Progress Report - November 2020

In the Summer Echo it was announced that we were making plans to rebuild the Heyford Station building at Oxford Road. You may be wondering what has happened since. . .

There is much work going on behind the scenes as we get project plans written and prepare planning applications.

In the meantime, Frank Ellis responded to the Echo appeal for an architect and has started work – although he is currently locked down in Newcastle! We haven’t heard from any potential stonemasons, so please get in touch if you know anyone with those skills! We will use contractors if necessary, but would like to maximise volunteer input.

In August, we cleared the foundation hole and craned out the Martock Weighbridge and other large items that had been stored there.

The final section of the Martock weighbridge is craned out of the site for the Heyford building (l to r) Laurence Stant, Robert Heron and Lionel Robbins. The crane is being driven by Steven Tomsett - 29-Oct-2020

Dave Godfrey, Mick Howse and Ian Griffiths have had the JCB in the area and have tidied up the area previously used by the batch mixer. This is so we can put the batch mixer back. Hopefully a new one, as our existing machine has given over 35-years’ service – and it wasn’t new when it arrived!

Weekly working parties have started and have been used to find the stone in the bramble covered piles. We are sorting the good stone from the bad and onto pallets according to the size – if you look at pictures of Heyford, you will see that each course of stone was a different size.

Volunteers rest on palletised building materials (l to r) Robert Heron, Laurence Stant, Ann Middleton and Lionel Robbins - 29-Oct-2020

The good news is that most of the stone we have sorted appears to be fit for re-use after 35 years stuck in the undergrowth, wet and at risk of frost damage. We’ll start on the dressed stone soon, and hope that will be as good.

The tree surgeon will be removing some trees from what will become the station forecourt either side of Christmas and we will then build that area up to platform height using the spoil bank that was left when we built Oxford Road. This will also give us more space to neatly place the pallets of stone and hopefully allow us to bring the stone close to our work area and tidy up 8 road.

Because we are working outside and the stone is being sorted at several locations along 8 road, we can achieve good social distancing and will divide into groups of under 6 people. If you would like to join when work parties can resume (provisionally Thursdays 3, 10 and 17 Dec), please contact Tim Part by e mail: