Cold and wet couple of months at Rowsley. The regulars keep pushing on with the restoration of 7828’s interior. The vestibule and luggage area ceilings have been treated to further paint, and further panel scraping has almost completed the removal of the old varnish. The old saloon lower panels had become a source of concern- the seat rails and table brackets are screwed to them, and water damage from the windows and regular repositioning of fittings had caused many of them to split in crucial places. Some of the plywood panels had warped within the mahogany frames, others had disappeared, whilst a number of tenons had broken off in their mortises leaving corners flapping. The surviving panels have been stripped of beading and any usable sections of frame, and a complete set machined up and assembled- a whole two weeks work! These now await staining and varnishing to match the original sections of interior to be found on the partitions and upper areas of sidewall. Once these are fitted, the seat supports can go in.
Some interior transfers have been sourced, and the new artwork for the exterior insignia and numbers has been started in earnest (a contract job). The new castings for the passenger communication gear are just a few coats of paint away from being fitted, which would be nice to do as we could then put away the white paint.
We don’t have any appropriate tables for it yet, but we do now have all the brass wall mounted fixing brackets, adjustable table leg bases and clips for when we do. The timber draught excluders for the tops of the droplights are now repaired and covered in new felt, ready to be fitted with a set of new springs.
There has been a trip to York to delve into the archives, and several other ‘runs’ are planned to such far flung places as Birmingham, Devon, Peterborough, Telford, Sheffield and Matlock to collect other materials and components. The new moquette is now in the shed, and very excited I am about it too.
It has been a long job, but the entire ceiling has been painted in brush filler, laboriously rubbed down (thanks for your help Dave), and then the lighting patresses and beading fitted. As I write this, there are 6 pieces of beading left to screw in, the other 43 having been (in some cases quite literally) bent into shape and secured in place.
The vestibules and toilets were particularly tricky, as the angle of the partitions and curve of the roof required 3 different flavours of curved hockey sticks.
As we’re almost there with the beading, Dave and Bob have started throwing more filler about. Once that’s done (I haven’t tried to count all the holes, I thought it would be depressing), we can start to think about showing it a paint brush.
Trevor continues to apply further layers of undercoat to his gangway end door, and James has cleaned up the last roof vent and carefully wire brushed and sprayed the first components of the passenger communication gear.
Mike’s heater installation continues with the preparation of some 40′ of timber moulding to which the heater brackets are secured along the length of the saloons. This has been cut to length, drilled and primed.
The epic tasks of beading the side, and applying the roof vents are almost upon us, help always welcome.
Work continues on the LMS Period One Third Open 7828 at Rowsley. Michael Fearn has fitted the last of the aluminium shielding that goes behind the heater pipes, so with any luck it won’t be too long before the pipes can be refitted – another trip hazard out of the way. The photo shows Michael at work in the larger of the two saloons, in LMS carriage practice this would be the smoking saloon, while the smaller would be non-smoking – now of course no-smoking will be allowed at all!
Now that all the ceiling panels are fitted, have had a coat of brush filler, and been sanded down, attention has turned to the beading which covers the panel joins, plus the bases (correctly known as pattresses) for the saloon lights (correctly known as electroliers). Ben Riley has prepared the bases and beading, some of the latter having had the steam-bending treatment with the aid of Harvey Coppock. The wiring, by the way, has been professionally tested and is fit for purpose.
Both saloon ceilings are in place. By the end of the second day of panel fitting, we were able to install 5 saloon panels in a day, and we stopped at 5 again on the third session when we ran out of pins.
Sunday saw the last few saloon panels up, and then the vestibule panels were pinned up (just one mushroom per panel with these!). Toilet ceilings were a bit awkward to hang, and there isn’t space for the mushrooms, but we devised a little something with a slightly modified acrow prop and a pointy bit of wood.
The light bases have been machined based on an original that had fallen off 7991, and a quantity of beading made. Next job is preparing the ceiling for paint.
You didn’t really think I meant those magic mushrooms did you? Hey ho, several years ago LMSCA volunteers devised some supports to be used when putting up new ceilings in carriages and they came to be called ‘magic mushrooms’, you can see them in the accompanying photo of Third Open 7828 at Rowsley. After pinning the ceiling panel to the centre line of the roof and checking alignment it is then cajoled into the curve of the roof with the help of the mushrooms which force it into shape. The alternative would be to have lots of people doing the same job and getting in each other’s way.
If you had to get a locomotive overhauled you might go to Riley and Son Ltd, Ian Riley’s fine establishment at Bury, but if you want a ceiling put up the recommendation is Riley and son, i.e. Derek Riley and son Ben, here seen hard at work on 7828. They put up the whole ceiling over last weekend, and the result in the smaller saloon can be seen in the second photo. After snagging the ceiling will receive about five coats of paint. The completion of this job will mark a big step forward with 7828.
Full set of panels made for the ceiling now, vestibules and toilets included. Small saloon now has the ceiling fitted, large saloon to follow. Dave and I have started refurbishing the bulkheads around the toilet areas, and some new panels are due to be fitted.
So I’m on leave for 9 days, and it’s….. wait for it….. Ceiling Week!
The main saloon ceiling panels have been cut, shaped and painted with primer, undercoat and gloss over the last few weeks. Fire retardant emulsion is being applied to the top surface prior to fitting. The first pieces to go on have been the new bulkhead panels. Those in the coach were not original, but had been thoroughly chewed and modified and patched up so with the spare from the ceiling we’ve made a new set. These have been fitted, and the holes drilled for the passenger communication gear.
The whole underside of the roof has been painted with the same fire resistant emulsion, and several metres of new wooden conduit manufactured to replace broken and missing sections along the cant-rail. The ceiling springs off this, so it’s important that it fits properly.
Plan- tomorrow, two of us are going to run a covert operation to trial fit the first ceiling panel. 14 big ones, 4 vestibule panels, 2 toilet panels, 4 sections above the luggage racks and gangways, plus around 150′ of beading, 9 light bases, 16 ceiling vent covers and 120′ of passenger communication tube to fit. Best get started!