News and Updates

25/10/20 – BR road pair.

This week’s update predominantly features our vintage road vehicles, the main focus of which was the Timeline Events photo charter held on Friday. The focus being Quorn yard, were we attempted to recreate Goods Yard scenes of a bygone era. We saw the first public appearance of B786181. We believe this is the first time since at least 1968 it has been moved by Steam traction, in the form of BR Standard Class 2 78018.

Matt was also happy as we saw the return to the railway, after a 5 year hiatus, of Wilbur. This is Matt’s 1968 8 cwt Morris Commercial Van. Meeting Madge for the first time, the pair look stunning in their BR Crimson and Cream livery.

Another Charter depute was Nick’s Mk1 Transit van, carrying the livery of his late father’s business. Although a 1972 registration the Mk1 Transit began production in 1965. Nick and Matt both intend to purchase show plates with more age appropriate steam era plates for these types of events.

Left Hand image courtesy of David Pond
Right Hand image courtesy of Mark Cullen

The Charter raised the group some additional funds and we send our thanks to Neil and his team. We hope the photographers enjoyed what we were able to bring together for the event. Below are a few images.

Images courtesy of Mark Cullen

Images courtesy of David Pond

Images courtesy of Nick Halling

On Saturday, we wrapped up after the charter, tidying items away and sorting out our ‘props’ vans. Matt sorted out Madge and I undertook a little bit of work on Wilbur, tightening a loose alternator belt and changing one of the mounting bolts to make them the same size.

Jake and Nick got four sheets of ply to begin production of the side sheets to repair B852838. This van got measured and the sheets cut in the CCT, out of the rain. These were then stood up in the CCT and painted into primer. These have been left to dry after which they will be undercoated and glossed before they are fitted to the van. Dave and Richard helped with the cutting of the sheets, and Jake hoovered up after us. Matt and Nick readied the lorry and loaded the Scammell dolly on to it ready for tomorrow. I also fitted the new handbrake pawl spring and skip catch springs to Danny.

Dave finished off by sanding back the undercoat on Danny’s seat and applying a first coat of grey gloss to the top side of the seat.

On to Sunday, Nick and Matt heading off on a road trip, again our thanks to Kenway for the loan of their 7.5T lorry. Heading north to High Green the trip was to pick up Matts latest purchase, a Taskers Trailer for Madge, this is a 15ft trailer and will be more prototypical behind the Scarab.

Back at Quorn Jake continued the mid project tidy, clearing out our used can mountain amongst other tasks

Eddie and James were also on site, continuing the paint prep for Danny.

Eddie also brought some more parcels, the pile is almost touching the roof.

Nick and Matt returned and after unloading by Volvo, the trailer was tested with Madge.

With the weather now turning and the light failing in the afternoons its likely our updates will move to Rothley, but as always we shall let you know next week.

18/10/20 – Medfit Loaded

This weekend begins with a quiet day on site for Nick, Eireni and Ross, joined by new volunteer, Richard. Welcome,Richard. We are currently between vehicles, having finished B786181 last weekend, so this weekend is our usual small jobs weekend, to get us ready for the next push onto something new.

They started with preparatory work to B852838. This van was genesis, the key stone for the van train way back in 2017, and it is now looking rather worse for wear. Some of the ply fitted to the van was on borrowed time, so the fact it has lasted 3 more years is a bonus. We have previously used this van as our ‘ Theatrical van’ which housed our props and parcel used for photo charters and galas, this has been moved to another van, so we could start work. We sorted items inside out and removed items that were no longer useful. we then shuffled everything around inside and removed a workbench to be able to gain access to the 3 side sheets that need attention. Eireni cut out a new chalkboard for the van, which will be painted up ready to fit.

After helping to ready the van, Ross continued working on ‘Danny’ our site dumper. We are still waiting for the steering box back, but he replaced nearly all of the grease nipples and pumped grease into the steering linkages and the pedal linkages. everything seems to be moving a lot freer now. he also manage to obtain a pan seat which is close enough to be correct. Ross painted this into primer, ready for undercoat. Richard assisted by removing the school chair from the locker box. Last job for Ross was to adjust the clutch linkage.

Nick, Richard and Eireni sited the workbench removed from B852838 and sited it outside, next to our shed. This has already come in handy, so should continue to be so!

As for me, I was working at home on another member of the fleet and the first time it has graced one of our updates, Numbered MB 2426 E and named Wilbur, this is my 1968 built Morris Commercial and carries an appropriate BR livery. A final few little niggles to sort and hopefully we shall see him at the GCR again.

On to Sunday and the odd jobs continue, Eddie beginning to scrape down Danny ready for a little more TLC.

The bench removed from the shockvan was given a new rubber top by Dave to protect the wooden surface.

The main event however was the loading of B458484 with Container B55897B.

