Megabash March 2006

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There was another Megabash Weekend over the weekend of 18-19th March 2006 and here is report, from Howard Wilson, on events around Minffordd Yard. There was also an Electrical working party, and a Carriage Working party at Blodge.

The largest of the tasks to be included in the event was the new Coal Bunker, now positioned opposite the goods shed, up against the old "Yard Arm" post which is now used to support two flood lights.

On the Friday a JCB had been employed to dig 9 holes which were to accommodate 9 steel posts, which were to be concreted in an upright position into which sleepers could be slotted and stacked up to form the walls of the bunker. It's large, some 30 feet long and about 15 foot from front to back. Estimates suggest that three 20 ton lorry loads of coal will be stored there and that the lorries will be able to reverse into the bunker on order to tip their load.

After the holes were dug and the area for the floor of the bunker dug out, scaffolding was erected to which the steel uprights could be clamped. The concrete was due at 10.30 on the Saturday morning, after the uprights had been positioned. The preparation was complete by 10.25 and everyone went for a brew. Just before 11.00 the lorry arrived - the pour was successful.

After the scaffolding was removed on the Sunday morning, reinforcing mesh was laid over the floor area ready for the second delivery of concrete that was due on the Monday. Meanwhile, the opportunity was taken to upgrade the sloping pathway that leads from the Hostel car park down into the yard by the old caravan now used for storing bags if cement. Previously it had been steep and slippery. 6 old concrete standard gauge sleepers were used to build up a supporting wall on the caravan side of the path and the spoil dug out during the preparation of the coal bunker used to build up the sloping path so that it now extends to nearly twice the previous length. Concrete from the Monday delivery was used to provide a nonslip surface to the path which now extends from the gate downwards with no steps. How exciting!!!

The new booking office/shop within a steel container was advanced when the electricians completed the interior lighting and other wiring. Brian Coldwell has done a superb job fitting out the interior with slotted wood effect panelling that will allow sale goods to be displayed; a wooden floor has also been laid. Brian designed and built a substantial counter to accommodate the ticket computer and the ticket seller - complete with fold up section through the counter top. The doorway has been widened to accommodate wheelchair users, and a decorative inner door is protected by the steel outer door. Steel shutters can also cover the windows to provide security against the vandals. By now, it may be in place on the platform at Blaenau.

Sidings continued to be re-laid at the far end of the yard, and signs and posts erected. Up in the station, weeding and gardening work continued. Inside the Gwythdy various signs were being painted, some with quite complicated messages.

Saturday evening ended with a Blue Brick hauled special train to TyB. The very enjoyable meal concluded with vast slices of lemon meringue pie - excellent. The weather was good, cold wind but very welcome sunshine.

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