Sunday, 31 March 2013

March 30th - Saturday

March 30th - Saturday Report by Dave Clark

A smaller number in today, but once more we were blessed with a DRY sunny day - a few tiny flakes of snow appeared in the afternoon and vanished just as quickly. It was also Richard's birthday, and we were treated to some of his daughter's superb cooking, with delicious sausage rolls, lovely cup cakes, and a large sliced cake to die for. Many happy returns Richard, and thanks for spoiling us - the smaller attendance also meant lots of seconds, and whisper it gently - even thirds!

CK 16195

Cheryl as always was first at work, this time painting on several coats of the quick drying "woodstain" on the backs of the two newly refurbished doors on the Workshop side of the coach. Just one of the middle doors on the wallside remains to be completed by the Door Team. It has been a long job sorting out these aluminium doors with their rusted-in screws but the effort has been worthwhile and the new wooden inserts will mean much quicker refurbishments in the future.

The park end vestibule is gradually being put back together. Steve had a busy day installing the new kick boards, a new section of panelling in the Workshop-side corner, a new rubber draught excluder, and numerous other bits and pieces.

Here he is seen painting PVA solution on the back of a new section of ceiling that he has just made.

Later in the day I undercoated this section, as well as top coating two other pieces. When the new Paintshop comes into being, all this sort of work will be done in there on trestles, instead of cluttering the Workshop and constantly under the threat of dust and dirt from other work going on.

With the wallside park-end door frame capping strip successfully installed by Peter on Thursday, Phil Jones concentrated on this corner, cleaning up and filling (with very careful hand-sanding to keep down the dust). This was then finished off with a coat of the light-grey base undercoat.

Meanwhile, on the nearby bogie Andy replaces one of the brake blocks.


KWith the MICA van completed it was shunted out into the Barn. The newly attached steps at the north end show up well. Ideally to complete this a curly handrail should also be added, and John Osborn and John Squires were keen to have a go at this. Unfortunately we currently do not have the right gauge of steel rod available.

Fruit C Van

The MICA was replaced in the Workshop by the Fruit C van, which is normally located in the bay platform next to the Santa Coach. The van has been suffering for sometime with a leaking roof, despite several attempts to fix this in situ. However, the intention of completely replacing the roof canvas was abandoned when a friend of Ken Reeves highly recommended an expensive, but superior roof sealant with a fibre content. Using one of our 3 tier scaffold towers, Bob Keyte is seen applying the first coat. Although the manufacturer states that one coat is supposed to be sufficient, we will be putting on at least three! And of course, as reported in the recent blogs, this has given us the opportunity for a quick repaint. With undercoating completed, Bob and I started top coating in GWR Brown.

BG 81039 and FK 13337 "Gillian"

Continuing our preparations for the Wartime Weekend and May Gala, BG 81039 was shunted out of the Barn and shows its better side against a looming black sky.

FK 13337 "Gillian" was brought in to check the bogies as there were suspected horn block problems, and as part of this the coach was given a run up and down the yard to see how well these functioned. Back in the Barn, Phil uses a small but very powerful jack to try and release an axle horn block which is sticking in the horn guides. Some movement had been observed (if you look closely you can see the two white chalk dots showing the original position of the block within the guides), but not enough to satisfy us. If not resolved this could mean that "Gillian" will not be part of the third rake in the Wartime Weekend, and possibly also the Gala.


As previously reported, John Squires has been building a trolly to transport the very heavy pipe bending equipment to wherever required. He stands by the now completed unit. Well done John, this will save many an aching back and strained muscle.

This very rare sight just had to be recorded. A completely clear AND clean toolbench!

Just to show what a useful tool our press is, John Osborn and Ken straighten out a section of brake rigging.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

March 29th - Thursday

With the sun shining it was easy to be lulled into a stales sense of warmth. That was quickly dispelled as yet again another van man blocked my way the Winchcombe. This guy was well provisioned but somebody was going to get a late delivery this morning.

