FRIENDS OF CARROG REPORT FOR 2016
The main news to report is that we have vacated our workshop the Western Rhyn Box. It is being refurbished by the Corwen Project Team before being re-located to Corwen. Preparation for us moving out started as far back as May and was completed in November. Another time consuming task, which tied up one person from April to October, was replacing the rotting timbers on all of our five platform benches.
In 2014 a coach damaged one of the car park gate posts which we replaced with a metal one.
The railway claimed against the Insurance and we received a cheque for £210 from the railway which appears under Income in the Financial Summary. This one off payment plus not having the time to undertake many major projects, has meant that our funds are in a very healthy state.
The year started with work in the Ladies Toilet to remove the tiles which were bulging underneath the window and above the wash basin. This mirror imaged the same work undertaken in the Gents in January 2014. The removal of the tiles and render followed by the re-rendering, tiling and plastering took four weeks. January is a good time to do this sort of work as there are no trains.
The painting of the walls had to wait until the plaster dried out which meant that the Ladies Toilet had to be closed on an operational Sunday.
March was a hectic time at the Station preparing for Steel, Steam and Stars 1V.
Any artificial snow left over from around Santa's Sledge was swept up.
The Platform 2 Waiting Room was cleared out and the walls painted.
The four Pedestal posts on Platform 1 were given a new coat of white paint.
White lining of the platform edge slabs was completed just in time on a dry warm day.
Flower beds cleared.
The Station was generally tidied up.
In March the new security gate was fixed on the wall opposite the Ladies toilet to enable the platform to be completely closed off if required. The two support posts had been extended to give a better visual balance. The whole structure was finished off with a final coat of brown paint.
The Lapland signs, hung over the Carrog running-in boards for the Santa specials, were not put into permanent storage after last Christmas as the white background of the boards needed refreshing. The warmer weather in April was an ideal time for this task. In general it is never a good idea to leave jobs until just before they are required.
The Cattle Dock and the wooden boundary fence gates at the P/Way entrance at the bottom of the car park were creosoted
THE PAINT SAGA
The door of the Gent's in the Tin Hut was rubbed down, under coated and then painted brown.
This has started a long running, still ongoing, dialogue with the paint supplier as we have had several tins of brown all with too much red in the mix giving an orange hue. Quoting the correct computer colour code does not seem to solve the problem and the suppliers do not seem to want to go to the trouble of checking the mix against the swatch before despatch. We used to be able to mix half in half of Dulux's off the shelf Olde World and Conker to obtain a very satisfactory BR(W) Brown without any problems.
At the time of writing Martin is in dialogue with a new supplier who has agreed to forward paint samples for comparison against the swatches for our approval.
WESTERN RHYN BOX
In April the spare signal post previously stored in Pete Lund’s coach was cut to length to fit into the Western Rhyn Box and given a coat of good quality white undercoat. It was originally thought that the post would have to be stored outside. However after freeing off space by disposal of Martin’s Fergie T20 tractor it is safely in the dry in Martin’s carport.
The two smaller dolly posts are under the benches in Platform 2 Waiting Room.
In May readying for transference of the Box to Corwen commenced with clearing the surrounding area together with the long job of sorting out all the bits and pieces stored inside. The initial task was to lift items out of the underfloor space. Anything belonging to S & T was moved to their workshop next door. The wooden post castings for our spare signal post were put away safely into a large metal box. We have all the main castings except for a G47 spindle bearing assembly which is on order from Jeff Newton.
The Tin Hut had to be reorganised to make room for all the extra items. Over the months bits were barrowed across the car park when time allowed. Tin advertising signs were moved first for safe keeping. The Avery Scales went to Berwyn Station. The paint tins were the last to be moved. During the summer we were still able to use the Box for joinery and painting the planks for the benches. All the wood dotted around the box was sorted into what was useful and what could be cut for logs or general burning.
Six more planks of Sapele semi-hardwood were ordered to make up to the ten required for our five benches. Four planks were obtained last year. Two of the benches already had one plank each replaced – see last year’s report.
Tony cut the wood and shaped the side and ends in April. It then has taken all summer to rub down, wood preserve, paint both sides in undercoat (twice) followed by a brown top coat. It is interesting that the brown takes a lot longer to dry than a standard top coat bought off the shelf. We understand this to be partly due the differing pigments forced upon all paint manufacturers by changes in legislation in recent years. In addition the planks at the backs of the seats are rotting away as in the photo below. As they are slightly smaller this particular plank has been replaced by making a new one from a bottom plank which was in a reasonable condition. Other backs will soon need to be replaced.
Other LR stations will have the same problem as us if their benches are made from similar quality wood.
Replacement, being very time consuming, is one reason why we will not accept any more benches.
With the re-pointing and sealing of the end wall of the Waiting Room completed Tony refurbished the frame for our new Barmouth poster which is on composite board. It is not the same design as the one on the front of the building. Martin had it photo reproduced to a larger size than normal to make it look more appropriate on the end wall. It really stands out especially when walking down the path.
On platform 2 per the Railway’s H&S request part of the surface behind the edging slabs which had sunk into a depression, and become a tripping hazard, has been filled in with cold Tarmac. Also, over five weeks nearly thirty of the platform edging slabs have been lifted and reset. The path up from the car park to platform 1, by the sales coaches, has had a ramp of concrete laid to enable wheel chair users to access the platform directly without having to go all the way round by the entrance gate.
Also requested are two sets of pedestals and chains, of similar design to the existing ones, to be made for Platform 2 when it is in use for special events like the Winter Warmer. These were the last items we made in the Western Rhyn Box, fabricating them from the wood store. Painting had to be done in Platform 2 Waiting Room. Not a very satisfactory solution and a sign of problems with our future planning for the building as a mini-museum. Each year the ones on Platform 1 need touching up so the new ones will be very useful as they can temporarily take their place.
The usual regular weeding, grass cutting, planting of bulbs and pruning takes up a lot of volunteer time but is necessary to keep the station smart. This year the stone letters spelling out Carrog in the grass bed in front of the sales coach have been renewed. The weeds in the Cattle Dock, which grow between the bricks, are a devil to remove and take up valuable resource time.
JOB LIST FOR 2016
Items A) to D) on the job list below appeared as work to be done in 2015 but none got started apart from some work on the Bracket signal. Appearing again this year they hopefully will have better luck this time. However we did complete items E) to M) on last years list.
A) Rub down and paint the Down Advanced Starter (towards Corwen) as it has been neglected.
B) Finish painting the following signals - the metal work (black) is the priority.
- Bracket signal - repair the white paint bulges due to water ingress and the metal work.
- Down Outer Home.
- Up Advance Starter.
- Finish the re-paint of the faded black bands on the back of the signal arms.
- Renew the red on the Shunting signal arm.
C) Refurbish as many of the six Token Catcher posts as possible – most only need top coat.
D) Finish the rubbing down and painting of the Finials.
E) Fabricate a slightly larger new entrance sign board by the station gate.
F) Lift and relay more platform edging slabs.
G) Renew the beading round the edge of the CARROG signs.
H) Rub down the rust on the warning notices attached to the bridge and re-paint.
I) Touch up the pedestals on platform 1.
J) Paint the White Lines on the platform edge.
K) Continually mow grass, prune and tidy garden beds and plant bedding plants and bulbs.
L) Ensure LR refurbishes the Santa Sleigh ahead of the 2016 Santas.
M) Protect fall hazard at Signal Box lower stairs.
While painting the white lines 9F 92214 drifted
past returning from a gauging run to Corwen.
Steel, Steam and Stars 1V idea of a freight with 92214 and 4270 on Sun 15th March