News and Updates

02/08/20 – All about the Mineral

Our focus for this weekend was B550356 our own 16T Mineral Wagon, the first such wagon on the preserved GCR, arriving over 2 years before the formation of the Windcutter group.

Preparing the body for paint was the task in hand with Nick, Jake, Dave and I scrapping, sanding and chipping.

The loose material was then blown down,  inside and out.

Any areas taken down to bare metal was then given a coat of Red Oxide Primer

Eddie was also on site and gave our new “Site Office” a spruce up.

For the shed I cut and shaped a door sign, in the style of a BR enamel sign which I then applied a coat of wood primer too.

Whilst I was making the sign, Nick and Jake adjusted the Minerals brakes. taking up the slack caused by brake block ware.

On to Sunday and Jake assuming command of the spray guns,  whilst thinning the paint Dave applied undercoat to the top of the vehicle and under the doors.20200802_093250

With the tower built Jake began applying the undercoat.  Still grey at the moment but this isn’t to much of an issue.  Dave following Jake with a brush touching up any areas missed by the Gun.

Whilst the undercoat was being applied I continued with making the Fish & Chip train headboard for the GCR,  this has been sat at Rothley for 4 months over the lock down and was retrieved last weekend by Nick so I could progress it.  The shed door sign was also undercoated.

With the undercoat complete,  we admire the familiar site of a Grey Mineral wagon.

Eddie and Harry on site as well, having brought some boxes they had wrapped in the week, they reapplied bitumen to the inside of E280364.

With the warm weather the undercoat was dry in no time and the Gloss was then applied, of cause our usual shade of Bauxite was the top coat of choice and Dave chasing Jake with brush in hand.

With the Gloss hardening off,  we made a quick clean up of the underframe and applied a further colour for the day.  Black Bitumen,  Jake again spraying the sides whilst Dave and I followed with Brushes.

It was at this point Nick arrived from Rothley having been assisting Jamie with further welding on “the yellow coach” this completes this task,  but there is still a long way to go with this vehicle.

With the really good weather we were able to add some of the finishing details. Swan necks, Lamp Irons, brake handles and brake change over levers.

That concludes this weekends update with the rare sight of a bauxite Mineral Wagon on the GCR,  as always more next week.

26/07/20 – One more in the mix

First thing to deal with is the arrival of box van, B786181. Thanks are due to East Midlands Railway for their very kind donation of this vehicle from their Neville Hill depot. It touched GCR metals on Wednesday 22nd July and was shunted into the dock road for our further attention. 

On Friday Dave and Matt had got Madge set up in position for the goods display set up in the yard for interest when the the railway reopened on Saturday.

First things first, with no door on the ‘new’ van, and a very spongy floor it was decided to remove the ‘floor’ to make it obvious to any one that the floor wasn’t one.

Matt got stuck into the Mineral using a new toy to rivet the repair plates he’d prepared last week to the body. Dave, Nick, Jake and I concentrated on replacing the vacuum cylinder under the Medfit. The wagon was pushed into position and the Volvo used to remove the current cylinder from the wagon, which was replaced with one Nick and I had overhauled last week. We also built a shed which would have otherwise been burnt, and attached a sign that Matt had signwritten and stored in the GUV.

In between downpours the cylinder had the release valve fitted and was piped up to train pipe. The test set was extracted and used to leak test the installation, and then apply and release the cylinder repeatedly. The wagon was then pushed down and the brakes were applied for one final time to see how long they would hold. Eddie and Harry continued prepping this wagon for paint by removing the algae/verdigree from the wagons, and continuing to scrape the body.

Rain had stopped play on the Mineral for Matt, so we pushed that down to changed the 15″ cylinder with another one Nick and I had overhauled. The cylinder got re-hung but we weren’t able to finish connecting it up.

