Gigabash 2004

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

Harbour Station, by request of the GM, was blitzed. Some people demolished the Gent's loos (they were feeling anarchic and wanted to smash the cistern), and rebuilt them with new partitions. A wooden stockade was erected next to the rear door of the Spoon, and new PORTHMADOG signs were added to the goods shed. Someone now has the ultimate accessory for their bedroom wall. Concrete was laid on the doorway to the Spoon – see the pic "Demolition" on the photos page – though a baglet subsequently left their high-heeled footprint in it.

Naturally, there were the obligatory young kidz planting bulbs in new window boxes and baskets, and vast quantities of painting. Window frames, doors, the walls round by the bins and the iron fence next to the water tank were painted. The bargeboards were replaced in places where they had rotten, and painted where they hadn't. But for the lack of saluting moving things, it could have been the army.

Speaking of moving things, breakfast on Sat. was interrupted by the sound of Moelwyn, Simplex and 63 bombing past Fred's office. Diller was busy shunting and giving rides up and down the sidings – at the end of the Sunday he got the kidz to load up with scaff to go back to Minff yard, and then gave the kidz a ride. JGForama.

The weather was a bit lousy on Friday night. Water was skooshing out of drains on the road down from Gellyllidan into the vale. Saturday morning dawned and we descended on Harbour Station, with the Traeth fuller than I've ever seen – see photo "Traeth was a bit full". The tautological Port harbour has had a good scour. Ffringe brought 13 Bombardier workers from Derby and one drove up in his 6-wheel, erm, beast. That was a tad excessive.

As ever, Eileen was in control, together with Whizz and Andy Savage. 22, 19, 12, 14 and 11 were parked in 4 road to act as Maenofferen Shed, and a container in the car park held all the tools

My roles were painting the doors down by the traffic store, puttying the disabled toilet window frame, painting the big pillar by said doors and painting the signal post by the past/future WHR connection. Well, I painted it as high as I could, before vertigo said Hola.

During all this, Dave and the Square were running as usual, Square being plentiful on the whistle, Yorkie going for quality rather than quantity on Earl's chime. Ops staff and Eileen managed really well to keep order with crowds of normals and vols all around Harbour Station. It gave the place a real atmosphere – light years (well, fifty years) from the scene of desolation recreated at Vintage w/e. Most touching was Eileen giving volunteer information to the parents of a guy in a wheelchair. I bet if he had had a boiler suit he would have been painting walls.

The JGF train on Saturday night ran to TyB, with fireworks at 100 mph straight. Hilary and co. excelled themselves with another incredible three course meal, featuring the legendary Lemon Meringue pie.

Sunday was exactly the same, -ish. Highlight was Yorkie on the Gimp with the Victorian YTS, which looks even more incredible under Port canopy than it did at York. Blodge deserves mention for their hard work in putting back together Square and Eric (whose puffs were seen from Port). Firm handshakes all round, the late Thora Hird would have been proud of you.

More specialised projects involved Whizz, scaff expert whose name escapes me, Slap, me and a scaff tower to replace the "pub sign" on the signal post. It was a real "measure three times, mark twice, drill once" for Slap and the SSP, as there was a nice bit of sign writing liable to be b*****ed up. But we managed it. As soon as we finished Matty nicked the electroscrewdriver, only for Whizz to nick it off him.

There was more arguing over power leads and tools as Slap and I made up a new door to go next to the bins. Amazing what a printer can do with two workmates on Port platform. I ballsed up when he asked to me if he could "borrow your brains". Adding 90 cm to 30 mm correctly will be left as an exercise for the reader. Suffice to say the battening was a tad too long. If anyone paints out the "Another quality job by Slap and the Soft Southern Ponce" on the inside of the door they shall incur my severe displeasure.

Not much else really – go to Port and see the difference. Or volunteer on the up-and-coming "Canopybash". Also, have a look at the wall on the water-tank end of the old station. I'd never noticed the diamond hung slates there before. That gives one of the reasons for volunteering – you notice things the poor passenger will never see.

During this, me Jo (the lovely Mrs. ElmsNotHicks – and you think Rabbit has problems with namesakes…) had a great time painting around the Disabled loo, painted doors and walked Eileen's Papillions.

So, congrats to all the vols who gave Port such an incredible atmosphere, Eileen, Paul Lewin and friends for organising it all and Messrs. Madocks and Spooner for putting such a great railway station in a delightful town. Oh, and of course Hilary for Lemon Meringue Pie and Glyn for doing the impossible and improving his Bread pudding by pudding cherries in.

Photos here

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