I set about the capping strip again, this time with more success and by coffee break it was fixed and the door closed. After the break I re assembled the door trim.

While I was doing that Richard and Ken removed the guards door from the BG in the barn. Having got it on the work bench they could investigate why the window didn't open. I suppose I should have taken a picture of the 2x2 length of wood they found jammed inside the door holding the window up!

Having removed that they repaired the window. The glass had become detached from the cradle and guide. Ken then took the grinder to the door rail and shortened the door by a fraction to stop it sticking on the floor. Having poored a considerable amount of light oil into the locking mechanism it freed up and resumed normal working. We then put the door back on the carriage.

Paul and I think Robin and John Hughes washed the side of the carriage to see if it would improve things.

The carriage looked very shabby before the wash but as you can see it came up very well. There are a few spots that will need attention but in genral its acceptable.

Unfortunately one end is not in the same condition. So Dave Hancox started on the repairs.

John Hughes continued with the repaint on the Monster van. All the woolie hats show how cold it still is in the barn.

John Osborn made some back plates for the steps that are to go on the Mica Van then Ron Bennett and Roger Perry set about fitting them.

Having earlier refitted the locking bars.

The newly made one looks very good.

The good news, mid morning, was that the new oil supply arrived for the heater.

Pete Lucas ontinued with the lining out of the CK.

While Cheryl was having a home from home cleaning up the dust in the compartments in the CK.

Jeff Broderick was doing a good impression of Black Rod. Actually this was a strip of trim from the CK that needed a coat of stain that was duly applied.

Richard and Ken finished the day servicing the currently spare vacuum cylinders. These will be needed for the Rivera carriages WHEN they arrive.

Malcolm was again working on the roof of the BG in the barn.

The other good news was from the boardroom blog with confirmation that the bolier van is to be completed enabling us to properly test the hjeating system before we put carriages into service.

We only discovered one of the radiators in 4790 isn't connected when  the carriage was first used in service. we now have to try and fix it with the carriage well away from the workshop. Not easy as we have to cut threads and get the pipe length correct.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

March 27th - Wednesday

It seemed like a good day when I left home. The roads were clearer than on Saturday when I headed for Winchcombe.

That is until I got the stretch a bit further on where a large white van was stuck sideways across the road clearly stuck in the snow drifts.

Looking at the size of the van and not being in such a generous mood I detoured via another route and left white van man to it.

Perhaps it served me right because it appeared to be one step backwards before two more steps backwards. I set out to fit the capping strip on door 7W (that's the paintshop end wall side door).

It was in position secured by one screw and a pop rivet. It was quickly apparent that would have to remove strip again as the door just would not shut properly as I tried to position it further.

After much consultation with Craig we concluded that the door was jamming on the hinge side. After much fiddling with feeler gauges several spots were located where the paint and some of the underlying wood needed to be removed.

By the end of the day the door was finally closing properly. Now tomorrow perhaps I can try and fix the capping strip AGAIN.

Elsewhere Maurice Norman painted up some kick boards for CK16195.

With John Hill, John Hughes Dave and Penny Dron were all in of the upholstery team today so I didn't go over and see them I didn't think there would be room for me as well. They will be wanting more space in the new workshop area next.

Work continued on the remaining 2 doors that off the carriage Ralph Pickstone and Mike Blackman working on the doors. again the main issue was with the screws securing the wood panelling.

Ken started on repairing a section panelling.

At the end of the day and with Ken and Craig we did agree what needed to be done to return one of them to the carriage tomorrow. We also discussed the remaking of a panel for the other door. We left Craig to write it all up in the door book.

The first job of the morning for John Hamer, apart from blending and starting the workshop heater again, was to move the BG on the jack road further into the barn. This was to give access to the side of the carriage for repair work. In its original position the area that needs attention was in line with one of the jacks and thus inaccessible.

Rod Wells and Russ Smith continued the staining of the panelling in them CK. Rod also moved on to complete another section of the lining out applying Black to the section on the wall side.