Onto Sunday morning, and a swift, well aimed kick at the Medfit proves the brakes are still holding which means they’ve held for more than 12 hours (they went on to hold for over 24 hours). Nick had gone to Rothley to assist Jamie with further welding on the Yellow Coach. I popped to Quorn to let Dave in and then hung around to help him finish connecting up the mineral’s cylinder. With Matt having arrived, I went to Rothley to continue my efforts wiring the Yellow Coach, assisted by Jake. I estimate there’s half a day left underneath the coach before I move inside the coach to continue in there.

Back at Quorn, Dave and Matt continued working on the mineral wagon, fibreglassing holes in the bodywork and painting the remained interior with Black bitumen. The vacuum system was also tested to prove the overhaul and the modification. Both the leak test and application test passed which means the vacuum system requires no further work.

Nick, Jake and I returned from Rothley and spent a little time on the new arrival, seeing if the buffers could be jacked out. When OLEO buffers are left compressed, they can stick it which is what had happened with all four on this van. Thankfully, with some persuasion, all four buffers extended back out. We shall monitor these for the time being to check they will work as expected. With the Vacuum test set still out we tried the brakes on the new van. Much to everyone’s surprise a vacuum of 20in Hg was achieved and the brakes applied. The cylinder applied, but the subsequent release was hampered the dry brake rigging and the cylinder itself. The brakes were persuaded to be released and the van shuffled down, with the Mineral and the Medfit put away on top. That finishes up this weekend’s work. The team will be back next week, prepping both the Mineral and Medfit for paint.

19/07/20 – Odd Jobs

One final task on BD 4304B, riveting on the kickplates. These were drilled, riveted, and painted.

So, just me on Saturday, Nick was at Rothley with Jamie as they continue the bodywork repairs to “the Yellow Coach“.

My attention then turned to B550356, initially marking out areas requiring repair and taking measurements. I was then joined by James who continued the scraping down of the vehicle whilst I cut the required repair plates.

These plates were then tidied up and red oxide applied to the plates and areas on the wagon.

With the paint drying, I moved onto preparing posters for Madges Trailer which were then fitted ready for display next weekend when the GCR reopens.

Speaking of posters,  the last few weeks Jack has been preparing a number of them for the station and as part of the station being prepared for the return of passengers these were also pasted up.

On to Sunday, Harry and Eddie on site, continuing the preperation of the Mineral and Medfit. Whilst Dave, Jack and I focused on Madge making preperations for her to go on display from next weekend as part of the railways reopening to the public.

Tasks included a good clean and service, a few paint touch ups and the main job, swapping the Trailer Handbrake cable for the Trailer release cable, as this one had become serverly frayed.

Nick and Ross attended to two vacuum brake cylinders an 18″ and 15″, giving both a full overhaul this is in preperation for swapping those under the Mineral and Medfit.  Ross also overhauled a number of vacuum release valves.

Also in preperation for next weekends displays I loaded a boxvan.


Finally, as I have an interest in all things Railway Goods related I though I would mention my collection of boxes, as you know I own two of our containers but I also have a collection of Collico Cases20200719_185259

During the 60s and early 70s the British Railways Collico Service begain as a responce to complaints that traders parcels and other merchandise being conveyed by the railways were being damaged in transit.  The idea being with the cases essentially BR assets the Porters would look after them.  This however was found not to be the case.  The service was simple, traders would pay a monthly fee for the required number of cases for their needs and when not in use were returned to either the Railway or the trader in a collapsed state.

There were 17 sizes of case and as can be seen above I have 4, although I do have examples of the smallest and the largest and I’m always on the look out for more.

As always more next weekend and the return of public passenger trains on the GC.

12/07/20 – Con-pleted

The finishing line is once again insight as we enter the final few tasks to complete both BD4304B and B507489. For me, a full day of Signwriting as I mark out and apply the lettering to my container.

Nick and Jake concentrated on preparing the securing chains and fitted the identification plate over the doors of 4304.  Jack was also on-site preparing posters for the station.

Jake also sanded and applied bitumen to the subframe of 4304.

This completes BD4304B with load, tare, capacity information, number, exam dates and branding applied

On to Sunday and first job to paint the kick plates for 4304 quickly followed by the main event. With the Loading Shovel started up and under Ross’s direction we once again brought a Container and Conflat together.

