Watercress Line

Putting on a show

Well there we go, another gala gone! I hope those of you who were able to make it to the gala had a really good time. Even without a visiting engine, there was lots to see and do, and I’ve always thought that the Mid-Hants has a fantastic home fleet, which can and did put on an engaging show.

Here in the carriage shop, we always see the galas as a real opportunity to make a splash, and this gala was no different. Building on what we did last time out with one side section on show, we decided to go the whole hog. As we have the entire side frame manufactured or repaired, what seemed the right thing to do was put the entire thing up, so that’s what we did! Have a look at the photos and you’ll see what I mean. We also had more of our pens and pencils on sale on the Friday, made in our workshop by the ever-talented Graham on the lathe, good work Graham.

Getting back to the framework, the north side of the country end (corresponding to the section already put back in) should be ready to be installed in the next couple of weeks. The metal outriggers around this section are finished, and this very morning Gordon finished shaping the top rails. These top rails are BIG bits of timber, but a bit of a strange shape so have taken some time. All that needs doing is fettling of the mortices on to the side framework, painting them up, and then they’ll be in.

It was actually a very useful exercise putting the frame up for the gala. Aside from showing off what we’ve been up to, it proved that we’ve got every piece! We were pretty sure we had, but there’s an awful lot of it now… Second, it flagged up where we needed the odd amendment (a mortice shortening here, a halving eased there etc.). We really only want to put the frame into the carriage once, so a dry run like this is really useful.

The main focus of work is obviously 1456, but there are two other carriages in the workshop (not to mention some green thing called Nelson during the gala, but we tried to ignore that…). Bulleid brake semi open 4367 is getting a fair bit of attention at the moment as well. We’ve finished re-wheeling its bogies in the last week, and actually put together a video showing the second bogie being reassembled, as can be found above.

George and the needle gun gang have been going at the underframe, and have managed to strip down and paint up to gloss the entire London end brake area above the bogie. This looks like roughly a quarter of the underframe, so it is significant progress. Some of the side sheeting has also been stripped off, revealing parts of the timber frame. This also needs a bit of TLC, but it’s in the right place for that!

Also in the workshop is MK1 CK 16083. This vehicle hasn’t run for a number of years, but everybody likes a compartment carriage, so it seemed a good idea to get it going again. It wasn’t in great condition when it came into the workshop, but Billy the Kid from our friends down at Alresford has dutifully stepped up to rip the thing apart. Shooting from the hip, he’s gone in all guns blazing. The wagon will be rolling before you can say “ride’em cowboy” (if you’ve met Bill, you’ll know why I’ve got the anthology of Wild West phraseology on the go here!).

That’s about all from us. Till next time, thanks for reading.

Ali

Thank you to all of you who have donated to support the Canadian Pacific project. Excluding gift aid, the Sponsor a Stay appeal that many of you have generously supported, has raised £25,825!  As part of the appeal we had a prize draw for a Hornby 00 scale model of Canadian Pacific. Mr. Brian Cross is the lucky recipient of this prize draw.  Congratulations Brian!  Although there is no longer a model of CanPac to give away, we have decided to keep the appeal open, so that the other benefits of sponsorship still apply.  Those who sponsor 8 stays will get a seat on the inaugural train when Canadian Pacific returns to service and those who sponsor 40 stays will get a 20 mile round trip footplate ride on Canadian Pacific when it returns to service. To Sponsor a Stay, please click here.  If you wish to make a donation without Sponsoring a Stay, please click here.  The estimated cost of the new firebox is £120,000 so we still have more donations to find! To keep up to date with project progress, please sign up to our newsletter by clicking here.

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