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2013 News

Winter delayed things but later progress was made, particularly by sharing facilities with the Bognor Regis Model Railway Club.

The first few weeks of the year precluded almost all works because of the cold. However by the end of February the ground floor had been changed beyond recognition. The upper half of the walls and the ceiling had been insulated and plastered and the lower half insulated and clad. During this work electrics had also been installed.

About this time the decision was taken that the building needed some form of heating. It was decided that we should look at a ‘Green’ system which would not only be friendly to the environment but also to our pocket in that our power supply should be sustainable. The mammoth task of applying for grants was undertaken to purchase and install solar panels to provide our power needs, an Air Source Heat Pump to provide a highly efficient means of producing heat and the installation of an under floor heating system.

It was about this time that approaches from the BRMRC, who in early months had started the task to convert the old barn which stood adjacent to the signal box, were made to provide a joint heating system. This collaboration has enabled us, in working together, to obtain funds not only to provide a joint heating system for both buildings but also to provide for the external cladding of the barn to resemble a ‘Freight Shed’ in the same livery as the Signal Box. Our joint thanks go to The SITA Trust and to West Sussex County Council, The Member’s Big Society Fund for supporting us.

July and August saw the most dramatic of visual changes to the Signal Box with the raising of the balcony and stairs at the northern end of the signal box. Richard Medlock assisted by Mike Burton spent the better part of six weeks constructing the additional structures on site. With the use of a large portable mortise cutter all the joints were constructed and eventually everything lifted and slotted into place. Richard is especially pleased with the stairs which provided many problems in their construction.

September and October seemed to fly by but equally much was achieved. Solar panels, providing electrical power for the site, were safely installed on the roof of the barn. The new floor was laid in the Signal Box containing all the pipe work to provide the under floor heating. A heating system was also installed into the barn. Trenches between the two buildings were dug, pipes laid and everything re-filled once all the work was completed. The last sections of concrete, for the approach to the outer staircase were prepared and finally the berm was seeded. This now only requires the grass, once grown, to be cut to provide space for the flowerbeds to be planted.

November saw the arrival of the prepared flooring, cut from the original beams holding up the lever frame. Work however has been limited as access to the ground floor of the building was restricted until mid-December while we awaiting the floor to dry and harden. December did see the first few rows of boards laid and one or two other jobs finished off. Orders have been placed for all the iron work to construct the ‘Window Cleaner’s’ balcony and this is expected to be delivered in January.

With winter proper approaching work will again be limited by the cold weather however, we are more than hopeful that before Spring 2014 arrives we will see the window cleaners balcony installed around the east, west and southern sides of the building. This task will complete all the external works, bar further painting. Internally, with the aid of our under floor heating to keep us warm, we hope to lay, sand and polish the new wooden floor, finish off the stairwell and the cladding and cills on the lower floor.

It is our sincere hope that in the coming months we will be able to source both a set of signals and obtain enough working parts to enable us to construct a representative display of working levers. If these items materialise they will make a colourful display and provide a working example of the building during its working days.


Posted by admin, 13 Aug 2015
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