For no other reason than to equal the weather effects on the Conflats and to keep the Containers in the same oriantation they have been in since arrival, we gave them a spin on the turntable.20200712_101105 Jack again continued with his poster sorting and we removed the now inaccurate wagon label.

We then set about the task of securing the container,  chains fitted and tightened down, although, as expected, we had to modify the chains by shortening a number of links as was done with 4303.  Whilst Nick and Ross carried out this task I began the signwriting.IMG-20200712-WA0001

As a break in the singwriting and to ensure she is still OK, I woke Madge up and Ross undertook a few tasks. Recrimping some of the electrical connections, correcting the upside-down fitted wing mirrors,  and doing some exploratory work with the door handles.

Once complete. We took the opportunity to test the Mirrors and it is 100% improved.  It is now possible to look through the mirrors down the side of a trailer without having to swing your head around the cab like a mad man.

With the signwriting all done, that sees B507489 complete, and with its load, it joins B505313 with two consecutively numbered experimental Containers together.

All that is left to do is look back about a year ago and view two proud owners and there fibreglass boxes.received_2507036179515307IMG_6137

05/07/20 – Deja-con’s

Lets begin with our next projects, arriving in the week Medfit B461074 and Mineral B550356 these, of course, will be subject to our usual attention in the next coming weeks.

Jake and Nick did a little work on my Container, Jake applying the masking tape to the rubber components and Nick clearing the roof bars one final time before hopefully Sunday painting.

My aim was to complete the work on the Conflat, this involved a touch of sanding and filling of the chain boxes and final rubbing down, assisted by Jake. Thankfully the weather sort of played ball and what rain did fall was brief and dried up rapidly.

Eddie and Harry were also on-site and made a start on scraping down the mineral,  a fair amount of loose rust was removed from the wagon’s floor.

Jake and Nick’s next task was to look at B458484, it had been reported that this had suffered with a locked axel when shunted at Swithland some time ago. We manhandled it up and down the siding with it rolling freely.  Each journal, oil pad, and axel was inspected, as well as the vacuum system tested and the hand brakes exercised.  The vehicle was left with the brakes applied and when we returned the next day vacuum remained in the cylinder,  this was released and again the vehicle man handled up and down the siding.

With the Conflat work complete I applied a layer of red oxide, primarily to cover the areas of bare metal.

Finally, for Saturday and the forecasted rain keeping away, Nick and I applied a layer of undercoat. Grey undercoat this time as we are running low on the red.  This places us ahead of our plan.

On to Sunday and a Split gang.  Ross and I staying at Quorn and Jake and Nick, assisted by Jamie from C&W were up the line at Rothley.
The task at Rothley centered around ADB977107, welding continues on this vehicle as we are keen for it to return to Quorn.  Jamie giving Jake some instruction into the art of welding. The South east corner and toilet filler as well as under the first-class toilet window being the focus for today as well as some of the missing brackets for the steps under the luggage and first class doors.

Back at Quorn and finally a break in the weather.  A moment I have been waiting for for over a year painting of my fibreglass container.  The special Fibreglass/gelcoat primer first.  The is a very fast drying paint and was quickly followed up by the undercoat.

With the undercoat requiring a little longer to dry Ross and I continued painting but the more traditional method and the usual Bauxite shade, as we continue the Conflats repaint.


With the main coat done we turned to the details. Vacuum swan necks, lamp brackets and brake handles

Ross also had a further look at the Volvo20200705_154948This filled up the time allowing the undercoat on the Container to dry and the application of the Crimson topcoat.

So that completes the weekend, with the “Yellow Coach” progressed, the second Container in Crimson and the second Conflat in Bauxite. All that is left is a little teaser of our 3 Containers together for the first time.


28/06/20 – Container puns dwindling

This weekend we have been, again, working on the containers grounded in the yard at Quorn. Matt, Dave and I worked on the fibreglass container, BD4304B. Dave continued filling and sanding the container, while Matt first refitted the removed rain strips and then made a start on fabricating some cladding for the supporting cradle of the container. The cladding will tidy up the frame and replicated a valance which has been seen in historic photos of this type of container.

