October 2011 update
By Hugh McQuade, Chairman
During August and September good progress was continued on all of our principle projects despite many volunteers taking their family holidays.
At Bridgnorth, LMSR 6 wheel brake 2886, No 1 side (currently the East), had its last side door rebuilt and hung. Materials for beading, door vents and the Guard’s sidelight were all purchased with a view to completing the exterior on this side by the end of October. Panel beating of the vents and side lamp is complete, with the parts now being painted on the bench prior to fitting. Dimensions came from a copy of an LMSR drawing supplied by the Bluebell Railway. All of No 1 side and both ends are now up to three coats of smooth maroon undercoat. Tongue and groove plank has been made to measure for LMS size and delivered so that the inside wall on No 1 side can be panelled in. Careful cutting and chamfering is being done by the Saturday volunteers. Brackets and fastenings for the roof irons were finished off by the Sunday men in September. Difficulty with what remains of British industry to supply what you ask for has been experienced. A quote of £4200 for bespoke iron beading has been rejected in favour of making up our own composite aluminium beading from two sections for a mere £241. We now need to source dovetail section corrugated steel sheeting for the floors, and will search abroad via the internet if needed.
The restaurant Composite 7960 was exhibited in the carriage shed at Kidderminster as part of the "Peep behind the scenes weekend".
Progress during August centred on completing the gangway floorplates, including newly cast brass threshold bars and 2" of teak added to the bottom of both doors so that they reach the floor. These doors had come off an LNER pigeon van and were shorter than 7960’s originals. The tailor made stainless steel sink had arrived and was shown off before work on installing it began. A timber structure for this is being planned. This will carry teak cupboard doors to hide the gas, water and drains, also a glass storage cupboard. Work on the dresser that will face the sink from the opposite wall is well in hand, as during August several of the teak door kits were made up but not glued, and the veneered panel material arrived from our suppliers. A new recruit in the form of a retired patternmaker has added another highly skilled pair of hands to these aspects of the project.
All 42 cast aluminium luggage rack brackets provided by the LNER(SVR)Coach Fund have been polished, primed and painted in Kidderminster paintshop. New tube in two sizes arrived at the beginning of October to form the horizontal front and rear rails for the six long racks needed in 52255. These tubes were purchased using funds from the SVR Association raffle in aid of this coach, and once completed will be the first manifestation of expenditure under Trust ownership. It is planned that development and installation of these rack will continue over the winter shut-down period on the SVR, which will give time for the 86 feet of net to be made.
Our highest numbered vehicle being rebuilt at Bewdley has seen consolidation work going on following the successful body swap in the Summer. The body of 70759 is now securely fixed to the chassis of 70442 and work to create a new floor and watertight ends has been taking place in recent weeks. The decision to create a traditional strong planked floor instead of a plywood floor whose life expectancy would not be as great, was taken despite the slightly greater cost and work involved. Good value is not necessarily the cheapest price as durability plays a key factor in long term costs. Plans for a bulk purchase of teak are being followed up and a bill for £10,000 may be expected. Donations towards this expense are needed and offers to the team at Bewdley are welcome. Please, please whenever you make a donation to the Trust, include a Gift Aid form so that we can harvest even more money from the Government. They'll only waste it otherwise!
Two years in traffic for 7511
In September our LMSR open first 7511 clocked up its second anniversary of entry into service, and is due to retire to the shelter of Kidderminster carriage shed for the winter. Apart from a split water pipe during the freezing weather last winter, 7511 has worked faultlessly for two seasons on the Venture dining car service standing in for their crippled BR Mk1. We still keenly await the judges decision for the Heritage Railway Association coach of the year competition, as 7511 was entered to represent the SVR volunteers who restored it.
Finally I would like to record my and the Trust Board's thanks to all those people who supported the SVR Association raffle in aid of 52255. A sum of money in the region of £17,000 will eventually be available once all of the gift aid on the £3,800 donations is added to the raffle proceeds. This is an exceptional result in difficult economic times, and is about the third most successful raffle in SVR(A) history I am told. Many thanks to Jack Bond for acting as promoter on behalf of 52255. There is now a sizeable sum of money in hand for interior improvements to 52255, some of which are already in hand.
A team to represent the Trust’s locomotive 7819, in talks with the SVR(H) management, is being put together and will be ratified at the October board meeting. It is hoped to forge a new way forward for loco overhauls on the Railway. This will no doubt be one of the hottest topics of 2012.
Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd
Number One, Comberton Place, Kidderminster, DY10 1QR Registered Charity Number: 1092723