We specified pockets to be sewn into the long edges of the canvas, so a scaffolding pole could be inserted to give the canvas an evenly distributed weight whilst being applied. This worked very well, although it did make the canvas much heavier and more awkward to manouvre into place on top of the van…
Once we were happy with the position of the canvas, we could roll it up to just over the halfway point of the roof, the scaffolding pole making this task easier. The exposed roof boards could then have the adhesive applied, which despite appearances is not school dinner custard, although it does have a similar consistency (and probably flavour…)
Once one half of the roof had been so treated, the rolled-up canvas could then be rolled back into place over the adhesive. The process was then repeated on the other half, ensuring there were no ‘dry spots’ along the centre of the roof.
We then retreated from the roof to let the adhesive work its magic, which will be left to cure for a week or two. Finishing strips (including the restored curved roof hoops for the ends) will be installed once the adhesive is dry, then several coats of paint will be applied to seal the roof and make it properly watertight.
Simultaneously, the BR ‘Freight Brown’ paint was touched up above the headstocks, where the chassis black had gone further than it should.