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April 2011 Progress Report

By Hugh McQuade, Chairman

LNER 7960

Restaurant Composite no. 7960 continues its steady progress at Kidderminster. The communication chord gear, vital for its return to traffic, has been completed during March. A block of wood on the sloping roof end that mounts the "tell-tale" mechanism was found to be a little rotten, and unable to take screws securely. Grahame Gardener took it away to an acquaintance who is a hat block maker and got it copied from a giant block of wood we had in the stores. This carriage is now ready for a full vacuum brake test to check that the emergency apparatus works correctly. SVR Guards Tony Brookes and David Mead have been assembling all of this equipment, and their working knowledge of SVR trains has improved as a result. (The Trust can claim this is part of its educational benefit credentials).

Focus will now shift to the pantry area, where Grahame has begun to build up an extraction system. Copies of LNER fan grilles covers have been ordered as part of a joint order with Great Central and North Yorkshire Moors based Gresley owners. We are also expecting delivery of 16 cupboard doors in various sizes, ordered by the late owner Phil James. Planning for provision of water and a means of heating and draining it is now in hand.

LMSR 2886

At Bridgnorth this 1932 short gangwayed brake progresses steadily. The Guards door on the current East side has been built up from a skeleton from long ago demolished corridor third 13045. 2886’s doors are all in poor condition and all those with windows more so. There are six of this type and four blank ones which are not as bad. Fortunately we have all of the doors salvaged from 33002 of 1940 build, down at Kidderminster stores. The 1940 batch had wider doors than the 1932 original design, and have survived in better condition despite rough storage at Didcot as a grounded body. Dave Dorney is to dismantle one of these wide doors for its "sticks" which we hope to re-work to the 1932 dimensions. Meanwhile the less damaged doors can be dealt with at Bridgnorth. Many of the sets of hinges have already been drilled and repinned to eliminate wear, by John Miller at Kidderminster, using those salvaged from 33002 to give us a head start. Many of 2886’s bottom hinges had been cut through by an angle grinder during the time it was stored at Bewdley.

The North gangway is going together now and should be finished by the time of the Royal Wedding. Should we hang a flag on it in celebration of either event? Again parts from 33002 have been used in preference to some of 2886’s which were in worse condition. Even these have been stored as patterns for possible future reference as we often get enquiries form other restorers who have no evidence to go on.

Reproduction handrails for the ends and roof have been fabricated from the same gauge of steel, retrieved from a grounded bogie brake body, broken up at Wolverhampton Low Level about ten years ago. New volunteer Martin Williams has been installing much of the small ironwork at the ends, while our regular Sunday duo, Tony Pearson and Derek Leadbetter are now concluding their fourth LMS gangway build. The last people with that many new gangways behind them worked at Wolverton in the 1950s!

Bookshop

The Trust's bookshop coach at Bridgnorth was being got ready for the new season at the end of March. Paul Thursfield and Paul Hudson were stocking it up and making it ready for our shop keeper, Mike Parker. Mike can no longer do the more physical duties as Traveling Ticket Inspector or Booking Office Clerk and he makes himself useful raising money for the project instead. Please come along, have a browse and a chat and keep him busy.

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