Dave Langdon and the team had hoped to fit new springs to the brake van tucked in the end barn. Unfortunately what was delivered were tender springs for a loco. So we will have to hope the correct springs arrive next week. This left the team to overhaul the axle boxes instead so the day was not a total loss.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

March 23rd - Saturday Snowday

I was going in to Winchcombe today but it started a blizzard as I was having breakfast. So I waited but it didn't stop it just kept going. So then I decided to go in after lunch. I got half way there and ran in to snow drifts and abandoned vehicles on the top of the hills above Winchcombe.

Before I caught up with the stuck cars.

So having pulled two of then out, one had been stuck for over an hour thank heavens for 4 wheel drive. as there was still one completly abandoned in the middle of where the road is supposed to be I felt it wasn't worth going all round the countryside to get any further.

So I came home again and did the obvious. With my wife, we looked at booking a holiday somewhere hot! Then we defrosted the freezer.

Dave I know is not back yet and Paul Wood, Phil Salter and Phil Jones went on a double-headed steam trip down towards the Severn Estuary! Ben Evason, by the way, is firing on "Kinlet Hall" for that.

We know Tony Caulfield and Alex did 2 hours painting the Monster Van, then decided to return home with the snow getting worse.

So who else did make it in and what did you do? Post your comments if you made it in.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

March 21st - Thursday

With a total of 24 volunteers signed the efforts were bound to be wide ranging and thus it proved to be.

As I arrived John Hamer and the maintenance team were heading for Toddington to investigate reported issues with the lighting, so potentially the batteries, in the maroon set. When they returned later they reported that the the batteries while not brilliant we're better than they expected.

This is one spoon we don't use for stirring the tea. This is Dave's special spoon. We use it to scoop out a small amount of paint from the 2.5 ltr. cans into a small plastic pot. Why? Well when painting a long thin line the can is far to big and heavy and vulnerable. To paint a line along the carriage only takes less than a spoon full.

As I was going to spend most of the day wall side of CK 16195 the spoon was in use today where you can work away oblivious of anyone else. I completed the yellow lines on the wall side and started on the black. As I said it is quiet, that is except for when John Osborn starts hammering away.

Today John was into making the new vacuum hose clamp he had discussed the other day.

Starting from the strip of metal in the vice that he had already cut out, he hammered and shaped it into a clamp. The one on the right he had made earlier.

Jeff, anticipating the cold to come, cleaned up a section of the under frame and gave it a coat of red oxide.

Cheryl and Russ spent various parts of the day staining sections of the panelling in the CK. The plan is to apply three coats. So I hope they know where they have got too. The stain they are using is also a varnish so I'm never quite sure have to refer to it.

Roger Wicker did some redecoration in the loo and was then joined by Ron as they set about refitting the loo door

once they had found a new top hinge and worked out how it worked. The hinge is sprung loaded and you have to get the tension right.

At the same time John Hughes and Ron Bennett were refitting another of the sliding compartment doors. There isn't a lot of room to turn or move things around in the corridor.

Michael seems to have won the best of three falls with the character who has been standing round in the workshop. The back is primed but Michael is smoothing the edges to ensure that there are no nasty splinters to catch little fingers before it gets some more paint.

Steve was in today and completed the replacement of the final door pillar. However, we found the door didn't close properly as it was sticking on the capping strip elsewhere. So Ken removed the capping strip and has started refitting a new one.

Just for a bit of variety and it needs doing anyway Steve also did some work on the window surrounds for the model railway carriage.

Martin was finishing the MICA Van painting on the wall side painting the door edges and touching up the giant W now the masking tape if off. We just need to remount the locking bars and its jiob done.

Tony Barnard was also is and assisting on several jobs he finished the day greying up the workshop side paint shop end corner and door. These have some catching up to do. They still need a rub down and about five coats of paint.

In the barn top coat painting has resumed on the Monster Van with John Hughes,

Dave Hancox and Roger Perry all having a go until the cold reached the point where the paint was not flowing anymore.

