Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Skivers go to the seaside.


The Cornishman (Tyseley-Plymouth and return)

- report by Dave Clark.

Just about a month after our Lickey Banker trip, Saturday 28 April saw six of us once again heading out from Tyseley, Birmingham, this time on Vintage Trains "Cornishman" excursion to Plymouth.

We were diesel hauled to Bristol by Tyseley's Class 47 (D1755/47773) and, although primarily steam enthusiasts, the journey along the Eckington-Bredon-Ashchurch racetrack and the run down from Gloucester was exhilarating to say the least.

Whilst steam is allowed to run up to 75 mph on the national network, diesels can go up to 90,

and on observing our gallant band of waitresses trying to serve breakfast I have no doubt we were hitting the maximum.

Suzanne, our lovely head waitress, and good friend after so many trips with Vintage Trains - just look at that table!!

At Bristol (where we discovered that a group from our Loco Dept were also on the train), the "47" came off, and Tyseley's pride and joy, Castle Class 5043 "Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" took over the train.

Once again we were treated to some high-speed running, followed by the twin highlights of the day, Brunel's famous Dawlish sea wall and the equally famous Devon banks of Dainton (1-in-36), Rattery (1-in-46) and Hemerdon (1-in-42) - for comparison, the Lickey Incline is 1-in-37. We were delayed by 30 minutes at our Tiverton waterstop, and yet we reached Bristol only 9 minutes down, which was quite incredible considering the twisting mountainous terrain over which we had just travelled - indeed, the climb of Dainton was nothing short of spectacular. Our driver was certainly a "hard-hitter" with the cinders from 5043 frequently raining down on the train, and a large and somewhat hot piece bounced through the window to land on Richard's lap!

An enjoyable 2½ hours were spent in Plymouth with a visit to The Hoe, and a light lunch stop at a pleasant pub nearby. The happy band at Plymouth Hoe - Phil Salter, Paul, Richard, Dave Hancox and Phil Jones

Our return to the station was to find that the VSOE had come in. Our hearts leapt! Was there a Bullied Pacific lurking nearby?! No, sadly just two Class 67 diesels.

However the famous and luxurious Pullman train made a splendid sight.

Our return trip was equally enjoyable, starting off with 5043 storming the long 1-in-42 climb up Hemerdon Bank. Once again we were treated to the wonderful winding journey over the Devon banks, and along that glorious sea wall, recently shown on one of Michael Portillo's Bradshaw railway journeys on BBC2.

By then we were enjoying our evening dinner. Near Cullompton we were running alongside the M5 and watching the speeding cars, while in turn they were watching and photographing us!

Arriving at Bistol Temple Meads on the return journey.

As always, the many enthusiasts were out with their video cameras and YouTube once again has some excellent ones of our train - simply enter "5043 Cornishman 28 April 2012" to display pages of them.

Three excellent ones, with good write-ups:
Dainton Climb - includes four excellent shots - the second section is the climb of Dainton and the third is the long slog up Hemerdon
Sea Wall 1 - at Wellinton and at Teignmouth along the famous sea wall secti
Sea Wall 2- the Dawlish sea wall with seagulls and a choppy sea, and speeding through Newton Abbot  It was a very long day, but hugely enjoyable. Thank you once again Paul for organising yet another excellent trip.

All that way to the seaside
they left the lilo behind!!!

Glad you had a good trip..

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Saturday April 28th The Mary Celeste

I arrived later than usual but was still first in. Knowing that six of our usual number were out on another steam trip and at least 2 were on holiday I wasn't expecting a vast number of volunteers today. So having opened up and switch on the lights etc. I went to check on the Monster Van. Would it be dry inside?

Hooray, it was despite the wind and rain overnight.
So the opportunity was on to start the cross load of the content of TSO 4869,
if anybody else showed up.

Next in was Nikki with some bad news. Dad, Chris, has come of the motorbike and wouldn't be in. Sore ribs etc. and the need for a new bike? Nikki was in to take pictures for her school project detailing her contribution to C&W. Good luck with the project Nikki. Hope your feeling better Chris!

Then in quick succession Peter Fisher, Bob Mac and Martin Levie arrived.

Pete looked at the brackets required for the new sliding door at the west end corridor connection. With the toilets removed and a vestibule created the old opening door has to be replaced with. The new brackets effectively had to match those at the other end of the carriage. So Pete started by measuring them.

By the time Pete left he had made the first and cut the components for the others. There are ten in all. When fitted the wooden battens will support the panelling.

Bob, Martin and myself took on the challenge of the move. We were soon joined by John Hill who helped to coordinate the placement of the various items transferred.

