Progress since June 2005
The roof was our first priority and involved removal of several layers of roofing felt and a canvas layer. It was decided because of our outdoor location it was inappropriate to cover the roof with canvas so instead lorry curtaining has been used. We made the decision not to replace the vents.
So far the north side has received most attention, this was for two reasons. (i) It was the side in the worst condition, (ii) The carriage arrived in mid May and it quickly became too hot to work on the south side!
First of all any remaining paint was removed, and necessary repairs were dealt with. This included mending split panels and replacing rotten wood, then a coat of a mixture of wood preservative and linseed oil was applied to help the starved wood. The wood below the windows was beyond repair and has been replaced by weatherproof plywood. All the beading that needed to be replaced has been done in re-used mahogany. The wood has all been primed and had a coat of undercoat. It is hoped to get the glass back in the windows before we finally put it to bed for the winter. The middle door is missing but we have obtained a replacement which will be fixed with the south side door available for emergency use. The door in the luggage area will be the normal means of access. Next year there will be an application of “stopping” then more undercoats, gloss and varnish and of course the south side to start!
The panelling on the ends was split in a number of places and has been repaired with thin pieces of mahogany and larger pieces inserted as appropriate. Following our linseed oil treatment and primer the surfaces have been filled with stopping in an attempt to achieve a good finish! Three undercoats and so far one topcoat have been applied; we plan to apply further coats next year. The beading is in black Midland style and will be lined out prior to varnishing.
Internally most of the original wood remains complete with some ornate carving and a small amount of inlay work. The ceiling panels were made of canvas that has had many coats of paint and will all be replaced. Most of the glass has not survived but the toilet end droplights are patterned frosted glass and are fortunately intact. There are a number of Lincrusta wall panels that will need replacing. Unfortunately Lincrusta no longer have the designs so we will have to make do with an Anaglypta paper so the “look” will change a little. In the carriage's Mossley days a fireplace was installed in front of one of the windows (which was probably removed in 1976), this has left a large hole in the floor.
We would have liked to get more done externally this year but it wasn't to be! Work has started on restoring the outer doors on the bench in the shed. At the same time work has started on the inside with attention being paid to the ceiling. The wooden beams were painted, but originally they were French polished like the rest of the wood. The sides and base of each beam are joined by quarter-round beading covered with silver leaf. We hope to fit a thin sheet of insulation in under the plywood which will replace the canvas. The brass ceiling vents will be replaced for show only. The carriage is well ventilated with the side vents. It is planned to install modern low energy lighting instead of the original oil lights. Some of the wooden trim has had to be removed and this has been cleaned up and re-french polished (see below photograph which shows the moulding from above the internal doors one restored and the dull one not cleaned yet!)
As soon as possible we plan to use it for its original purpose, i.e. for eating our sandwiches on working days!! Originally it had 4 longitudinal seats with 2 long drop leaf tables but we are thinking more on the line of loose wooden chairs and 2 long tables preferably polished mahogany! It will also be used for meetings, like next year's AGM if all goes well!
If anyone feels inclined to help us in any way we would be extremely grateful. We are now realising it is going to be more costly, of both time and money, than we anticipated.
The oak roof beams have been stripped, the sides will be stained and polished with the bottom face painted to match the ceiling. A thin layer of insulation has been fitted to the roof, the position of the ceiling will not be changed. The vent and light roof holes have a thicker insulation layer fitted.
One of the external doors has been refurbished and now just waits to be painted when the weather permits. The luggage area is being stripped of its paint layers prior to repainting.
We have unscrewed a quarter of the internal panelling it all had to come down in one piece! It is now being cleaned up and will shortly be re-polished. With the panelling down it became possible to access the external side vents and clear away the cobwebs and muck of many, many years! We discovered the Lincrusta panels could be unscrewed and these were removed for new wallpaper to be applied — not Lincrusta but we hope an acceptable design. During the general cleaning up a small piece of thin wood was removed and revealed a hole possibly for a heater control and around the hole small pieces of a coloured Lincrusta which from its colouring we feel must be the original one. As a result we intend to paint the new wallpaper in a similar shade.
Since the last report we have made good progress. The oak roof beams have been stained lightly and will be French polished once the plywood ceiling panels are up. The first three sections of internal panelling have been restored and re-installed, they will receive a coat of wax polish when all the panelling is complete. We are currently working on the last quarter of the panelling.
The luggage area is nearly stripped of its “paint”, we are unsure of the nature of the finish that has been removed! We plan to repaint it.
The “hole” in the floor where a fireplace was installed in the carriage's ‘house’ days has now been made good and once the floor covering is down it will be undetectable.
Externally the north side now has a full complement of doors, though the centre one has been sealed up but the droplight will still function. This was decided on as the original door was missing and the replacement was not a very good fit partly due to a slight displacement of the roof. This may be the result of the door having been removed perhaps as long ago as 1930. The centre door on the south side will operate normally.
The glass in the main windows has been replaced where it was broken or missing. We managed to obtain some replacement bolections from a derelict carriage which has been very helpful.
The north side of the carriage has had its three undercoats and has now received its first coat of gloss, with the bolections in ochre. We have made a start on the south side and will continue on when the weather permits in the spring.
One of the next jobs will be the internal panelling of the two centre external doors and also the restoration of the two internal doors. Work has yet to be started on the toilet area — probably a job for next winter!
|2741 Pages:||2741 (MR Picnic Saloon MR D465) Bp0LSo ~ 2741 Background ~ 2741 Restoration|
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