Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Reported for duty nice and early, full plan.
Today I will clear up some of the problems with the pax at Todd, or so I thought.

Now that we have these units on trolleys it is possible to get to the innards properly.
The secrets are all on  a large tagstrip in the rear which has been pushed back to the wall for a lot of years- Don't tell Mr Almon B. Strowger because he will probably cancel the warranty! ( He invented the system in 1891, ours was built around 1959 so its a new one really).

First lets just check the faults are still there, then lets just change the jumpering  to use circuits that do work and then we can sort out the faulty ones in our own time.

Simple eh what?

Interesting,  The drawing number doesn't match the number on the tagblock and the tag strapping doesn't make sense. Hmm
And there I sat. Looking at it for another couple of hours.
I have learnt that its better to look and suss out before you make any changes.
Neil, I hope you are reading this. Get well soon!

Later, I spoke to Others Who Know, thanks Ian, and was talked through the logic of it. So now I think I know. Try again. All I need now is a pass out from 'er indoors and we will stand a good chance of sorting it.

The Oily Boys

Another dept of S&T is the Oiling gang, led by Bill Tyndall. It looks like they might be about to start Blogging their exploits, and get more recruits. "Oiling to Broadway" does it roll off the tongue?

He doesn't know yet but the reporter may well be Mr Roy Steel.
Don't forget Roy, you heard it here first!

Sorry about the boringness of todays Blog, here is a picture of the cat we co-share with next door


Mike S

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A Wet, Wet, Wet Week in Winchcombe

When the weather is wet its time to look for an indoor job.
Richard E had gone off and hidden in Winchcombe box for the day- Signalling Duty I think he said so we must let him off then.
Richard C was nowhere to be found so it was all down to the me and the Protheroughs. Oh and a Visitor from the Far East, of Dean that is.

Ist job needed both Andy and John- you can tell the difference as John (dad) has got a lot more hair than son (Andy) Placing the Winchcombe exchange (PAX) unit  onto its new mobile trolley so that we can move it around a bit and get to work in the back of it.

We were also joined for the day by Paul Seward who very kindly came up to help us and take a look at the units.
 Paul usually works on the Dean Forest Railway.
Delighted to see you Paul and glad to be able to swop things back to you.
Sorry the Payphone was so dusty!
 Paul and I worked right through lunchtime "mobilising" the 3cwt unit at Toddington unit onto its trolley. He was able to give us a lot of tips re the internal arrangements.

They were built in Liverpool in the late 1950's when diodes were copper oxide stacks and chips were things you ate for tea.
Now we can work behind them we can start to get to grips with some of the faults ( Extension 35 and 36, you are not forgotten) and we rewired the winter heater to keep it drier internally, hopefully the wildlife will spend this winter somewhere else!

Meanwhile, back at base;
the new overhead display for Broadway signal box is taking shape.
 Here we see the redoubtable MW making sure that John holds it up properly for the camera.
I gather that really it is Carl Smarts project.
 I think he will be surprised at how its been transformed from the dustgatherer that lived under Winchcombe Box into what will eventually be a centre piece of the new signal box

Mike S

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

We all seem to have been a bit split up in the last couple of weeks. I missed a week during which the new cable into the new C&W building  was installed and terminated.
Last week your scribe was  in the bowels of the two automatic exchanges: working last week with Neil to sort a problem with one of the Winchcombe to Toddington tie lines. 
These are the bits that work when you dial 19 or 59 for the other system. The exchanges are based on the standard PO type selectors (2000 type for the nerds,) but are suffering from the cramped conditions in the signal box locking rooms. Still, soon we will have the trolley frames to enable work to be done in the back of the units, where all the interconnections are. Soon perhaps, the Flag and Whistle extensions will work properly again!

Just for a change today I had to attend to the unit at Todd which was stuck in the ON mode, at least it sounded that way as the signalman was getting fed up with the noise  coming from downstairs. It didn't help when I was asked to fill up the kettle  and used half his clear lemonade! Sorry Bob! If its any solace, my lemon coffee tasted 'orrid!

In the meantime, out in the daylight our pair of Richards, Etherton and Collier, have been painting away at the exterior of Toddington Signal Box. Soon the steps will glow in the winter sunshine as will the woodwork on the south end. Seriously, its an ongoing task like so much of the S & T work to keep it all working and looking right for our visitors and the paying customers.
I did catch a glance at the Protheroe's busily loading planks onto the pickup, probably to do with crows nests I should think. Unfortunately they were too quick for the camera but here are a couple of pics of  the two Richards beavering away with paintpots.