During August and September, progress continued to be made on several fronts at the railway:
Above: ‘Vanfit’ B768248 received its full complement of original-style 1950’s lettering to match the appearance of neighbouring van B777654. This small but important job completes ‘Operation Tidy Up’ for the time being, this pair of vans now creating an excellent impression in this very public area.
Above: Philip had previously undercoated the unsightly graffiti on ‘Vanfit’ B761651 in the yard, and followed this up with topcoat after freeing up some unyielding door hinges, all in time for the tank-engine themed Autumn Steam Gala. The condition of the roof has now been inspected – the good news is that the timber roof boards appear to be in good order, the bad news is that the seams of the roof covering are poor, and a new roof covering will therefore be required. About one third of the chassis and one axle has also been scraped back to remove the loose rust and scale that had accumulated. In addition, much of the brake gear of ply-bodied ‘Vanfit’ B786075 has been removed, cleaned up and greased, ready to be reinstalled. B761651, above, will require the same treatment before it re-enters traffic.
Above: To help pay for our wagon restoration activities, in early September we held a very successful “Steam Freight” driving and shunting experience course, using the Gresley ‘N2’. As can be seen, open wagon ‘B494730’ (in reality MoD No.4730) was successfully extracted from the carriage siding with our thanks to the shed staff, and returned to traffic in time for the driver experience course. We were pleased to see that all the attendees seemed to really enjoy the day, and we hope that we will be able to hold another similar event, using a different locomotive, at some point in the future.