This project aims to do the physical work on the ground to deliver one of the Society's long term plans, that of creating, at Kingscote station, an authentic Goods Yard, both as a focus for the station and as an important heritage and interpretation goal for the Railway. Whilst the site is constrained by the land now occupied by an independent business, there is space to recreate much of the original goods yard, although some re-arrangement compared to the original layout is inevitable.
The first steps were taken many years back, when the Goods Shed from Horsted Keynes, relocated in 1998 or 1999 to make way for an extension to the carriage works, was positioned in the location which had been once occupied by Kingscote's own Goods Shed.
This page then takes up the story, with the latest news at the top of the page.
A couple of days work into Week 3 of the Cattle Pen build saw Mears finishing off with the final paviours being set and site clear up. This has been a great project for both sides. The hard work, enthusiasm and professionalism of the Mears team, from the On-Site Project and Apprentice Managers to the ever keen apprentices, has shown this type of partnership can benefit the Railway as well as the contractor.
The Mears team have been a pleasure to work with and we will do something for them as a collective "Railway" thank you. Hopefully we can utilise them again under their CSR and apprentice schemes as if this is the quality of workmanship they can provide we have no issues. They have also coped with the weather and delays in the delivery of materials, and have made friends with the NEP team and a really nice touch was a bunch of flowers for Barbara to thank her for the cups of tea!
These three photos, taken on 9 May in yet more appalling weather, show the core of the Mears on-site team and the completed pen and groundwork.
The pictures left and below show the woodwork completed, with the installation of the block paviours well under way at the end of week 2 (two photos from Richard Clark) and at the start of work the following week (John Sandys).
As can be seen, the gates themselves are only low. If cattle, rather than sheep, are being accommodated, the upper rails above the gates lift out.
On Saturday 21st April a start was made on the Cattle Pen. The picture on the right shows earth works for the base of the Pen, which will utilise block paviours salvaged from the ex-Pullman works at Preston Park. The remaining work to erect the wood and ironwork of the pen will be undertaken by Mears Ltd as part of their company's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). All labour and materials will be provided free to the Cattle Pen part of the project. For Mears this is an opportunity for their apprentices to learn traditional woodworking and groundwork skills as well as working with a local volunteer organisation. For the KGYP/Bluebell it gives us a physical start the project and (for this part of the project) a partnership with a national business.
Mears Ltd are a UK-wide social housing repairs and maintenance provider who work for several of the town and district councils local to the railway.
Once the Pen is completed attention will be turned to erecting and restoring the 1880 LBSCR Yard Crane from Singleton.
Right: Mike Hawkins of Drivepoint Contractors loading the last of the earth from the Pen area whilst B473 waits its turn to take the 1.00pm service back to SP (Richard Clark)
During the first week of the project, the Mears team have worked through the appauling weather, which has hampered the progress a little, but their keen team of apprentice carpenters and ground workers have produced some excellent work which the Bluebell's KGYP comittee are most grateful.
As shown in the pictures below, most of the main/high posts had been erected by Friday 27th using traditional oak and wooden dowel pegs instead of nails and chamfered edges.Richard Clark,
KGYP Project Manager
At the start of October 2011, teams of volunteers spent two Saturdays recovering Victorian bricks and other materials from an old railway cottage (first photo below) being demolished (by a well-known local contractor) near Haywards Heath station.
The building materials will be reused creating a coal office and a weigh office at Kingscote, replacing temporary workshop buildings which currently spoil the appearance of the yard. All usable bricks are seen stacked on pallets, below, although the majority will still needing cleaning when finally on site at Kingscote. The picture on the right shows a most interesting and unexpected find; one of the Portland/Bath stone window sills was in fact part of a recycled tombstone! It looks as though it was a reject.
We have recovered approaching 4,000 bricks plus slate, ridge tiles, sash windows and chimney pots, all free for use on the project. Richard Clark was very grateful to all who helped, largely recruited at short notice through an appeal on the Bluebell's Yahoo! e-mail group. It really has boosted this project, with the reclaimed bricks alone saving us in the region of £4,000.
Singleton Crane - February 2011
Derek Hayward's photo shows members of the Alf Brown Gang inspecting the then newly arrived goods crane base, from Singleton, which is to be erected in the yard - most of what you see here will be buried in concrete!
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