User menu

November Winter Working Weekend Part 1


Roadworks TriangleOrange Army Weekend!

The first Winter Working Weekend commenced Friday November 25 through until Sunday 27.

As a part of preparing the L&B trackbed for the approved future extension to Wistlandpound, the intention this weekend was to clear the trackbed and cutting between Bridge 54 and 53. See below.

This 1st set of photos comes from Julian and Lindsay Palmer who were there on the Saturday:

1. 2. 3. & 4. Surveying the work and then getting stuck in!

5. & 6. Julian comments: One of the highlights for us were the huge grin on Martyn Budd's face while using the new log grab on the excavator. What a wonderful piece of gear this is.

7. Here is a view of original L&B ballast lurking just a couple of inches down and revealed for the first time after over 80 years.

Looking towards the Blackmoor end of the cutting late in the afternoon. 

A very enjoyable day in the company of a great group of people from far and wide. The sense of enjoyment and positivity in the air was amazing.Someone else may know the exact numbers, but it looked like there were around 40 on the Saturday. There were so many homemade cakes etc. that some felt that we should have a separate "cake day "! Also, a big thank you to Graham for sorting the hot drinks each day.

Words & Photos Julian & Lindsay Palmer

This next report is from Nigel Thompson who cycled uphill from Barnstaple via Chelfham to assist and to take some photos of the gangs’ work today.

1. Looking north towards Blackmoor across the site of Pound Lane Bridge (No.54). The trackbed here is fairly clear.

2. A public bridleway passed ‘under’ Bridge 54. Keith Lamprey has a ‘lonely’ tidy up and digs out a channel for the water drain past.

3. - 8. Various views of the clearance with bonfires burning well.

9. Martyn Budd and the excavator fitted with the new log grabber attachment, loading trunks into a trailer for onward transport.

10. A view of the almost cleared cutting looking north to the Blackmoor end.

11. & 12. As this end of the cutting is very wet and waterlogged, the gang formed a chain.

13. Just visible in the background is Wistlandpound Bridge No.53.

Words & Photos Nigel Thompson

This report From Graham Bendell

Graham joined the “party” on Sunday and was amazed at the amount of clearance which had been done over the preceding two days.  This continued on Sunday and when Graham left the only work that appeared outstanding was general tidying up and completing the clearance at the boggy end near Bridge 53.  The new log grabber made a massive contribution to this weekend and will prove its worth time and time again.

1. Sunday lunch by bonfire No.1 at the dry (northern) end of the cutting.

2. Dave Bloomfield tidies up bonfire No. 2.

3. Bonfire No. 3 at the Wistlandpound end of the cutting. This section is very wet as can be seen in the foreground. The dark mass at the end of the cutting is Bridge 53.

4. Looking across the gap towards Blackmoor at Bridge 54.

5. Looking back from Bridge 54. The amount of work carried out here is quite clear to see.

6. The one remaining (southern) abutment of Bridge 54. Keith Lamprey undertakes fencing repairs.

Graham's final comment: "An enjoyable day, as ever on these occasions. It was good to see old friends again, and to make new acquaintances."

Words & Photos Graham Bendell

Part two of this photo-fest is HERE

The next two working weekends will be:

January 27 - 29 - Track maintenance including stripping out and relaying our two occupation crossings

March 24 - 26 - Clearance of our Wistlandpound Station site.

Corporate Supporters - Where to Stay

The Denes button Fox and Goose button Lynton Cottage Hotel button Moorlands button