Wagon Works: Part 2

BR ‘Vanfit’ B759852 has now received the final ‘BR Freight Brown’ topcoat to the north side, after the last few repairs to the bodywork. The underframe and headstocks have also been scrubbed in preparation for some underframe gloss black. (Photo courtesy of Philip Halstead).


Stencils for the lettering are also in hand as ‘homework’. As we are restoring the vans to original 1950’s/early 1960’s appearance, the “VANFIT” branding that was removed during this restoration will not be reinstated – this decision also has the added bonus of fewer letters to cut out and paint! (Photo courtesy of Philip Halstead).


Viewed from the German tank engine in the shed, ‘852 looks strangely like a model! However this vantage point allows us to see that a very good start has also been made on stripping the old roofing felt, ready for a new canvas. Some stubborn patches remain, we hope to scrape these off over the coming weekend, as well as removing the end roof hoops for restoration. Once these preparation jobs are complete the new canvas can be applied, which is a job scheduled for next weekend if the canvas arrives in time. Note the corrugated ends on this van, made with three sections rivetted together rather than two, the latter is a much more common arrangement on these vans. Three end sections was an early design feature, borne out by the 1952 build-date of this van. (Photo courtesy of Tim Hobman).


A closer view of the exposed roof boards, fortunately they appear to be in good condition with only a few short lengths of board requiring replacement. We have managed to salvage original material from the roof of an identical grounded van body elsewhere, which should (in theory) be a perfect fit… (Photo courtesy of Tim Hobman).


Our stores van, grounded ‘Shocvan’ body B851850, now sports a very smart set of brand-new doors. (Photo courtesy of Tim Hobman).

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