Exactly 3 Miles (measured along the track) from Halesworth
Exactly 3 Miles (measured along the track) from Halesworth

A five-man work party at Wenhaston accomplished much, despite some odd weather – and a lot of mud. Stewart and Chris – both now dab hands at the Jim Crow (for explanation see an earlier blog), Stewart being a veteran of tracklaying at the Whitwell and Reepham, and Chris at Bressingham. Of two original SR rails unearthed at Holton, one was in a similar state to those you can see in pictures of the American Civil War (when rails were made useless by heating them, and then wrapping them around trees). A morning’s hard work (and it is hard) in

SR Holton rail - Stewart straightening
SR Holton rail – straightening

the mud, and the rails are almost straight – certainly easier to transport.
Meanwhile, John, Bob and James got stuck in to painting the No 13 van body – as this will end up having 2 coats of wood treatment, primer, undercoat and at least one topcoat – it’s a marathon. James incurred the wrath of the volunteers by first trying to persuade them that “primer/undercoat” was as good as primer and undercoat (it isn’t), and then by badly underestimating the acreage to be covered – twice. Still – most of the body was (separately) primed and undercoated (just in time for a vicious rain-shower) and three weary painters were quite glad when all the paint ran out – one paint be-speckled and blistered painter has still not recovered!
Anyway – most of us then trudged 700 yards – or so – to the east end of the trackbed (we could really do with some way to get there easier – something like – a railway?), for more raking, chopping up, and sawing of lying timber – with a pleasant interlude allowing Chris to attach a traditionally-designed number 3 to the mile post. This is now the defining point of the chainage, and we can identify various sections of sponsored trackbed (donated under the successful “Club 22” Project) for our sponsors to see in the summer. As usual, rubbish and diseased timber was burnt in the incinerator – from which the smoke always manages to follow us round – this must be what the weather forecasters call “cyclonic”.

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