A little careful adjustment with the Volvo and it was in. Sleepers were positioned at either end and wedges driven in to hold the container longitudinally. Blocks were also measured and trimmed to hold the Container laterally.

Although the blocks and sleepers will actually do the main task of holding the container to give the prototypical look Ross roped the container as per BR20427, Instructions for the loading and securing of containers on rail vehicles.

I did read a statement somewhere that Containers in Medfits could not be opened, this image proves that statement to be untrue. Although it would be awkward to actually do anything practically.

Finally Eddie applied the layer of undercoat to Danny’s seat.

That concludes this weeks update and I shall leave you with a few images of 3 vehicles loaded with Containers

As always, more next week.

11/10/20 Containerised Freight Revival

With the completion of my Container last weekend we begin with a clearout. Container emptied and swept out, although there is still a few items to complete inside this can wait for a rainy day, well an even more rainy day.

Nick, Jake and Dave focused on the west side axle box inspection of 786181. Splitting the boxes and inspecting the bearing surfaces, journals and oils pads. All found to be in excellent condition. No scores or damage visible.

For this and next weekend we have planned to display the container on Madges flat trailer, this was loaded and the opportunity taken to take it for a spin around the yard.

We then parked up next to the loaded conflats bringing our three containers together fully restored for the first time.

All attention turned to completing 786181, chalk boards fitted and the replacement of the vacuum cylinder with one previously overhauled. The original piston rod was descaled and polished and a new gator fitted

The east side axle boxes were then inspected, and again, no issues apparent

I also completed the signwriting, with vacuum stars, East side wagon plate and a little note on the end chalkboards written.

Eddie was also on site and had brought us some more parcels which we loaded in to M500954

On to Sunday and a brake test of 786181. A leak or two was found and these quickly rectified.

After a few applications to exercise the brake and a leak rate test carried out the brakes were left on to determine their effectiveness, they remained on for in excess of 5 hours so deemed a success.

With the successful brake test all that is left to say is B786181 can be released to traffic. Below can be see the transformation and of cause we have branded the van with a suitable location.

Our attention then turned to B763305, this has been running around with a blue roof after its bitumastic covering wore off due to it raining soon after application. With the good weather this was reapplied.

I also did a spot of Signwriting for the Class 27. A legend for the main engine room door.

Nick brought his Mk1 Transit on site to iron out some running issues and posed with Madge and our fleet of Containers.

That wraps up another weekend, a loaded Scammell trailer and another completed van. More as ever next week.

04/10/20 – Rain shall not beat us

Unusually we begin last Sunday, with a School visit to the GCR on Wednesday we were asked by the Education department if we could take part in telling the story of how Goods were moved by Rail. Whilst I was painting my Container roof the rest of the team along with Jack were moving into the Goods Shed.

The blank canvas was filled with a number of our items including the bench and shelving from my container to create our interpretation of the interior.

With the scene set, Jack, Jake and I were in attendance Wednesday to tell the story assisted of cause by Madge, we also had a visit from Channel 5 and Rob Bell but more on this at a later date.

As quick as it was set up the building was emptied but we will be working closely with the education team to make a more permanent interpretive display.

Jack took the opportunity to make a British Transport Films inspired video. This is included below, this will for part of a larger project and I hope you enjoy.

On to Friday and with the rain forecast to be with us all weekend I set up a cover to allow the signwriting to begin on my Container.

On to Saturday and with the side completed Friday evening dried the sheet was transferred to the opposite side and also signwritten,

The rest of the team consisting of Nick, Ross, Eireni, Jake and Dave carried out a number of tasks, Gloss coating 786181s chalkboard brackets, undercoating the chalkboards, refurbishing a number of Vacuum Release valves and sheeting 786181 ready for Sunday.

Dave’s final task was to cut and and paint some dense foam ready for fitment to my containers door stops.

On to Sunday and another sheet move on my container, this time to complete the door signwriting.

Nick and Ross started Sunday preparing the sheet over 786181 tying it back to allow me to signwrite underneath.

With my containers signwriting completed I moved on to the van chalking and painting.

All hands turned to the van. Eddie applying fence paint to the bare doors for protection

Nick Ross and Jake applying bitumen to the underframe and headstocks. The sheet was a godsend and with the intermittent rain held off the signwriting was complete as well as the headstocks and west underframe.

I moved to the GUV to apply a gloss coat to the release valves refurbished by Ross Saturday.

It was this time we was joined by something unexpected. Blue skies and sunshine, with a quick look at a number of weather apps and the forecast looking much better, the sheet was removed and the Eastside painted.

I took the opportunity to apply a second coat to the containers roof followed by fitting the door stops and touching up a number of areas with bauxite.

