Watercress Line

Take a seat!

As the name suggests, we have been playing with seats quite a lot recently, but I want to start with a short tale of the natural world coming into the carriage shop.

While working on the doors of Bulleid brake s4211, I had an extraordinary moment with a butterfly of all things! I was working on making a door fit properly in its frame (which takes an awfully long time to get correct…) I had just got the door fitting well, and as I was slamming it shut to test it, I suddenly noticed a shock of orange on the latch. I realised instantly it was a butterfly, but I wasn’t able to stop the door closing. Being sure I must have killed it, I gingerly opened the door, expecting to find a squashed fly of the buttery variety. Sure enough, on the floor was a lifeless body.

I jumped down and, being a little upset that I’d caused the death of something so beautiful, I swept it on to a piece of newspaper and decided to take it out to the grass bank for the last rites. But just as I was about to lay it to rest, it suddenly staggered back in to life, its wings opened and it was back with us – it would seem I had just knocked it out! Who knew you could knock out a butterfly?! It was definitely a bit worse for wear, and allowed me to get very close with my camera phone, see below!

Anyway, back to the coach. We have started fitting the seats! All but one of the seats is now in, though a couple need to come out again for fitting of other parts such as heating guards. When the re-covered seats were delivered it felt like a mountain of material, but once we got stuck in to fitting them, they all went in very quickly. The design of the seats felt a little flimsy on first look, but once they were all fitted and screwed together they firmed up nicely.

Regarding the other interior details, the brake end has now been fully painted, and the partitions throughout the carriage are having their final coats of varnish. The heater covers have been cut to fit underneath and between the seats, and the tables are ready to be put in.

On the outside of the carriage, the paint is now up to 50/50 topcoat/undercoat, which really does make the coach look great. A bit of time to allow this to fully dry out, then (I think but don’t quote me) two coats of gloss paint and we will have a vehicle that will really look the part! The roof has also had its ninth, and final, coat of paint.

All of us are thinking “not long now” till we can have a ride in it!

Ali Steele

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