Nick and Jake worked on the recently arrived aluminium B Type container, B55897B. Using the hot spanner, a large adjustable and a lump hammer, they removed the four wire ropes and shackles fixed to the lifting eyes.

I also carried on tinkering with the Volvo’s charging system, which I’m still seeing niggly issues with. After this I finished off with some work in the Test Car, ADB975397. A while ago we replaced the supply changeover circuit which had failed. Initially, I had fitted the switch and left the panel half built back up, which made the cage look quite untidy. I’ve mounted the switch using some DIN rail, which has allowed me to rebuild the panel completely

To aid Matt in his cladding manufacture, the container was lifted up to improve access to the supporting cradle.

Jack also came down later in the afternoon to wrap a few more parcels as its been a while since we have done so, and you can never have to many. He set up shop in the Aluminium container.

On to Sunday with the operations department on site in the morning. The BG which arrived a few weeks back for loading was booked to move further down the line and the opportunity was taken to rearrange and prepare for our next projects. The Air High was moved next to the Test Car and the Fish van, Shockhood B, Vac High and Iron Ore Tippler left for Swithland.

Matt continued with Dave’s help manufacturing and fitting the cladding to the containers support craddle.

Jake and Nick took the opportunity to lubricate the screw couplings of all the wagons in Quorn. The Vans, PWay wagons, and other miscellaneous vehicles doted around the site as well as free off a few held in store.20200628_121454

BD4304B now stands complete awaiting better weather to apply paint and its final hurdle. Our next 3 projects are also due to arrive in the week so we will reveal what will occupy us for the second half of the year.

21/06/20 – Once, twice, three times a Container

A split effort this Saturday, those who are on our facebook page will know that we had a little road trip to Morecambe. Once again our thanks go to our freinds at Kenway Construction for the loan of one of their 7.5ton lorries, Nick was struggling to give it back this time.  So what took us to the Lancashire coast? Well, a 1958 Park Royal Coachbuilders built Diagram 3/047 Light Alloy Container. An eBay purchase from a Morecambe scrap merchants.

Whilst Nick and I were touring the west coast Dave continued with my other container.  filling, sanding, more filling and even more sanding, finishing with some more filler. 20200621_101127

Jake was sent into the Iron Ore Tippler to paint the interior walls. This concludes the work on this vehicle, this week I will be making the request to the GCR Operatons department to have this as well as the Vacuum Steel High moved to Swithland to enter the mixed freight and our next vehicles requiring work moved to Quorn.

 Ross’s day was spent on the Volvo loading shovel, this needed some TLC and a service after its forced lockdown out of use, and its use was required when Nick and I returned.  Ross investigating its persistent charging issue,  it turns out that the alternator hadn’t been reconnected correctly when reassembled after an engine overhaul. With the offending wire found and correctly reconnected, things are looking better but further investigation is still required.  Oil was topped up and filters cleaned out, though the air filter is needing replacement. The exhaust needs further work due to the silencer not being connected, and having a big tear across it. We have two options sourcing a replacement or figuring out an alternative arrangement.

With the Volvo ready Nick and I arrived with B55897B.  This was unloaded and placed on the ground.

Sunday and Dave continues his mission of filling and sanding. He has done a superb job and with one final morning to complete a few finishing touches we will be ready for paint.

Nick and Jake looked at our new arrivals doors. The pins of which were severely corroded, in fact the lower doors pins had seized and sheared.  This required a lot of heat and percussion adjustment.  The locking bar was also similarly delt with and a new door locking pin acquired and fitted.

Nick, Jake and I also moved the contents in my fibreglass container into the new container.  These are tea chests and boxes which after some TLC will be used for charters and galas.

My tasks were to look at B507489 specifically the chain box sides which required a touch of filler. As well as manufacturing new kick plates for my container.

