The first and biggest task is the removal of rubble and hardcore that had been stored just off the end of Merryfield Lane platform.  James and one of the twins grab 5 minutes respite from the shovelling. In a self portrait, Barney is seen having taken over the shovelling.  The true identity of the photographer is unknown! Duty Driver Graham Watters supervisies the loading of the 'Loriot' Wagon One of the tasks was also a quick journey to Mendip Vale Station to pick up the orange water bowser so that it could be cleaned and filled ready to provide a suitable water supply for the steam cleaner that will be used to clean the shelter prior to painting.  The works train, with George on the veranda, is propelled into the loop at Mendip Vale and stabled, before the front portion runs through the platform road to pick the boswer out of the headshunt. The re-formed train prepares to depart from Mendip Vale Teas' up!  On the Veranda are Graham, George and Tom.  Sat over the buffers are twins Alex and Chris, Rory and Barney.  Tom is taking the picture so out of shot. Work continues with strimming back the scrub on the bank at the back of the platform, a task tackled by Jerry West On the other side of the tracks, work commenced on removing the scrub chopped down the previous season.  It is loaded into the `Pipe` Wagons to be transported to a more suitable location for burning. The trouble is there was a lot of it and the `Pipe` wagons filled up quickly! Off the end of the platform, the work to move the ruble that had been `stored` at the end of the ramp continued. Several hours of hard work saw the `loriot` fully loaded ready for onward shipment. But it was worth the effort looking at the finished result. And the most essential part of the team?  Surprisingly not the Kettle but the Shed Stereo system, pictured here on its day out and recreating the spirit of Glastonbury playing a heavy mix of The Killers and Joe Satriani.  One does question the cost effectivness of the use of the Generator Van from the Dining Set just for this purpose though!  A `before` shot of Merryfield Lane Station shelter basing in the afternoon winter sun The station `furniture` and signs loaded onto the wagon to be returned to Cranmore Depot for overhaul. the `gang` taking a breather from their labours - Chris, Barney, Aaron, Rory and Alex lean over the veranda of the brake van. At the end of the day the Merryfield Lane Engineers Train sits on the mainline adjacent to the engine shed, waiting for the next day. First thing on a Sunday morning and enthusiasm is evident...  Barney, Chris, Chris and Alex in the Brake Van Unfortunately Chris Perkins enthusiasm doesn`t seem to last long as he waits for the instruction to take off the handbrake. The first task is a non-stop run to Mendip Vale to offload the rubble in a more suitable space.  Jerry West steps into the breach to show the `juniors` how it is done.  (Note:- Other captions suggesting the rarity of `Jerry West` and `work` appearing in the same caption have been deleted to avoid persecution...) However the finished result is worth it.  You can now safely walk off the end of Merryfield Lane Platform - although obvioulsy we don`t encourage this... Work then progresses on scrub clearance.  James Turner is pruning the trees on the bank behind the platform. Meanwhile Tom Yardley carries some of the branches towards their temporary storage point in the `pipe` wagon. Chris and James wait for Chris Perkins to finish loading branches into the wheel barrow before wheeling it along the platform to the `pipe` wagon Meanwhile in the picnic area at the top of the bank above the platform Tom Dalton trims the undergrowth Barney uses the rake to remove loose leaves and twigs that resulted from the bank being strimmed the previous day The footpath up to the picnic area is resurfaced using pea gravel from the sandbags stored on the `loriot` wagon.  Chris does the honours watched by Alex and James.  It is understood the unloading was straightforward when the barrow tipped over... However the result still looks good. Overhauling and general repainting of the Station signs and furniture is ongoing in the warm of the workshop A shot of two of the lamp brackets destined for Merryfield Lane in the workshop having been primed and ready for topcoat A bit of a puzzle!  This collection of letters will form the Merryfield Lane Station `Running in` Board Its been a while since a photo update, but the station is starting to take shape.  This shot shows the waiting shelter in primed and in undercoat ready for the final top coats The picnic area looks clear and the benches are visible for the first time in a few years!  THey will shortly be joined by three new picnic benches, currently being painted by Tom Yardley back at the station. O and the new gravel path makes all the difference too! A long shot of the whole station.  With the addition of the picnic benches, top coat of the shelter, the station furniture and some plants, it will look just like it did when it first openined in 1980 No picnic area is complete without picnic benches.  Tom Yardley spent a few days painting the chosen benches which were then taken to Merryfield Lane.  They are pictured bing loaded onto the Brakevan veranda.  And  yes there were some comments about the person too busy taking pictures to help! The attempt at streamlining was doomed to failure... Manhandling them up the gravel path to the picnic area wasn`t quite so easy but Tom and Barney were game for a challenge Slightly unfairly, the other picnic bench comanded a greater labour force of Nick, Steve and Dick The final location, finally, and where was the third person to help shift the bench - yep still taking photos. The new picnic Benches are seen in their provisional resting place in the new picnic area above the platform Fresh from the Steam gala weekend and enjoying the Easter Holidays, Barney and Rory tackle the painting of the shelter with gusto.  Here the cream half is seen in various stages of undercoat. Both colours of undercoat are seen progressing down the shelter at lunchtime. And by the end of the day the whole shelter was in undercoat ready for top-coating this week. A long shot of the whole platform showing the extend of the work to date, a start has also been made on the white line along the edge of the platform.  The "new" aim is to have the station ready to be re-opened for the May Thomas Weekend.
The Shelter is seen in the final stages of painting now, with the cream top-coat over half done. Tom is seen painting the white line along the edge of the platform (This caption was supplied by the photographer - not much painting appears to be happening though! - webmaster) Barney, Tom and Keith are seen discussing plans for the reforming of the embankment edge with Stone lying in the Cutting.
Barney is seen doing a spot of gardening The cream half of the shelter is now finished, with just the chocolate and varnishing to go.  Next week the wooden up-rights will be rubbed down and repainted. Tom and Rory made a start on digging the soil up to make to the foot of the embankment more attractive by using stones from the soil and form the cutting.
With much of the topcoating complete, work has focused on some of the landscaping.  This (rather bad!) shot taken as the last train of the day drifts slowly through Merryfield Lane shows the repainted shelter in the background and the drystone walling in the foreground. Another, better, shot showing a closer view of the landscaping works Sone of the sleepers at the edge of the platform also needed replacing, a task carried out buy the P/Way gang on Good Friday.  The replaced sleepers can be easily identified by their lack of white line. Work does allegedly appear to have been carried out at Merryfield Lane although Chris, Barney and Rory seem to be taking a rest... A long shot across the picnic area Oh and time for another break...

But note the the installed lamp post in the bank behind the workers and the newly overhauled bench. By the longest day of the year, Merryfield Lane Station was complete apart from final touches.  The contrast from pictures 13 and 33 is very noticable in this view along the platform towards Mendip Vale A close up of the inside of the shelter And a view towards Cranmore showing the refurbished signs and the newly installed lamp posts