One seat frame isn't to heavy by thirty they are. So an early tea break was held.
Well it had started raining and moving stuff in the rain is no fun (ask Bob).

Martin was extracting parts and Bob transporting then between the vehicles while John and I stored them.

Refreshed we completed the transfer by lunch time.
The afternoon was spent sweeping and tidying the remain bit, steam heat pipe, mounting brackets and a few seat frame bits. You can now walk from end to end without tripping up.

having removed the litter bins from the middle entrance door areas Bob Mac endeavoured to open the centre doors with no luck.

John Hill returned to the current upholstery task, here cover another arm rest.

Also in today were Steve Barnfield who fitted the panelling back into the the four full bays of the second half of SO 4790.

and Derek Clark who continued his battle with the floor of CK 7221. He is currently removing the west end toilet floor for Pete to have sufficient access to weld some new support steel work in place.

There was also a visit from a large group from Wheels and Wings, a transport enthusiasts group under the guidance of Glyn. They had a look at 4869 then having visited the Locos in the yard went to see the RBr while having a ride of the train. Richard Drewitt also dropped by to see the progress and to chat.

Late on I trimmed the east end workshop corner of 4790 to allow the door to close for the wood work team. This revealed an align ment problem to be resolved next week. The door is fine but the corner metal work needs to come out and match the door curvature.
JOHN bring your big hammer next week !!!!!

A total of eight dedicated worker who had a very good day.

No doubt the skivers will be sorry they missed such fun claiming to have had a good time at the seaside.

but how can they possibly match the excitement of our day and our finds?

A copy of the Irish Independent.


In case you can't read it or believe your eyes Wednesday December 13th 1995.
It was found on a luggage rack.
and the totally unbeatable
 An Inflattable lilo.
Found on another rack.
Now I bet the skiver never had one of those to play with today!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Thursday April 26th

I arrived fairly early today. Just as Dave returned form the storage locker with a new steam hose connection. Yesterday the hose on the end of 24949 split. It was taped up to get it through the day but we needed to replace it before today's running as its the outer end that connects to the loco.
So spanner in hand and Dave carrying the new hose we set out for the train. The replacement was straight forward. So we headed back to the workshop.
As it was still dry we grabbed a ladder and the mastic gun and headed out to the Monster Van to deal with the roof. Fortunately it was clear what the issue was and even more fortunately I could easily reach it to effect the repair (squeeze mastic into the seam).
While this was all going on Cheryl had resumed the interior painting of the van. She was joined by Bob Keyte during the morning.

Pete Lucus and John Hughes arrived and took over doing some more sealing on the roof edge.

Three very heavy showers later and at the end of the day the interior was still dry.

So it appears we may have won and the consensus was that we had done all that is really needed at present.

We can now empty the content of 4869 (currently sitting in the barn) into its temporary storage, the Monster Van. An assessment can then be made of what needs doing to the interior of 4869.

On SO 4790

Ralph Pickstone was unusually in today (he is normally a Wednesday man) but it was good because as he fitted the top rail over the new double doors it became apparent there is a need to add an extra strip of metal to face the rail correctly and he could discuss and agree that with John Osborn.

John who wasn't feeling to good today so rightly pottered on minor but still important tasks at his workbench. Namely an additional protective grill for somewhere in the RBr. Hope your feeling better John.

Now one might think mentions of the RBr would come to an end.

You might think that but you would be wrong!

Paul Woods and Ron Woodruff spent most of the day riding the train, SUPPOSEDLY dealing with little issues on the RBr and looking into an internal steam leak
on TSO 4763. This is an intriguing issue
1. the toilets has had to locked out of use due to a leak in the water tank that supplies them. 2. We have disconnected the hot water system anyway even when the tank is OK.

So why is the defunct end of the hot water pipe blowing steam? 

However, its happening so we need to get an extension to the pipe fitted to direct the steam outside the carriage. A job for Saturday morning as I couldn't fix it today.

With Bob electing to take a ride on the train,John Osborn testing the bacon Butties and Dave deciding they needed company for the journey, it was a good job I had lost my phone for a while and couldn't take any pictures.

Fortunately I did find it later underneath the centre of 4790. How it got there I am not sure.
I spent most of the day working on the West end of 4790 cleaning the threads of studs and drilling out old bolts and re tapping the holes so that the communications cord system can be refitted to that end of the carriage.
I also did the usual sanding but the filling turned out to be at the other end completing a section just under the gutter with chemical metal. That's more sanding and filling for someone on Saturday!

At the end of the day Dave did another check of the Monster Van,

then set about clearing the steps out sweeping all round and pinning up some plastic sheet (just in case) over the two spots that look vulnerable to driving rain.

