10 April 2015
Megabash and Gigabash are two events when families and volunteers, both young and mature, can come together and enjoy working for the railway for a weekend. The term “mob-handed” may apply, as on Megabash in March we had almost 90 people present and all were determined to improve the appearance of the railway for the benefit of our visitors.
In 2014 we had started the year with the opening of the new revamped Harbour Station and a very long list of jobs had been identified that would make the place look so much better. Almost all the work was completed then, but additional work was found for this year’s event that would make the place look even better.
A large team was assembled at Porthmadog on the Saturday morning, where a marquee had been erected in the car park, from which to dispense tools and materials, and also provide shelter for the workforce to have hot drinks and refreshments. Many went off to paint gutters, down-spouts, doors, door frames, the handrails outside the booking hall and even flower tubs. Some concrete was laid and stonework repaired. A new washbasin was installed in the staff washroom and the surrounding tiling completed. The grouting in the toilets was cleaned and the cobwebs removed. The platform seats were dismantled and the timber work re-varnished. A myriad of jobs were completed.
The Electrical gang installed new LED lights to illuminate the café terrace outside Spooner’s plus a wide variety of other tasks. This was the 90th Electrical Working Party to be led by Neil Clayton.
At Minffordd Station, work was done to complete the painting of the shelter on the Down Platform and the front of the canopy. The very long garden there was refreshed ready for the new season, weeds pulled out and new plants put in. The team of “young gardeners” finished work on the warden’s garden at the hostel and also the small garden area there beside the front door. The Sign-writing team worked away in the Gweithdy to create additional professionally produced signs to be installed around the railway (see separate report below). Meanwhile, the small Drains Gang continued to ensure the track could not become waterlogged.
In Minffordd Yard they continued to clear the area required for the building of the new Waggon Tracks shed. Timber and cast iron gutter fittings were relocated.
The social side of these events included a trip up the line to Tan y Bwlch café on the Saturday evening to enjoy a three course meal. Over 70 people were present.
Although slightly down on participants for this working party, we had a very productive Megabash weekend in Minffordd Gweithdy. Members were very pleased to be working for the first time on 6 new FR Society funded work tables rather than the old rather wobbly tables in use previously. There is now no excuse for wobbly signs!!!
Over the weekend, 6 signs that had been started by the team at the last working party were completed by either finishing the actual sign-writing or painting the frames and sign backs. A further 10 signs of various sizes and complexity were started and completed in total, plus 3 more signs were started and advanced to be completed at our next working session. The usual complete annual survey of the condition of all the signs along the Ffestiniog line will take place around Easter to determine our sign-work priorities for the summer months including Kids Training Week.
Andy Wilkinson (F&WHR Sign-writing Team Leader)
The companion event, called Gigabash, will be held on the weekend of 24th & 25th October. If you would like to be involved then please make contact with firstname.lastname@example.org