Form 5EJ at Fosse Way school have been helping Volunteers at the Heritage Railway with various activities including some major gardening plans. Over the summer work has been going on to clear the sand from the Andersen shelter, which has been used to help extend the front border at the station, and the Dig for Victory bed has been cleared for replanting. In addition a raised bed donated by Sentinel steam loco owner Andy Chapman and his wife Michelle has been filled with topsoil.
The students have grown their own plants at school and brought them over to the station for planting and now there are sturdy plants growing in both the raised bed and the Dig for Victory bed.
Station Volunteer John Marriott who is liaison officer and Gardener Gail Coleshill have been impressed with the efforts made by the Fosse Way students and the resultant garden areas.
John said “They have worked so hard under the guidance of their leaders and the results are impressive. The Heritage Railway is very pleased at the improvements that have been made to the gardens at the station.
Gail Coleshill says that visitors would be very welcome to see the gardens and all the other things of interest at the the station at the next event on the 28th July when Joyce the steam locomotive will be pulling trains. There is also a Family Fun Day on August 11thwhen trains will again be running.
Photo shows from the left Jamie, Jimmy, Phoebe, Ewan, Jude and Gina with Nick at the front
There has been a concerted effort over the past few months by a number of our volunteers led by Alan Humphries to complete the restoration of Type 27A Wickham trolley B40W. The team have been sourcing and overhauling numerous parts to get this vehicle operational again since its withdrawal from British Rail decades ago.
The trailer is a refurbished Permquip trolley which can be semi- permanently coupled to the Wickham to carry tools and equipment. Alan Humphries, who led the Wickham restoration, refurbished this trailer and built the wooden box area which can accommodate a mobile generator which can be seen in its allotted position.
Trustee Brian Litherland who is a member of the volunteer track gang says
The Somerset and Dorset Heritage Railway is always looking for volunteers for all departments including building maintenance, gardening, catering, retail and administration. Come and see what is happening at the Silver Street Station on our Volunteers weekend of the 3rd and 4th of August.
The next train running days for visitors are the 13th July which is Diesel hauled and the 14th July which is steam hauled. There is also a family fun day with play,water and sand on August 11th.
Photo shows Lewis Baker, Stuart Garner, Matt Cornborough, Jonathan Griffin, Bob Freeman and Alan Humphries with the Wickham Trolley and Trailer.
Sainsbury’s store celebrates 150 years in the business this year and have allowed their Colleagues to make suggestions about how to celebrate. Local Midsomer Norton Colleagues decided they would like to make a difference in the community and have volunteered for a gardening project at the Heritage Railway. The events at the station on Silver Street are becoming a family institution but it is entirely run by volunteers so they need all the help they can get.
The gardens team at the Somerset and Dorset Heritage Railway have been extending the front border gradually and the Sainsbury’s volunteers are going to fill up with soil and compost to the end and then plant with bee friendly and drought resistant plants.
Store manager Wendy Langridge said
When we had authorisation to be able to Volunteer at the Station we were all really excited. We came up for a coffee and a chat about the project and our keen volunteers have already made very good progress. We are coming up on Mondays when the garden team are there thanks to Sainsbury’s donating our time there.
Gail Coleshill from the Gardens Team was very impressed by their first day of work. She said
“I couldn’t believe how much they did on the first day. I was wondering if I had given them something too difficult with a lot of earth moving – but the Sainsbury’s volunteers attacked it with gusto."
Visitors can come up and see the gardens work progressing at the next event at the station on the weekend of July 13th and 14th when trains are running or August 10th and 11th which includes a family fun day. Diesel pulled on the Saturday and steam hauled on the Sunday. Everything else at the station will be open too.
Photo shows Left to Right – Liz Symes, Store Manager – Wendy Langridge, Karen Benger, Jan Jewell, Sara Tomlinson, Paul Baker (At Back)
The first of the two new running in boards was installed on the Up Platform. One of our volunteers Colin Clarke has made a fantastic job of making the new frame for the sign at his home. The UV proof sign itself was made by local company Arien Designs. It is made of an aluminium composite and not enamel as the originals. This should last for many years. A second running in board will be erected on the Down platform next to the station building.