Report by Dave Clark and 'forward plan' from Richard.
Another busy day of shunting and checking before we resume services in a week's time. Good clothing was a must with a bitingly cold wind to contend with when working outside. Yes, I've noticed how cold it is here as well, only 19 deg this morning!
The Choc&Cream rake is back in one piece at last and sits in the headshunt, though with some buckeye checking to do the formation was temporarily split where needed.
Dennis lifts the buckeye coupling with the special curved pipe, while John Appleton, who is head of our Maintenance team, updates his records.
In the Barn entrance John Hamer is checking the riding height of one of the Maroon rake coaches, and in turn updating his records.
Also braving the cold wind was Andy Thompson who is blacking up the bogies that will be put under the Model Railway coach
Minor maintenance on the main rakes continues. Chris Taylor repaired two locks on TSO 4772 by replacing the securing screws, while I investigated a huge paint blister on the side of TSO 4763. The blister was caused by water ingress from a paintwork crack, and pressing it caused the wet streak where the water gushed out. TSO 4763 is due for a quick repaint sometime this year.
In the comparitive warmth of the Workshop, Pam carefully files out the groove at the top of a special key she has made for S&T. An existing one (in yellow) and the plate for the new key which she cut out earlier, lie to the right of the vice.
Meanwhile John Osborn made a new clamp for a tap for our water hose in the Barn.
John Squires trial fitting a new vacuum pipe, having just cut the screw thread, to the communication cord apparatus from SK 25451.
A right royal battle with this job, trying to cut a thread on what will be a new section of vacuum pipe.
At the north end of 25451 James cleans up his newly welded patch plates.
On the Cotswold side of 25451, Phil Jones cleans up the centre door frame to ensure most of the old paint is removed, while further along Paul Ellis continues the filling and sanding on the upper sections of the coach. George Rowland was also filling and sanding on the Malvern side.
In the wartime van Richard Stone seals the floorboarding with the modern version of creosote. While with the blue power car back in the Paintshop, the internal rebuild resumes with Steve putting in the new stained and varnished panelling, and the skirting.
He was assisted by our new member Ailsa who, having done joinery, has joined the Woodwork team.
Other jobs for other departments. Maurice initially undercoated what will be a temporary door for Toddington signalbox before top coating a new notice board for Cheltenham Racecourse Station.
A little later he was continuing the production of the new lamp shades which are for TSO 4772, not SO 4798 as I previously reported.
Alex does a fantastic lettering job, firstly with the repainted fire buckets for the Station, and then with another "Not to be moved" flag, this time painting the letters from scratch.
As you know I don't usually publish much about our forward plans, they tend to change to often! Plus having an entirely volunteer workforce means we have to be adaptable to the skills set available on any one day or to put it another way, we make it up as we go along. However, here is an extract from the latest thoughts issued by Richard:
the blue DMU Car 51360 is back in the Paintshop for a few weeks to be finished internally. When it is completed, we shall swap it with what will be the other half of a 2 car unit. This is looking very sorry for itself in life expired black and orange. It won’t be coming into the workshops straight away. The first job will be to remove the seats, and then lift all the old broken lino for new to be laid. That can be done outside, whilst we assess what else needs to be done (apart from a total repaint). There are large areas where the body is just completely rusty.
Once the DMU is finished, the plan is to move SK 25451 into the Paintshop for painting into maroon. It will need to be ready to move in three or four weeks. It is coming on remarkably well. What started as a ’quick paint job’ will end up looking very smart indeed. The benefit of finishing 25451 is that it will actually give us 21 operational coaches – enough for three rakes of seven.
With 25451 in the Paintshop we can bring FO 3132 in from the Barn, and get to grips with that. Again, that will be a very satisfying project, one for everyone to have a ride in once it is complete.
We have several coaches in the pipeline after that. The thinking is that we shall probably make a start on the TSO 4614 as it is in a basically good condition, although the doors will need attention. We also need to make sure that we have the other RBr 1675 back in use and ready for when we open to Broadway as OTC want to have them both potentially operational for then. There is also the coach that the Commercial department want us to convert into a shop for Winchcombe, so don’t think that the work is coming to an end any time soon!
Shucks, I was hoping it would all be finished when I get back from holiday. I may just have to stay a little longer!