Watercress Line

Cock-a-hoop!

The big news this month is that the Bulleid coach is getting its roof back! It’s still far from watertight… but it’s being rebuilt instead of taken apart.

We’ve finished manufacturing all the new timber hoops, which bolt to the metalwork going across the carriage at roof level. When mounted, these allow us to screw in place the timber boards that make up the roof itself. All the timber hoops have been painted, and half of them have been installed. Each hoop assembly is made up of a metal span across the carriage and three pieces of timber (one long cross piece and two identical shoulder pieces), held together with fourteen bolts. In the passenger saloons there are twenty-two of these hoops, so that’s three-hundred and eight bolts, spring washers, plain washers and nuts in there alone. That’s not to mention the hoops in the vestibules and toilet areas! The boilersmiths next door may scoff at these numbers (“we’ve got five zillion stays to put in Canadian Pacific!” which reminds me, sponsor a stay here), but it seems a lot to us!

Talking of the toilet area of the carriage, we’ve finally managed to reassemble the country end roof area, which will include the two toilet compartments. It’s been a bit of a faff to manage, as the roof in there includes the upper part of the mounting gear for the corridor connection face plate, with the toilet water tank sitting in the middle. It’s a lot of metalwork that we needed to keep supported while replacing lots of timber and fixings, and painting various things in the process. A bit of a juggling act, but with a few Acro jacks and a bit of lateral thinking we kept it in place and it’s all done now.

Over on 4367, the Bulleid brake that is next in the queue, Sir Christopher of Yates has perfected a jig for rebuilding the mounts for the skirt panels. The original mounts were cut off when the carriage was re-panelled in BR days, losing the distinctive skirt which set apart the coaches made for the Bournemouth dining trains (of which both 1456 and 4367 were members) from others of Bulleid design. We plan on returning both of the Bulleid coaches to as close to as built condition as we can, so needed to replace the mounts on 4367. On one side this can be achieved with flat pieces of bar welded in place, but on the south side the brackets also held the vacuum pipe, requiring a curve at one end. This curved section remained on the coach, the short straight section having been cut off when it was re-panelled. This called for a cheeky jig to hold the new metalwork in place while it was welded on (see photos).

On the MK1 side of the workshop, Rob has been making steady progress on 16083, a carriage that has definitely seen better days. He is working mostly on the London end, and the photos accompanying this blog show that it has the classic BR MK1 rotten end disease. By the time Rob was dismantling the crash pillars (which form the doorway for the corridor connection), he didn’t need to cut anything to remove them, he just hoovered them up! Floors and window frames are also beginning to go back in on the MK1, after a long absence. Floors especially make working in the carriage a bit more pleasant.

That just about wraps it up, thanks for reading!

Ali

 

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