Out in SK 7221 Ron Bennett was beavering away removing the toilet at the west end more of the prep work ready for the carriage to enter the workshop.

Sorry not many pictures today due to the loss of the camera at the wrong moment.

Word has it there is another escape party scheduled for an early break out on Saturday, Dave's getting up at 01:30! I think I will take it easy and turn up for an easy day at Winchcombe much more sedate.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Wednesday April 25th

Our report comes from Russ Smith today.  -  Thanks Russ.

On a wet wet day staying in the workshop was a good idea.

Tony Shilham worked on renewing the bottom area of one of the new doors for SO 4790 by inserting a panel section from a donor door. 

This included:- Marking and then grinding the surfaces. Welding the piece into position

The completed weld and finally grinding off the surplus weld.

Then it was just a case of getting the area smooth with a couple of thin layers of filler.

Russ Smith sanded off the original varnish from an area adjacent to the new sliding door saloon entrance on the disabled carriage.

It was too wet to work on the Monster Van so Grenville Care did some of the mundane - but still essential - jobs such as sweeping the floor.

(Well it makes a change from creating the mess! - P)

Penny Dron working away in the Upholstery Carriage whilst John Hill sat around reading. (I would add that he was reading a technical book on Mark I carriages to obtain a correct measurement!!).

Dave Dron concentrated on re-fixing reservation label-holders to seat-backs.   

Eddie Paddon skilfully created new Sapele edging strips.

He then glued and pinned them to a new plywood panel for 4790.

Thanks Russ for the report and some great pictures.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Saturday April 21st. Visiting Day

The first visit of the day was to check on where RBr 1672 was. Had it passed out with flying colours on its test run yesterday?

Well it was in the main rack but there were a few issues still to be dealt with. The first was a sticking window in the servers access door. I removed the door panel revealing a clogged window guide. A clean out by Chris and replacement of the panelling had the problem fixed ready for the first run of the day. We stood and debated the jet of steam from the shut off value for some time. fortunately procrastination some times pays off. After a while the value sorted its self out and stopped blowing. I also took the opportunity to test the quality of the Bacon Butties. Very Good.

The next issue was that charging lead that connects thought to the next carriage was short at one end so an extension lead had to be made up by Phil Salter ready for the afternoon run although it's only really needed overnight.

The next visit was the two groups of Fire and Drive participants one led by Dave who also took a group from the Avon Valley Railway round

and the other by John Squires.

Then the Dron family dropped in for a look around which meant

John Hill was doing battle on his own with the foam padding with only the electric carving knife to assist. Wow John's turkey must be something to see at Christmas.

These are two new arm rests. if only we could get the moquette in these colour schemes!

This is an example of the perished foam being replaced.

The Monster van was again the centre of attention with further efforts to seal the leaks. Andy and Martin taking advantage of the sunshine. This majored on the edge of the roof.

However, the torrential hailstorm late in the day
(this is a black ash heap cover white in hailstones)

revealed that the umbrellas were still needed in a couple of places.

A further climb up the ladders revealed a possible cause along the overlap of the roofing sheets. So next week we will have to try and seal the join.

Meanwhile Grenville was busy paint stripping and painting the end of the van when it wasn't raining

and the inside with Cheryl when it was.

With John Osborn completing the final corner virtually all of the welding is done on SO4790. So Pete Fishers visit was fairly short but we did identify several sections of top hat rail for his attention in 7221. If the woodwork in the area can be cleared to make the necessary working space.

It was good to see Ben recovered from his bout of illness and back with us painting the bare bits when John had finished and making up a protective grill to be fitted in the RBr. He also made some extra cable hangers to keep the electrical cables neat and tidy.

Chris spent a lot of time with the intricate fitting of one of the wooden door pillars at the east end of the carriage along with fixing the bottom hinge. John Squires assisting with the cut back of some surplus metal that was obstructing the door closing. John also spent time cleaning two steam values, at least I think it was John.

Andy Thompson having worked on the Monster van with Martin Jaunch in the morning spent the later part of the day filling and sanding and Grey undercoating one side of the east end. 

I on the other hand worked on completing the woodwork for the corridor connector at the west end. As the wood was not great on the edges I applied some mastic to seal the joint and black painted the area. It was then back to filling and sanding.

Inside 4790 Steve Barnfield took full advantage of the cleared space to fit some new panelling and to remove the rotten section of floor and fit a new piece.

Some of the new panelling

Finally Phil Salter took the first steps to restoring 4869 in the barn. as the carriage is only in the barn for unloading the interior content. There isn't a lot we can do but some the under body electrics could be dealt with.

Seventeen very busy volunteers in total and a lot achieved. We are at a turning point with the welding of 4790 finished and the painting and interior fitting about to kick off big time.