Watercress Line

Coronavirus / Covid-19 Update

Our priority during the Coronavirus / Covid-19 outbreak, and the railway's closure, is on meeting our running costs. We need around £75,000 per month. Without this income, within a relatively short period we will exhaust our reserves which are so important us for our long term plans.

Although these are difficult times for all of us, we are asking you to consider providing financial support to the railway. With your support, ideally through a monthly standing order, the railway can be in a safe and good position to move forward rapidly when circumstances allow.

The amount is up to you as everyone’s circumstances are different, but please give as generously as you can. One-off donations would also be welcomed.

Thank you.

Visit our donation page to make a monthly gift or donate a single amount.

You can also text WATERCRESS to 70085 to donate £10. Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message.

Beading 101

It has been one of those months where a few things have gone on to Bulleid carriage 1456, and all of a sudden it feels like it’s taken a big leap closer to completion. Particularly on the interior of the carriage, progress has been really gratifying, but with the looming prospect of masses of a particularly time consuming decorative element rearing its slightly fussy head – beading!

As was reported a couple of months ago, all of the newly cast luggage rack brackets are in the workshop, and have been fettled to give us the fixing holes and other apertures we need. To complete these, we will be sending them off to be polished and chrome plated, along with copious amounts of tubing and bar which will make up the rest of the luggage rack structure, but before we do that we’ve actually test fitted them in the carriage. This is because of all the beading which we need to fit around the brackets. While the beading isn’t a structural component, it is important as it can be considered the icing on the cake. Forming the finishing touch that neatens up the job, it covers the joins between panels and links all the elements together to give a cohesive finished look. The only trouble…there’s LOADS of it!

Running right around the carriage at roughly head height (at least for me!), covering the interface between the varnished panels and the white ceiling panels, is a section of beading an inch wide. This is broken up by the luggage rack brackets, so it was much simpler to fit with the brackets in situ. In addition to this line of beading, between each bracket sits four half inch sections of beading running horizontally, which form a sort of backing to the racking, protecting the white ceiling panels. In all there are 96 of these sections in the carriage… let’s be honest, it took a while to cut and fit! We used a template (see photos) to make sure everything went in at the same height, but it still took a jolly long time.

In other work, Gordon has been hard at work dressing the interiors of the doors and each vestibule. These are mostly panels that we’ve had in stock for some time, for one reason or another it has not been feasible to fit them until now, but it is really good to see them going on.

Over on the MK1 we have a familiar face wielding a paint brush. Duncan, formerly chief splodger here in the carriage workshop, has dusted off his finest set of paint brushes and joined the fray once again for a limited time only, to do both Bulleid 1456 and MK1 16083. He’s started with the MK1, which has currently got its undercoat completed and some gloss work done around doors and windows on the north side. The interior of the coach is also inching ever closer to completion, so it will not be very long before we have a completed seven compartment carriage (including four First class!) to add to our running fleet.

Mention should be made of our new workshop mascot – regular readers may remember Boris the buzzard who continues to look out over the workshop from atop Bulleid carriage 4367, but Missy the dog has taken over many of his tasks. Her designated human (in this instance, owner does not seem the correct term) Ian, has been bringing her in recently due to a slight injury she sustained, but her presence in the workshop has been very warmly welcomed.  Not least because she’s a bit more responsive than Boris!

Thanks for reading,


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