Whilst I painted gloss so did Ross with Lamp irons vacuum pipes and brake levers painted, Nick applied topcoat to the chalkboards and to finish the weekend I completed the west side wagon and repair plates.

This completes the exterior of my container and progresses the van to the point that all that remains is to fit the side chalkboards, replace the vacuum cylinder and test the brakes.

More as always next weekend

27/09/20 – Yellow no more

This week has seen progress on the Yellow Van, B786181 and Matt’s container, B55897. That said, this weekend starts on Friday afternoon with Matt being on site to finish off work on his container; sanding the roof and masking the rubber bumpers.

Nick, Matt, Eireni, Eddie and myself were on site Saturday, with the first task being moving Matt’s container away from the Test Car with the Volvo. While Matt guided Nick safely to put the container next to the GUV, I started thinning down the etch primer. Our target was to have both the van and the container in undercoat by the end of the day, which seemed like a tall order as the container first needed priming.

After a few gun issues, I got to work priming Matt’s container, starting with the roof and then the sides in the white etch primer. Once completed, I thinned down some undercoat to make a start on the yellow van, which was soon to no longer be yellow.

With the van suitably coated, Nick painted the door edges and frames with unthinned undercoat, while Eireni and I thinned down some more undercoat in order to spray Matt’s container. As with the primer, I started on the roof, this time in my socks.

There ends Saturday, with the container and van sat in undercoat, ready to receive gloss.

My first job on Sunday was to paint the van into gloss, with Jake as my assistant, straining the paint and filling up the gun. Matt started by cutting out and priming two chalkboards, destined for the yellow van. He also primed and undercoated four of the necessary brackets to fix these to the van.

The van received 2 coats of paint which was left to cure while Jake made a start on Matt’s container, not having to do the roof this time.

With the container completed, Jake sprayed a third coat of paint on the doors of the van. We opted to do a second coat on Matt’s container too, as this was showing some patchiness, though with the light of the day it was hard to see because every time you moved the patches changed.

While Jake and I were on painting duties, Eddie continued his efforts scraping and cleaning the underframe of the van, which I’m looking forward to spraying. Nick was again on door frame painting duty, and while during breaks was surveying the efforts of Jake and I, checking for misses.

The last job of the day was for Matt to paint the roof of his container in Dark Sea Grey, by brush.

And then, because he could, he picked out the letters on the number plate of his container.

At the end of Sunday, we find ourselves with two vehicles awaiting signwriting and one awaiting the underframe spraying. If the weather holds, Matt will make a start of that next weekend. If the weather doesn’t hold, who knows!

20/09/20 – Two more doors

I’m afraid this update is shorter than last weeks, work continues on both B786181 and B55897B, Nick and Jake sanding down the ends and steel work of the van. Applying red oxide to bare areas of steel.

Dave’s task was to manufacture the final set of doors which will complete the woodwork repairs for this vehicle. Measured, trimmed, assembled and primed.

I of cause continued with my Container, manufacturing a replacement corner bumper. This was made from a foam ball, shaped, fibreglass applied for strength, then filler and sanded to shape.

Onto Sunday Nick, Ross and Jake removing the old doors, refurbishing the surviving door furniture and hanging the new.

Once dry the door furniture was fitted to the new doors.

I continued with my Container sanding the doors to remove the Bitumastic based paint used by a previous owner. This also identified in a past life it was used as a Scaffold Store.

I also applied the wooden door stops and label clips.

Final task for mee was to remove the rotten wood from the roof, the former bolt holes being filled with rivets for waterproofing.

Nick and Jake finished off scraping down the metal frame work and red oxiding the bare metal, this completes the body work repairs and pending good weather we are set to paint the vehicle. On the Container I have a few areas of filler to apply and sand above each of the corners and the roof to sand.

Finally an artful shot of Madge taken after parking the trailers up.

13/09/20 – 7 day bumper wagon update

My boss for the past few months has been stating I need to use up some of my leave, so what best way than to take a week off to paint B954546. A Rothley volunteer has been slowly progressing the vehicle and enough progress had been made for external painting. For those who subscribe to the Rothley C&W facebook page you will have already seen what progress has been made.

On to Monday and first I ensured all handrails and fixtures were secure. Followed by applying MP20 weather sealant to a number of areas of the exterior planking.
The rest of day one was occupied with keying all of the undercoated areas, as these were a few months old, and priming any bare wood, ready for day two.

Tuesday and day two, I was joined by Dave and Dick, Dick is a volunteer at Rothley C&W and has been chipping away at the Brakevan over the past few months.

Dave’s first task was to look at the unsettled boards above the west side ducket, a selection of longer screws replaced those previously fitted followed up with a spot of sealant.

I began the application of undercoat beginning with white around the duckets and each veranda end, more on the reason for this later

Dave then began the application of the deep red undercoat to the rest of the vehicle, chosen because it was half a tin that needed using up. Once I completed the body stripes I also moved on to the deep red.

