Watercress Line

Carriage Shop Blog 10 November

Ahoy there shipmates!

I normally try to do one blog a month, so very sorry for the two months it has been since my last dispatch! Another autumn, another gala, and what a cracker it was too. I think we have a few new Great Western converts about the place, at least for the Auto Tank. It’s nice having the different things running here, I know what would have my vote for the next gala, but I’m not sure how we could run a Ffestiniog double Fairlie…

Many of you will have seen what we have been up to in the carriage shop, and it was great talking to people on the Friday when we were in. The restoration of Bulleid brake s4211 is going very well, many people were admiring Gordon’s lovely varnished floor in the brake end of the carriage, to the point that it felt like it was the most talked about thing at the whole gala! (At least that’s what we thought.) Since then I have been busy doing my best to muck up the varnish by building a guards compartment in one corner of the brake end and also putting up the ceilings. Gordon has also been busy putting in the interior panels to the passenger compartments, and the window glass is also going in. Especially for the gala, we put the destination boards on the roof. Once more the coach became part of the Atlantic Coast Express; Padstow being the destination this time - it really looks the part.
We have also been doing some preliminary work on the next carriage, 1456. This has been wheeled out and the under frame needle gunned back to bare metal, so it can be repainted.

On the painters side of the workshop, progress on Winston Churchill is continuing, with the whole loco in undercoat and the tender having had it’s first gloss top coat. The nameplates were on for the gala, and we also had a famous name in the workshop making a television programme for the BBC. Hopefully you won’t need to have been on University Challenge to work out the photo, but it certainly made our (News) night.

Ali Steele

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