I also began my usual industrial archeology, finding the original BR markings under the later Vickers Underwater Pipeline Engineering Trials Unit paint scheme.  Tare, Gross Weight and Numbers as well as Branding for Luton Midland Road LMR.  I will in time take my usual measurement although these will be retained for future reference.  The livery from the research I have already carried out was originally bare aluminum with white panels and black lettering.  The current condition, which includes a number of steel repair panels will not allow a true restoration to this condition without significant work, plus having worked in the aviation industry in an aircraft structures environment I am fully aware the labour intensive nature of polishing aluminium.  So as an economy measure late 60s door to door bauxite will be the livery of choice. The builders plate stamped with the lot number 3174 is also fitted as well as the cast numberplate.

Unfortunatly a turn in the weather saw the demise of the gazebo but it served its purpose and lasted much longer than expected,  being in place for a full 8 days.

So hopefully with good weather we will see substantial progress with my fiberglass container and Nicks conflat as well as some other vehicles to work on.  Fingers crossed.

14/06/20 – Unable to Container the excitement

No, you didn’t imagine last week’s update; we are really back, and this weekend carried on with the standard social distancing regulations in force. Thanks to the sunnier, hotter weather Matt has been able to make a start on undertaking the fibreglass repairs to his container. Our staggered approach to having the team back has seen Dave return this weekend. Dave, Matt and Jake made a start on the container by removing previous, failed repair patches and scalloping the edges of the damage out to get a good edge for the adhesion of the new repairs.

With the old repairs and damage prepared, Matt then went round with expanding foam to fill up the big holes. I’d struck up the Test Car’s Generator and compressor at this point to build air to blow down the dust from the container to continue with the repairs. By the time the air had built up and the container blown down, the sun had got quite hot. Matt had the idea of dragging out the £50 gazebo he’d bought for Madge and using it as a cover/sun shade to use while working on the container. With suitable leg extensions fitted, the gazebo was erected over the container.

By this point it was lunch time, so we’d stopped for lunch. Matt got out the fibreglassing kit, and started smoothing off the expanding foam and applying resin and matting to the areas that required it. This was then followed by Isopon P40 to bridge smaller holes, and fill repairs to surface level.

The process so far, Old repairs removed,  voids filled with expanding foam and tided.  Fibreglass matting bonded with resin applied over the foam.

Sunday with Nick, Matt, Dave and Jake on site continuing on Matts Container. Jake and Nick looked at opening the locking bar on the North set of side doors.  This was to allow Matt to make a repair to the door behind the bar.

Dave went around fitting the plates manufactured for the corner strapping to return them to the correct profile.  Although the North East corner was deemed not to require them.

Once fitted Dave moved to the roof to remove the redundant stacking plates and remains of screws which had corroded severely, as per Nicks Container these will not be replaced. Matt continued filling all the previously prepared areas.

After lunch Matt manufactured a repair plate for the door, Red Oxided and with Jakes help fitted.20200614_163259

Whilst in a manufacturing mood Matt also created the blanking plate for the disconnected loaded cylinder on the Iron Ore Tippler and also closed the vacuum hoses into a loop so to reduce the possibility of the redundant hoses deteriorating.

Dave began the long task of sanding the container and this will require filling and sanding until the desired finish is reached,  so a few weekends of filling and sanding expected.

To complete the process above, Filler applied and sanded

A good chunk of work done on the container.  To finish the afternoon a visit from EE Type One D8098 dropping of a few coaches, including our very own BG

07/06/20 – We are back

Monday I spend time on site with the GCRs H&S Co-ordinator finalising our specific Risk Assessment and ordering PPE for a safe, controlled return for the rest of the team Saturday. I also gained permission to carry out a number of tasks whilst there.

So Monday sees the completion of the Iron Ore Tippler, Axel ends painted yellow, levers and lamp irons painted white and underframe details completed. All that remains is the internal bitumen.

Under coat was also applied to the Air Braked High for the Air Braked Network circle as well as the HMLE stickers.

Final bit of activity was to check over Madge, I gave her a run as well as trying her new trailer. All worked well.

