Watercress Line

Party Central

In the Carriage workshop, we pride ourselves on being a happy workshop, and this month we have official confirmation of being Party Central, but more of that later...

We’ve managed some really useful work on both carriages. Starting with Bulleid open third 1456, Gordon has been busy on the roof. We’re getting this ready for the canvas, and while last time out I reported his sanding, this time it’s filling gaps. The roof is made up of flat boards, but obviously the roof has a curve to it. This means that when the boards are fixed in place, they can be nice and close together on the inside, but outside there might be a gap. Because we want to support the canvas and make the roof as smooth as possible, Gordon has been putting in a filler material to fill any gaps. He’s really loving this time consuming job, honest.

Lower down, Norman has been working through the saloons fixing in the A-frames for the seats. These are all ready for the main seat units which we are having made by a specialist contractor. If you like the idea of sitting in a Bulleid coach and having a ride through the Hampshire countryside, why not sponsor one of the seats? You can make a donation to this bit of the project here.

Even further down in the carriage, the final panels to go on have now all been cut to size and made ready to install, and as I write we’re just waiting on a few pop-rivets to turn up before we can install them. These are, of course, the distinctive skirt panels, which 1456 and semi-open brake third 4367 will be sporting when finished. They’ve been cut to size, dimpled for the countersunk screws and had all the rivet holes drilled. We’ve also painted some sections up to gloss green. These bits are where the skirts joggle underneath the main panels, so the panels meet with gloss on gloss finish to hopefully keep out any corrosion for as long as possible. Above the bogies on the north side, we’ve also had to install little doors in the skirt for the bogie centre oiling point, which we will show you when they’re installed.

In another odd job which we’ve had to do, being the chaps who deal with wood, the driver’s seat for the 76xxx standard 4 needed some attention. As you’ll see from the photos, the plywood base was somewhat past it. We made up a new one, re-used the foam and leather and popped it back in. The main lesson learned was just how quickly a chap gets mucky when working on locomotives, black grime just appears from nowhere! We’ll stick to carriages, thanks.

Back in the workshop, MK1 16083 is coming along nicely. Ian is re-installing the toilet compartments at each end. It’s very satisfying to see varnished timbers going back into the carriage, and structurally these sections are near complete now. The interior of the carriage will be having the lino floor installed soon, so we’re not a million miles from have a nice MK1 CK to play with out on the line.

On the exterior of the carriage, Rob has been applying the primer paint and filler, and with lots of help from our team of volunteers, rubbing the paint and filler down to get a nice smooth finish. Due to some shunting we’ve got a nice view of the whole side of the carriage, currently sporting a livery that can best be described as “funky”.

The shunt was because of some rather exciting news. At the end of August the railway played host to a corporate event, culminating in a gig in the carriage workshop, or Party Central as it shall be known henceforth! It was a very different day at work for Gordon and I, with one of our Bulleid coaches being replaced by a stage and drums. No photos of the actual event, but a cheeky snap from the sound-check should suffice!

Back to normal operations next time though… thanks for reading!

Ali

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