June 2010 update
By Hugh McQuade, Chairman
Apologies for the lack of May notes. Time flies when your busy!
At Bridgnorth the rebuild of LMS 6-wheel brake No. 2886 continues apace. The second side received its scheduled repair at the hands of our woodwork contractor, and during May we began to fit the newly made steel panels. The first side was panelled using steel inherited when we took over the vehicle – we just trimmed and corrected it before fitting it.
The second side has had a new set of sheets cut to our drawings, and we have been drilling and countersinking these while the carpenter got on with frame renewal.
By early June we had both of the ends completed and only the middle section remained to be clad. The roof also has seen advancement. During May all of the roof panels, cut and rolled early in 2010, have been drilled, countersunk and then primed and painted on the underside.
Once they are screwed on they are difficult to work on, but on the bench they are easy to do. On our behalf, at Kidderminster, volunteers have been reconditioning hinges and locks for 2886’s doors. These are some of the items recovered from Didcot off 33002 of 1939/40 build. Some of 2886’s bottom hinges had been cut off for some reason during its stay at Bewdley as 4150’s proposed tool shed. Fortunately a full set of hinges off 33002 are now available and have been drilled out and fitted with new pins ready for use. LMS locks are rather scarce. Our 6 off 2886 have been put into stock and represent the only spares for the SVR’s LMS fleet of 9 running coaches. Consequently the ex-Didcot ones are being reconditioned from appalling condition, back to working order for 2886.
Progress has been made during June on the Guards position lights which used to appear above the duckets on LMS vehicles. A continuation of earlier Midland Railway practice which the LMS carried on with until the late 1930’s. There used to be a lamp above the ducket, the wooden framework shows us the basic size and location. Photographs are all we have to go on, and by taking measurements of other still present features, we have produced a drawing to allow fabrication of two replicas for use on 2886. The idea was that the guard would switch on a white “bulls-eye” light on the vehicle he was using, so that platform staff would be easily able to work out where he was on a parcels or van train made up of a collection of brake vans. We have sourced the manufacturer of Bullied bulls-eyes thanks to help from Herston Works, of Southern Locomotives Ltd. Four Bulls-eyes have been ordered and fabrication of the steel housing will begin shortly. A major concern for future work, was the composite floor material. We have had this professionally analysed, and have been told that it is made of N.A.F.I.S. This is good, because that is the acronym for: No Asbestos Found In Sample. This piece of mind was obtained at a cost of only £35.
By late June when these notes are penned, we have almost 1/3 of the second side paneled, with these welded together and one roof sheet attached too. Some roof rib timbers need renewal and these were made by Dave Dorney, our volunteer carpenter, to be fitted by Tony and Derek, the Sunday Gang. The rest of June and July will be spent fitting the new laser-cut panels to the centre section, followed by their respective roof sheets. Timber mouldings for the windows are being produced by Dave again so that the 3 windows can be fitted as soon as possible, probably August.
Elsewhere, our GWR design Hawksworth sleeper first No. 9084, is to be used for the first time since restoration, over the two 1940’s weekends for the volunteers and band members at Kidderminster Station. Following this on July 7th, it is planned to trip it to Arley and temporarily replace sister vehicle No. 9085, which is going to Kidderminster for finishing and painting. Following use as stand-in at Arley, 9084 will eventually make its way north, probably in late September, to take up its proposed permanent post.
Good news, Manor fans. Our new tyres for 7819 have left South Africa, and are on the high seas. Due to dock somewhere in England on Wednesday next. Customs clearance will take about one week, before the tyres are released to Railway Wheelsets at Derby. They will be held there until Kevin Cronin confirms we are ready with a crane and wagons to unload them for safe storage here.
Kev Cronin and Andy Christie are planning another social event for later in the summer, details will be posted as soon as they are finalised, proceeds in aid of our Manor class engine, 7819. Paul Hobson has made a couple of visits to Swindon to bring back cash from the collecting tin on the loco, and several hundred pounds have been recovered. The 7819 Appeal leaflets went out in the SVR News, and some responses have been received, including several standing orders. We have handed over a cheque for £19,000 towards the new tyres, which are on order from South Africa, but the engine remains at Swindon for the time being.
The Trusts LMS Open First No. 7511 continues to be used on the Bridgnorth based Severn Valley Venturer Dining Car service. Owing to wheel-flats on their regular coach (B.R. F.O. No. 3103) it is likely that 7511 will do the year on Venturer service. It’s very rewarding to see our pride and joy earning its keep after so long out of working order.
Negotiations have been ongoing with three Rolling Stock owners with a view to them handing their vehicles to the Trust, nothing finalised yet though.
Owing to delays incurred by the bad winter, we have had to ask the P.R.I.S.M. Fund for an extension on the work on 2886. This has been agreed, and we have now got another 3 months to achieve our stated aim, a completed body-shell. All the material is to hand, and much of it is ready to screw on, especially the roof. July and August will be busy, but we are confident of finishing it in time, though some help with the screwdrivers will not be refused. Anyone fancy a handful of blisters?
Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd
Number One, Comberton Place, Kidderminster, DY10 1QR Registered Charity Number: 1092723