On to Wednesday and as usual the weather had other ideas. First job I drilled out the blobs of weld which filled in the holes for the chalkboard brackets and assisted by my wife Michelle we fitted four brackets, this allowed me to measure up for the new boards which I cut and primed.

With the weather continuing to be disruptive I sign wrote the sole bar details, 280364:


Thursday and a little better weather and more signwriting. This time the main lettering on 280364 as well as painting the ABN circle yellow.

The main lettering was also applied to 281882.

The chalkboards for 280364 were also undercoated and as the sun came out a quick look over the 3 almost completed wagons, still a few finishing touches remain.

Friday afternoon I popped in and applied the ABN initials to the Air Braked Network circle on 280364 and painted areas of the data panel in preparation for dates to be applied.

Top coat was applied to the BR style chalkboards and I also manufactured and primed a pair of LNER chalkboards.

With a phased return of personnel, Nick joined me Saturday spending his time tidying a number of areas as well as assisting me fit the completed chalkboards to 280364.

Paint was applied to the nut heads and I moved on to manufacturing LNER style chalkboard brackets.

With a break in the weather I applied details to 280364s data panel and drilled holes for 281882s chalkboard brackets, these would originally have been welded but this is a facility we do not have due to power constraints. Red Oxide and Gloss was applied to the freshly drilled holes.

With the holes drilled I applied Red Oxide and Gloss to the brackets and undercoat to the chalkboards.

The phased return continued Sunday with Ross and Jake on site, the rest of the gang will be contacted this coming week about the way forward.

My first job was to apply the top coat to the chalkboards and brackets, followed by painting the adjustment indicators and brake pin on 280364, as pers 1970s spec.

This completes 280364, having applied a 1970s livery she will not be joining the mixed freight rake but retained with the Test Car as a test vehicle for demonstrations and Test Car open days.

Nick and Jake made repairs to the roof of 783082, this had been observed to be moving during a photocharter. The nuts holding the edge of the roof had worked loose as well as the lath on the edge having rotted, this was replaced, the roof edge bolted down and any rips in the sealed. The rest of the roof was given a look over to ensure secure.

Ross replaced the compressor motor on the test car which has seized before the lockdown.

Once complete Ross fired up the test car and tested the compressor, charging the main reservoir and operating parts of the air system.

With the chalkboards now dry and Ross inside the wagon they were fitted to 281882 and another coat of paint applied for good measure.

This was followed by my final task of applying branding to 281882. When I started working with Nick I asked if I could apply something to one of his vehicles appropriate to myself. He agreed and 281882 was chosen to be the one a number of years ago, this had been used for transporting bottled gas in its former BR life. Living close to Lincoln the nearest rail connected yard to my home would have been the Gasworks in Bracebridge. It was on the Lincoln to Grantham line which was closed in 1965 but the line to the works was retained until it and the Gasworks was closed in 1970 with the discovery of North Sea Gas.

That also sees 281882 complete and once the final touches are completed to the internal faces of the Tippler arrangements will be made with the GCR for our next projects.

Having been with us for over a year and being pushed back due to other vehicles it is good to finaly complete these three.

Featurette #3 BR Goods Vehicle Paint Schemes

The most asked question received in our inbox relates to the specific colour of our vehicles, BR was very good at cataloging items within their own numbering system so looking through any BR documentation of the period you will be quoted a BR catalogue code.  This is all fair and well until you try and order paint from a modern-day merchant.

So what we have to do is go back to the British Transport Commission and their specifications, specifically B.T.C. Spec. 32A. Dated 1955
This states the following:

Freight stock Red for the external body on fitted & piped vehicles BS 381C 446 Red Oxide
Freight stock Grey for unfitted vehicles BS 381C 693 Aircraft Grey
Freight stock Red for Brakevan Interiors below 3′ 6″ BS 381C 446 Red Oxide
Stone Colour for Brakevan Interiors above 3′ 6″ BS 381C 361 Light Stone

As easy as that……………….well no not all modern-day merchants will be able to mix paint from the old British Standard 381C. Luckily there are a number of ways of converting to an alternative modern standard. Although we have taken some artisitic license and have 2 options for bauxite. So our modern Spec. 32A is as follows:

