This month brings comfort to our team as (if you’ll excuse the pun) we can finally begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
With everything for the carriage’s renovation bought, ordered and made (where possible) we can expect all the new doors, slide windows and all the other components and attributes to be delivered for late November!
However, with this being said, we decided to trial and test the passenger doors, immaculate (and very expensive) door to see what we thought of it. We decided, as the passenger side of the carriage is the most complete part, that we’d fit our first door onto the front of the passenger side as if to signify a very expensive cherry on top of a very old, unfinished (and probably mouldy) cake. Our doors have been made to measure, using the same type of wood that the original doors were made from. Two had to be made from scratch and the middle one was “fixed” from the old door.
Additional to this, all the back doors of the carriage have been refitted so that they are able to move freely within the given space at the back of our garden. We have decided to keep those original doors as they are in a much better condition than the front doors were, and have glass slide windows which are practically immaculate anyway, so it would seem silly for us to order in more doors anyway.
Because the passenger side of the carriage is now at a state whereby it is stable and upright without the use of acrow props and support, our team, with the help of our friend Steve Wilson, started to work on the guards part of the carriage. With Steve’s help, we were able to dig up the guards half of the carriage, ensuring that the floor was dug to an equal level of one metre below that of the original floor levels. We then began to make the guards half of the carriage stable and upright.
To start, we balanced out the acrows and made sure the ceiling of the entire carriage was exactly horizontal and balanced out equally. We then dug under the outer walls of the guards half of the carriage, and placed 8 vertical sleepers and 4 horizontal sleepers onto the floor surrounding the guards part of the carriage. As it stands, the guards part of the carriage and the passenger side of the carriage are completely even and horizontal, both sides (with or without the aid of support) are able to stand upright and vertical without drooping to one side or the other, and both sides are awaiting their new set of doors and windows!
After proceeding to start on the guards part of the carriage, and after finding out that we are scheduled to collect the windows by mid November, we enrolled the help of Bluebell Railway to find a London to Brighton South Coast Railway transfer sheet so that we will, when the doors arrive, be able to paint the original emblem onto the doors of the carriage as it would’ve been with the original design. The emblem would’ve been painted by a calligraphy artist (the same artist who would’ve painted the ‘each seat to hold 5 persons’ notice in the passenger part of the carriage) and he would’ve painted the emblems onto many carriages alike the one we own, enhancing his experience in painting, and ensuring that he didn’t mess up! So no pressure to our team for trying to replicate that!!
To conclude, we’d like to say a massive thank you to Steve Wilson and friends for doing a lot of behind-the-scene work on the carriage for us. Without your help, we wouldn’t have got nearly as far as we have now, so thank you very much for contributing your time and muscle power into restoring our carriage for us.