Ken of course as we know is hard. So he was working on the BG out in the yard removing a rotten step at the guards entrance. He has also started work on cleaning up and protecting some of the exposed metal work on the side.

The BG will be coming onto the barn to replace 25341 which currently on the jack road. 25341 has been lowered back onto its bogies ready to move.

While it is still there Malcolm made some good progress on the other side of the roof. He did have to contend with a load of platform benches that have materialised in the side of the barn obstructing his access.

When I got home there was an e-mail from Dave saying the the BG would be coming into the barn next. Ken obviously got the same e-mail........

Ken said...
Quote=Dave Clark It will probably be BG 81039 in next.

NOW you tell me! That's the one I've been scraping the loose paint off and applying a protective paint coat. The one corner now looks like it has suffered a severe bout of Chicken Pox.

The horizontal paint drips are due to the Wind. The Climatic type of wind as opposed to.....the previous Evening's Curry.

It was Brass Monkey Weather but, all 5 foot boards have been replaced along the Malvern side.

Just one more side to do.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

March 20th - Wednesday

This is just a very quick update from Rod on the panelling in the paintshop end vestibule.

Today it progressed from this

And this

To this

Well on the way to another good restoration.

Dave Langdon and the team worked on the first Buffer of the Macaw 107328, which was stuck 'in'. He reports: We had thought it was a non-standard buffer, but it is standard - just completely full of scale. It was removed and attempts were made to free it up. The shaft was moved 'out' but not freed. Buffer & backplate were returned to the buffer beam.

And make sure you read the update comment below.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Gala vans update- March 13th

Dave Landon's and a small team are busy checking out and servicing a selection of Wagons for the Gala. They have a big task and they are making good progress.

His latest report does to things.

1. Gives us an idea of what is currently being considered.
2. Gives us an idea of progress.

Date 13-Mar-2013

Brake Vans

S 56305 – SR Queen Mary 1936
Axleboxes Complete and oiled
Buffers Hardwood packing replacement complete.
Tapered steel backing sheets turned.

17392 – GWR Toad 1939
Comment Known to have spring issues. 2 x spring removed from Toad

B 954962 – BR Brake Van 1959
Comment Reserve van if either of the above not fit to run.

17244 – GWR Toad 1942
Comment Last reserve brake van if two of above fail.

BR Bauxite Liveried Wagons.

B 743835 – BR China Clay open 1960
Comment Work complete

W 143760 – EX GWR Open 1944.
Comment Work complete

B 733588 – BR Conflat 1955.
Comment Work complete

B 854082 – BR Shocvan 1957.
Comment Check internal load secure

B 854239 – BR Shocvan 1957.
Comment Check internal load secure.

B 787004 – BR Ferry Van
Comment At Todd. Roller bearings. Check required on Vacuum brakes.

B 755964 – BR Box Van 1951.
Comment Don't do this yet. Part of P’way train needs a repaint.

B 772065 – BR Ventilated Van
Comment Reserve van dependant on clean and paint.

B 703843 – BR Conflat 1956
Comment Reserve wagon dependant on repaint of tank.

B 703819- BR Conflat 1956.
Comment Work complete

GWR Grey Liveried Wagons.

144678 – GWR Van 1942.

112850 – GWR Mink G 1932 (112869)
Comment Part of P’way train. Needs attention to brakes.

65742 – GWR Mogo Van
Comment Part of P’way train.

142594 – GWR Mink A
Comment Needs repaint into GWR grey.

79636 – GWR Mica B 1910.
Axleboxes Completed, oiled
Buffers 1,2 ok 3 coupling bolt sheared, 4 coupling bolt missing
Comment South Todd end axlebox - broken inner seal (wooden).
South CRC end axlebox - spring broken.

