complete before Easter to brighten up the Station.
In March the Highways Dept. closed the road to install concrete kerbing followed by asphalting of semi-soft infill up to the bridge walls. The road has been White Lined.
The brick arches wing and parapet walls of the road bridge have now been repaired by Denbighshire Council. This operation was undertaken over two separate periods in the year. The West Elevation over three weeks starting on the 28th February and the East Elevation finishing on the 21st October. As scaffold was erected over the track a diesel loco was stabled in the siding at Carrog to release the train engine. The hacking out of the defective bricks showed that the damage was further into the arch than expected when a number of layers fell out. Replacement bricks were then mortared in and pointed including the wing walls. Weep holes have been cut in the wing-walls to relieve pressure. As trains with passengers aboard have not been allowed under the bridge in its old dangerous state, the repair to the arches had to be completed before running towards Corwen could commence.
Compare the before and after shots of the West Arch.
As part of the FOC business plan drawn up in 1995, FOC has the remit to undertake Heritage work on other sites on the railway. We volunteered to construct a replica running–in board for the new Corwen Station. As these types of board do not last for many years it was decided to use higher quality materials than hitherto.
The Corwen Partnership funded the continental hardwood frame and marine ply back-sheet and the Railway purchased two finial castings for the posts using the pattern from Berwyn Station. The posts are ex Foxcote Manor flue tubes (5 1/8” OD) professionally blasted and primed after fabrication.
Dave Owen fabricated and welded the brackets. Our own expert Tony undertook all the joinery and assembly of the frame including the moulding producing a very professional sign. The letters where cut out by Martin from 13mm expanded PVC sheet funded by the FOC. The painting in chocolate & cream (starting a BR(W) precedent for Corwen) took quite a time to complete in order to make sure that the coats dried properly. The sign has been temporarily sited beside the car park in Corwen as shown. Later it will be moved to the new temporary station.
The urinal on Platform 2 is being reconstructed to represent an original slate divided two person loo.
We have had the backing slates for some time but had to purchase two slate dividers cut to our profile - half the cost was provided by the railway.
The saga of buying and getting them to Carrog is a story in its own right but just to say that the Welsh Trading Standards Officer was involved at one time. They are now installed.
We did not have the time or manpower to render the walls so this was contracted out. A wash basin is ready for installation, on the right of the picture, to be followed by the tiling, plumbing (with a connection for a hose pipe for the garden) and finally the electrics for a lamp.
The Gents Sign for the wall outside has been refurbished.
When completed you are invited to try your hand but ladies please book in advance.
Painting of the signals has proceeded at a slow pace - when time has allowed and the weather is warm. The Starter Signal on platform 2 is now completely painted while most of the Bracket Signal has been tackled. The bottoms of the other signals have had the black renewed plus the bases of the ladders have been refurbished. The telephone box by the Bracket Signal has been changed to a wooden one. Tony has cut the wood for three more slightly larger boxes as some types of telephones have been a tight fit. The first is to be inserted on the S&T LOK Cabinet in the cutting, the second on a post by the Outer Home Signal leaving us with a spare.
The Platform 2 Waiting Room refurbishment is near completion after which it will be fitted out partly as a museum . Tony has constructed boarding and moulding to a height of three feet, backed by a membrane, which allows air circulation to keep the plaster dry. The internal walls and the underside of the Canopy have been repainted.
The entrance notice board to platform 2 has been installed but the base of the post requires strengthening with concrete as it has taken a lean down the bank due to slippage. It has not yet been decided what the wording on this board should be - anybody with any ideas?
There has been lots of discussion about No Smoking signs as in Wales there is a policy of a complete ban on all Railway Stations. Should we have signs in Welsh or even bi-lingual ones. As we are trying to reproduce a 1950’s station, when smoking was not an issue, we have purchased six ex London Transport enamelled metal signs as being more representative of the period than plastic ones. These will be placed at various places around the station including the picnic tables.
Robin has rebuilt three quarters of the Platform 2 garden retaining wall. Well done - expect the remainder to be finished this year. Sheila and Jeanette work throughout the year cutting the grass, strimming the bank and generally hacking back the rampant growth on the flower beds to keep the gardens tidy. This year the conifer tree by the road bridge NE quarter was drastically pruned by removing part of the top and lateral branches to reduce the danger of falling branches in high winds. The Conifers and rampant Laurel overhanging the entrance path to the station were cut back to open up the approach route from the gate. The overgrown triangle towards the paddock and also the conifer hedge alongside the entrance path have also been dealt with.
One of Martin & Jeanette’s geese died (not at Xmas) to be replaced by two youngsters. Now well grown as shown in the photo feeding at their improved pen All three keep the grass in the Paddock well mown as well as acting as a burglar alarm and amusing the public.
Other regular jobs which do not normally get a mention is Phil Coles doing electrical jobs round the station especially around Xmas putting up the timed lights on both platforms.
This is as far as the track laying has progressed on Sunday 8th January 2012. The distant signal is approx 1/2 mile from Carrog. What odds on reaching Bonwm Halt by the time of the Gala in April?
Every year Janet Fox and her team in do a fantastic job of redecorating the Tea Room for the Santa trains.
In this years display Rudolph nods his head as he pulls the sledge.