Dick fitted new roof rain strips, tightened a few more items and fitted wagon lapel clips. As Dave and I continued with the deep red application.

At the end of day two, undercoat was fully applied ready for day three.

A day of gloss for day three. Dave taking care of the main event, the application of Bauxite.

I started with the other colour, this being Warning Panel Yellow. It will no doubt be apparent that we are applying the late 1960s livery applied to Air Piped and Braked brake vans ours being Piped.

The duckets and a plank either side of the yellow was left and will be completed once the yellow has dried.

As Wednesday closes a full application of bauxite, two coats of yellow on the side stripes and first coat on the veranda stripes.

Day four and continuation of the top coat application. With the yellow side stripes dry I applied bauxite to the remaining planks and the duckets. Second coat of yellow was also to the end stripes.

Dave’s task was to apply black to the underframe and headstocks.

I also applied white to the veranda ceilings and once Dave was completed with the black we moved on to the handrails, air pipes and lamp irons.

At the close of play on day four we have top coat applied to all areas above and including the sole bars.

Final day of my week off and my favorite activity, signwriting. First a few adjustments to my pre printed templates to accommodate the body side planking followed by marking up.

Then the slow therapeutic task of applying all the letters………………..

That concludes the mid week section of this weeks update, there is still a number of items that need progressing before the vehicle is complete and our thanks go to Dick for his excellent work thus far.

Day six, well for me at least, and back at Quorn. Work continues on B786181, Nick, Jake and Dave removing the bolts and south west corner boards.

The backs of the frames were then cleaned up and redoxided, whilst Dave measured and cut the replacement boards.

These areas were then primed

My focus was on my Container, the majority of the rivets holding the container together had corroded severely. These were systematically drilled out and replaced ensuring what integrity remains was maintained, I.E. each rivet removed was replaced to prevent areas falling apart. At the end of the day over 400 rivets were replaced.

Eddie was also on site, touching up and re bitumening Medfit B458484.

With the primer dried the boards were drilled fitted and bolted to the van.

The north west corner was then striped, steel work cleaned and primed, boards cut and primed ready for fitment Sunday

Last few tasks for Saturday, fitment of the door retaining catch and admire the days progress

Day seven, Sunday and the final day for this update, the boards for the north west corner of the van were offered up drilled and bolted into position

My attention was once again on my container, manufacturing a number of metallic items, namely; Over door rain strip, Lower door retaining eyes, Lower door edge trim and a replacement side repair plate. These were cut, shaped, drilled and primered.

Eddie continued with the refresh of the Medfit and this looks superb once again.

Dave turned to internal trim fitment, both on the van and the container. Re-used items from other areas were trimmed and fitted.

Once the primer was dried I fitted my manufactured items.

That completes this weeks bumper edition. A Brake van painted, I container structurally sound and a van with all but two doors replaced, that’ll be next weekends task.

I’m now going to have a week at work for a rest.

08/09/20 – Sealing it in (or out)

Welcome to another QWW update, I’m giving Matt a rest this week by wriitng the update. With Nick, Dave, Jake, Matt, myself and Eddy on-site this weekend; we’ve made more progress on B786181, Matt’s been working on his container and we’ve made some progress with the Hydrovane.

The groups main focus was B786181, where after replacing the doors last weekend, we concentrated on replacing the side sheets on the dock side. Nick began by splitting the nuts and bolts to release the existing side sheets. Dave, assisted by Eireni, who had joined us on Saturday, and Jake overhauled a 18″ vacuum cylinder, making it ready for B786181.

The side sheets of the van were released and pushed out to ground level, Jake scraped and painted the metal work into red oxide. Dave and I cut out the new side sheets and painted them with wood primer before they were fitted in the van.

Matt concentrated on his container, and began by applying filler to the various holes in the skin. Later assisted by Eireni, he spent the rest of the day sanding all exterior parts of the container.

The side sheets required some fettling with the power plane (remember: Measure twice, cut once!). Thankfully the fettling was to make the boards smaller. Sealant was applied to the metal work, and the boards offered in, and bolted up. Dave and I began tinkering with the Hydrovane in the attempt to get it running again, after an abortive attempt last week.

Matt spent Sunday re-rivetting his container, beginning on the roof.

Nick, Jake, Dave and I concentrated changing the other side sheets on the dock side of the van.

In between side sheeting, Dave and I got the Hydrovane running, but needs a bit of tweaking to get the timing right. Eddy spent the weekend applying more bitumen paint to the interior of the 2 Medfits the south headstock of B458484 and applied another coat to our shed.

Matt has made an excellent start on rivetting his container, roof sheets now all sit down again, and the doors are no longer flapping about in 3 parts.