Freight stock Red for the external body on fitted & piped vehicles RAL 3009 Oxide Red
Freight stock Grey for unfitted vehicles BS 5252 18 B 23 Grey
Freight stock Red for Brakevan Interiors below 3′ 6″ RAL 3009 Oxide Red
Stone Colour for Brakevan Interiors above 3′ 6″ BS2660 BS 3-043 Light Stone

RAL 3011 Brown Red is another alternative to “BR Bauxite”
Most of our paint is applied by spray in a 3 step process.
Prime, Undercoat, and Gloss with the primer depending on the material being painted.  We have used 4 types to date, Wood, Metal, Galvanised Steel and Fibreglass.
Undercoat matches the Gloss coat so again a fair few varieties mostly dark reds or greys.

For our brakevan interiors we have chosen a different cream being the external Deep Cream as applied to coaching stock which matches an original panel we found within S56010 this being BS381C 353 Deep Cream (Left) or to give the equivalent we used from the Dulux range 27YY 68/470 Golden Bark 6 (right), specification is for the demarcation to be 3′ 6″ high, we applied this to the nearest feature if any at this height,  so for BR Standard vans this is the lower window sill height, the Midland was the seat back for the bench side and for the Southern this was below the lower window framing.

Going back to specifications again.  Lettering on all vehicles was white, with variations appearing as part of the 1964 spec.  Grey vehicles had there lettering applied to black areas. This was not a requirement for Bauxite stock however black patches were applied when details or markings were changed,  either return to location modified, tare weight altered after a modification, like a change of vehicle bearings as an example or when removed from revenue earning to departmental or internal use .

Our only departure from standard practice is the application of bitumastic paint to solebar and below, this is to protect the underframes as they take a fair amount of abuse from wet track and brake dust and can be touched up very easily without having to prime and undercoat.20200322_110231

Other colours such as White, Black and Red are simply off the shelf with the lettering I apply being Signwriters “1shot” white.

One colour thats has gone down like Marmite is the Ice Blue applied to our fishvan, this colour came about, in 1964, as a result of the British Trawlers Federations fears that the public preceived these visabilly dirty white vans as being the same internally.  The majority of vans only recieved blue marking panels although a percentage did recieve the all over colour and E87674 was one of these.  The spec being BS381C 112 Artic Blue (Left) with a modern alternative being BS2660 BS 7-084 Feista Blue (Right)

Last colour to speak of is yellow.  This is were it gets interesting BR spec was BS381C 356 Golden Yellow (Left) with our modern equivalent being BS2660 0-003 Golden Yellow (Right).  This is used for warning ends, roller bearing caps and yellow markings post 1964 but the interesting bit was during the change from half to full yellow ends on diesels the actual colour was whatever yellow you could get from the nearest hardware shop. Having spoken to an ex BR Fitter he told me that once steam had ended and the instruction went out to paint full yellows there was not enough Warning Panel Yellow in the BR Stores the instruction went out to get any yellow you can.

This final statement above realy covers all the paints discussed  in this feature as well as any railway applied paint.  There were so many BR works and the paints were hand mixed the variations would have been massive.  So the above is all to Specification as mixed by a modern computer that can re create this time after time, back in the 50s and 60s colours would vary even within the same works depending on who was mixing it.

Our choice is to do them all the same and alow the weather to make the variations, however others do chose to mix that variation in at the initial painting stage. There is no wrong way or right way its down to individuals and how they wish to present there own fleets.  The key is not to get bogged down in precisely what the colour should be just as long as its close/similiar or simply evokes a memory or feeling. Above is what we do and once complete in a rake, although not prototypical for a fully restored rake to run together it does look good, and we are proud. 

Finally it is hoped that this is the last of our Covid-19 features, I have a meeting and site visit with the GCR to finalise Covid precautions, this has also included permission for myself to undertake restoration work from Wednesday with the aim of a reduced gang authorised to return from next Saturday. This is still of cause under finalisation of precautions and fingers are very much crossed.