84974 – GWR Macaw B 1922
Axleboxes Complete and oiled
Buffers ok

107328 – GWR Macaw H 1935.
Axleboxes Complete and oiled
Buffers Buffer 1 bolts freed. Buffer & backplate freed from buffer beam

28833 – GWR Mink D 1911
Axleboxes Complete, oiled
Buffers ok
Comment Axlebox inner seals missing.

79412 – GWR Mink C 1906.
Axleboxes Complete

30500 – GWR P20 Starfish 1942
Axleboxes Complete, oiled
Comment Located North yard

100839 - GWR P15 Starfish 1938.
Axleboxes Complete, oiled
Comment Located North yard

124589 – GWR Mink A 1934.
Axleboxes complete and oiled
Buffers 2 No. Replacements fitted. Removed buffers fitted to scrap wagon

Other GWR / WR Vehicles.

105560 – GPV 1939.

709 – GWR Horse Box 1937.

2806 - GWR Fruit C 1937.
Comment Needs attention to brake, possible flats.

W 600 – BRW Monster 1954.
Comment Reserve subject to completion of mechanical overhaul.

New online railway Magazine

I have just Come across a new online magazine just for us railway enthusiasts.

It's the national preservation from Mag and can be found at

It is open to contributions from anyone.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

March 16th - Saturday

Now we have the Gold Cup Races out of our system, well nearly, we can get back to focusing on carriage restoration.

Of course we do have to keep in mind the finishing post for the WWII week end. And the odds on when any more work will be done on the paintshop. Then there is the, probably sooner and more interesting event as mention in the boardroom blog, arrival of two more carriages from Riviera Trains at Eastleigh. We have been awaiting these for some time but the logistics of extricating them by road has been proving difficult. I understand that at present they are both Southern Green but have no vacuum brake gear. We had hoped to get one of them ready for the gala but that is now very unlikely. Perhaps we could just park them behind P&O for effect.

Most of my efforts today were focused on completing that 63 feet dash with the lining out on CK16195. I completed the lower pair of lines but didn't get round to the top line.

Grenville competed the white on the wallside of the MICA Van and I masked up the large W for the side which Grenville then painted.

We both agree it needs a second coat. Grenville also found time to complete the painting on the P'Way trolley. So I guess that's ready for them to tow away.

Cheryl applied another coat of stain/varnish to the inside of the compartment doors

While Steve completed the panel trim in the barn end vestibule

and rebuilt the door post inners at the other end. Both sides of the carriage needed doing at that end.

John Squires

and John Osborn combined to finish the construction of the pipe bending trolley they have been working on.

It certainly beats trying to carry the pipe bender around!

Morning tea was excellent thanks to Paul as usual but also to John Hamer for providing the chocolate cake, and happy birthday John.

Paul as usual gets left to do the washing up.

Having discussed the frantic efforts to get the steam leaks sorted for the race trains John H explained to John O the problem with one of the hose clips. John O is now considering what he can do to help the situation.

While John H set about fixing another one.

Yet another John, John Hill continued with the stuffing of another seat back for CK 7221. Exactly where he got the horse hair from he never says.

Chris Taylor carried out some door panelling work and with Ken, we then rehung the door. We then refilled the bench with the final door to come off the carriage. That is now ready for the door team on Wednesday.

It would help if we could use the door gantry, which arrived in January, final authority to use it is still needed from the insurance company or whoever has to certify it.

Andy Thompson was again using the oil spray gun in the barn servicing the latest set of Bogies to be exposed by the lift of the carriage body on the jack road.

 Ken spent time cleaning up the corridor connector parts

While Phil Salter having done some work on the corridor connector mount sockets also prepared the wiring for the carriage connections

Today Dennis did spray paint the load limit on the door gantry.

Then realised I had missed the unit of measure of the stencil set up.

He did correct that but now I need to extend the white backing area a bit to balance things up.

Sadly Dave was not with up today. Not because of the revolting workers who had perpetrated the 'informe' on Thursday but because his mum is very poorly.

Dave our thoughts are with you both.

However this shady character was hanging around having been given a new backing to stiffen him up.