Ola from poolside Tenerife.
Thursdays report from Dave C.
Thursday was an incredibly warm Spring-like day making any work outside very pleasant, and very much making up for the severe cold that we had a week or so ago. Bob Keyte, Dick and myself were able to enjoy our lunch outside on the station picnic benches!
There were 17 in, with Richard, Phil, Andy and Bob Mac specially coming in for another shunt. The shunt was completed successfully and enabled the freeing up of two bogies to replace the faulty ones under RMB (Restaurant Mini Buffet) 1876 in the Maroon set. The bogies are now stored ready for servicing and cleaning up, prior to fitting under the RMB, which has been split from the set and is now ready at the end of the C&W headshunt.
The RBr 1672 story continues, with some work to repair the capping strip on the set of double doors that had been sticking. The door team had had to free these up the previous day and damage to the paintwork is unavoidable in these circumstances. Chris completed the repair, but unfortunately had to leave early as he was feeling unwell.
With the shunt completed, Andy, Richard and Phil continued with their work on the two bogies under 1672 - the pressure oiler again in use as Andy worked on the bogie at the Toddington end, while Richard and Phil continued rebuilding the brake rigging on the replacement bogie. John Osborn spent the day preparing some strips for the kitchen area from the recently purchased aluminium sheeting.
Meanwhile, with RBr 1675 expected to continue running for the start of the new season, Paul, Rog, and Ron Woodruff continued with the maintenance of its kitchen area. In the Workshop Paul cleaned up and then sprayed the grills and gas burners with special heatproof black paint.
On SO 4790, Eddie had previously completed his staining on the sanded-down panelling, and as such John Hughes put on the first coat of varnish in the central vestibule and around the windows in the Toddington end compartment. Ron Bennett continued with his excellent conversion of the light fittings from twin to single bulbs, and Dick continued with painting up those that had been completed, adding top coat brown to the outsides of the shades. The rebuild of the Cheltenham end also continued with Malcolm carrying on with his roof sections.
In CK 7221, Dave Hancox continued with the compartment panelling and other internal preparatory work, prior to the coach coming into the Workshop later this year.
Work started on the former-GW Monster Van, with Robin and Bob Keyte beginning the long job of burning off the flaking internal paint. This huge skittle alley-sized van will eventually be used to store the seating and other fittings from former Network South East TSO 4869 when we start its restoration.
With the Chocolate & Cream set back in Platform 1, access to the coaches is now much easier. Ron Woodruff cleaned up the Guards compartment in BSO 9000 and repainted the hand brake wheel in red. With such good weather, Rod and I were able to make some essential paintwork repairs to the platform side of 9000. Many of the door and grab handles along the rake were also repainted in gloss black. A very heart-warming touch for Rod and I was when we had a man and his wheel-chair bound wife visit us on the platform. They had never been to the railway and enquired about disabled facilities on board our trains. They were delighted when Rod and I were able to show them the special compartment in 9000, and even more so when we told them that we were in the process of creating further facilities on 4790 to enable wheelchair-bound travellers to be with the rest of the travelling public.
Later that afternoon, Robin Townsend, the Elegant Excursions Manager, called in to collect the large circular headboard for the "Titanic Commemoration Special" train for our railway artist Fred Lea. Robin then showed me what Fred will be painting on the board. On April 14th Robin very much hopes that the rostered locomotive is Foremarke Hall as it will be facing the right direction and, with the headboard in place, the train will look stunning to the lucky diners as it pulls into the platform.
Work finally finished about 1745, but I stayed on till about 1830 as Ian Carpenter (from the Loco Department) had arrived to do some tests of the new boiler in RBr 1672. This gave me time to complete the painting on the replacement bogie under 1672, and do some more repairs to the previously mentioned double doors.
Thanks for the report Dave. Time for ice creams now! Peter