Monday, 11 June 2012

Saturday June 9th

As I was skiving er on a fact finding mission to Canterbury,  our thanks go to Dave Clark for the report and pictures.

There was a sizable group in today, and it was nice to see Clive Whittam and his daughter Charlotte joining us again. Thankfully the weather also perked up!

Helping other railwaysIt is always nice to exchange ideas with other railways and provide help when asked. I had recently been contacted by Robin George from the West Somerset Railway regarding our use of textured masonry emulsion when painting new canvases on our van roofs. So, with Andy Thompson holding the ladder, I surveyed four of our vehicles to see how well the painted roofs were fairing.

As expected, the "magic mix" on the roof of the oldest one that I had been involved with, the little BR Guards Van which was rebuilt over 4 years ago, was holding up very well. The more recent ones (the PMV and the second of the two Shoc Vans) after more than 2 years in the open air were in superb condition. I subsequently emailed Robin with the results of my survey.

The new bogie hoistGood progress was made with the construction of our new hoist.

Initially, Peter Fisher welded two end plates on to the new and very heavy cross beam, which he then cleaned up with the angle grinder.

The next job was to drill the four holes at each end, which will be used to fasten the two "A" frames. We would be using our new magnetic drill, the inbuilt magnets of which enable the drill to be clamped tightly to flat metal surfaces. This was the first time this special drill had been used, so as with any new tool, some initial study was required, and a "triplet" of Johns are seen doing just that (for info, we have 7 Johns at C&W - somewhat confusing, especially to any new members!).

John Squires begins drilling the first of the four holes at the one end of the beam, with John Osborn pouring in the lubricating oil as required.

John Osborn using his special measuring tools to ensure the positions are correct for the four holes at the other end of the cross beam - a time-consuming job but this has to be right!

Meanwhile, Ken Reeves continued working on the first of the two "A" frames. One of the four wheels that he had freed up last week decided to stick again, However more manipulation with a crow bar, lubricant and some gentle persuasion soon had the situation back to what it was. He then resumed the cleaning up and painting in primer that Richard had started last week.

TSO 4869

Andy Thompson completed the painting of the remaining section of roof (abandoned during last Thursday's heavy rain), and then finished the other "moth balling" work to waterproof this vehicle as far as possible. It will now be shunted out to await restoration and be replaced by maroon CK 16195 which is currently parked down the yard behind the Elegant Excursions rake.

Elegant Excursions rakeThe base section of the wooden window surround on one of the doors of the Elegant Excursions rake had come away, so Chris Taylor dealt with the repair.

Meanwhile John Hamer had another battery charging problem to try and resolve, this time on the Bar Car "Sheila".


During the day John Squires resumed his work to create some more little tufnols. As explained in a previous blog these are created from a cannibalised electrical insulation board and are used to provide insulation in the
lighting switch units. Here he is drilling tiny holes in one of the tufnols.

a close up of two drilled tufnols and an opened-up switch gear unit.

Maroon Rake With the Maroon rake due out on 20 June when the main running rake is to be serviced, the major internal cleaning and maintenance work, which was started on Thursday, continued.
Clive and his daughter Charlotte made a very welcome return and soon got stuck into cleaning some of the seating, formica panelling and windows.


Paul continued with vacuuming seats. During the course of the day he made a long list of items in need of repair such as loose tables and under seat grills.

One of the door backing panels had badly corroded at the base, so Chris Taylor made a replacement which I then stained. Chris then glued on the side pieces. The new panel will be given several coats of varnish before being installed.

SO 4790 With most of the workshop side now in its first top coat, a start was made on the wall side of this coach.

First though, Cheryl sanded down the filler under one of the windows where on Thursday Ken had ground down the protruding screw heads.
She then started at the Barn end, painting the middle window section in top coat GWR Cream.

Bob arrived later in the morning and started at the other end of this section. He then started and completed the Park end window section, and then also managed to top coat one of the large bottom panels in GWR Brown. We are very lucky to have such an excellent painting team, but we all watch in awe when Bob paints. With 50 years experience, his skill with the brush is amazing, as is his speed - we don't call him Lightning Bob for nothing!

As always Steve was very busy at the new build end of the coach. Here he is preparing to fix the prepared wooden side sections of the new corridor entrance.

He later began attaching the re varnished internal wooden window framing, I later saw him carrying in more of the new seat side panels, and by the end of the day a number of these had been fitted in the Park end compartment.

John Hill had been viewing this area early on in the day to see the status of this part of the coach, so with the side panelling in place, it won't be long before more seating will also be installed.

Although this is a long-running project, we really are moving forward in leaps and bounds fitting many of the parts that have prepared for some time and stored.


Monster Van

With another (almost) dry day, we could continue working on this. Nicky continued with cleaning parts of the underframe, which eventually will be painted in black. Later on, I showed John Osborn the lower metal surround on one of the windows which was too corroded to repair, and a new section was duly made up. Tony Barnard then cut away the bad area and attached the new piece, which he subsequently sealed with mastic (sorry no picture).

Other activities and visits

Numerous electrical jobs kept both Phil Salter and John Hamer busy, while I did my usual scurrying around which included a final check of my next paint order. The latter is always a guessing game, trying to estimate what paint will be required and the likely quantities needed in the light of both our current and near future work.

Richard (Johnson) was guard on the service train, but popped in at both the start and end of the day to review progress. It was also good to see our former head painter Richard Unitt during the afternoon, who sadly can no longer work with us due to ill health.

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