Vandalised gates and fencing at Pitsford Sidings. Photo: J. Coulson

The pushed over gate post and fencing, blocking the track at Pitsford Sidings. Photo: J. Coulson.

After the vandalism of the fencing and gates at Pitsford sidings on the 7th of August 2016 the volunteer working members swung into action.

During the week a new gate post and fence posts were bought and delivered to the railway (the cost of the gate post alone was around £70). Early on Sunday morning (14th August 2016) the N&LR Orange Army gathered with tools to start the on-site repairs once the necessary engineering possession of the line had been taken.

Inspection of the gate post revealed that it would need replacement at the end of the year when trains do not run, but it was strong enough for the time being, as per the routine inspections that are carried out. A witness to the vandalism has stated that the person took 5 or 6 shoulder barges to break the 1ft by 1ft level crossing post.

The snapped fence post was quickly replaced whilst others salvaged the gate and associated fixings. Then the marathon task of removing the stump of the broken gate post started using drills to drill out the wood, which failed due to the hardness of the wood.
Plan B was enacted where the surrounding concrete and earth was dug away on the track side, prior to lifting out the old post. This took about 6-7 hours to do.

Once the old post was out the new one went in quite quickly to allow the fencing to be put back in. Some of the tasks to fully repair the damage remain to be done the next time the volunteer Orange Army is on site. Thanks is given to the four of them for their sterling efforts.

The members of the N&LR Orange Army are grateful for the kind comments received from members of the public using the Brampton Valley Way.

On a more positive note some signal box equipment restoration has been undertaken by one of the volunteer working members. A BR Type H signal lever lock and controller has been undergoing cleaning & restoration away from the railway, as the photos show the transformation is quite impressive.
Work is continuing to finish off the restoration. A big thank you to this volunteer working member, as it is thought the value of the restoration work (time & materials) is around £100.

As all activities at the N&LR are undertaken by volunteers using funds that have been donated or from train ride ticket sales. Please consider joining as a member, becoming a volunteer working member or popping along for a train ride or make a donation, to show your support.