Chris and James manhandling an 8″ x 8″ gatepost

A very misty and moist Wednesday on October 15th did not deter seven members of the Environmental team from progressing at Wenhaston on all fronts.
At the station site, Toby and Sean planted more willow along the boundary, and marked out the placing for the grounded van body. Toby has worked out a way to protect this (quite expensive) building from the wet ground and mud: a base will need making so that Buildings Bespoke can erect it – hopefully soon.
John, Toby and Maureen continued to clear the brambles, dead twigs and branches, and general trash along the trackbed walk, and produced a very nice looking section. Sean tackled a dangerous overhanging – and rotten – tree towards the east end, and after long efforts, managed to remove the worst of the hanging timber – the stump, which is also split and rotten – remains to be done another time.
Chris and James dug holes for the northern gateposts on the driftway crossing – one turned out to be in exactly the right place (we

Maureen, Toby, Chris and James in our new northern gateway, looking over the beautiful Blyth Valley. The lean on the posts is a camera artefact

almost fell into the original hole) which, as there is no evidence above ground, is gratifying. The two posts (recycled) were levelled with Chris’s nifty laser device, which is certainly more 21st century than the usual navvy type of equipment we tend to use. They now await their gate.
Then we tackled – again – the raising of one of the original SR gateposts. Regular followers of this blog will already know about the saga of the post. Anyway – this time, we succeeded! A (very) Heath-Robinson arrangement using a 2-tonne hydraulic car jack, some 6 inch nails, and a crowbar – plus various people balanced on various parts of the leverage apparatus (don’t ask) – and out the post came, like a tooth, to its proper height. So, flushed with success, we did two more. These have also leaned over sideways and forwards over the years, so a lot of crowbarring and forcing in of rubble had to be done as well. We are now ready to fit the (extensively repaired) original fence rails and droppers back onto the original posts. At this point, we will find out if James’s bizarre dowel repairs have worked (one 12-foot length is in four pieces).

Sean and Toby and a “downfalledy” tree

Towards the end of the day, in compensation for a slightly embarrassing moment when Maureen brought some very sad remnants of fencing most of which even we couldn’t use, she found a complete 12-foot length – buried, and with several trees growing through it – but the only complete one we have. Perhaps next we might find a sleeper, or even a rail – the rabbit activity at the east end has buried the trackbed in a foot or so of soil in some places, so you never know.

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