The Chairman nailing - the SR fence stretches into the distance
The Chairman nailing – the SR fence stretches into the distance

On Saturday May 7th, Trust volunteers helped the Wenhaston Community Café celebrate its first anniversary – there was birthday cake, and general jollity. We are pleased to have been able to contribute to the success of this venture.
Over the last week or so, the teams have made good progress on all fronts – none of them spectacular (we need some goodwill from the planning authorities for that), but nonetheless pleasing. Open Wagon 41 from the Hertitage Train is close to having a complete, working braking system again (really quite complex, when the re-gauging and lost-motion are considered), with only two holes left to drill. The two parts of the underframe must then be bolted together, at which point the mahogany solebars can be fitted into and around the steel – a few spacers, and the floor is next: at that point the wagon will resemble an SR flat. The hinges, catches and other fittings which will change it into a high-sided open are in design mode.
Van 40 will soon be “complete”, as far as the fixed body is concerned – disregarding the extreme complexities of the sliding door equipment, roof canvassing, corner and entrance brackets, and so on – which are, together, as hard as

Van 40 T&G going on at SOLD
Van 40 T&G going on at SOLD

what has been done so far. The Van is a bit like a ship that has been launched – it awaits fitting out! (And lest you ask – yes, there is a maritime theme, as the underframe is ex-Navy).
On the Trust land at Wenhaston, the fencing gang has reached a point only six panels from the east end, and the rebuilt and refurbished fence looks very much at home in the landscape (even if most viewers are not quite as obsessed with SR fencing as the Chairman, who was observed, rather ominously, measuring up the boundary to the north – he’s obviously not content with the 22-chain
Southern boundary fence completion). Other teams have been clearing more scrub after the drainage work, and providing a decent usable car park alongside Blyford Lane (one advantage of the pause in planning applications is that there are currently no restrictions on onsite parking). This was first used by the Narrow Gauge Railway Society on the evening of 7th: a very nice, friendly group, who managed to fit in a visit to the trackbed and to the Folly in Halesworth, and who put up (with very good grace) with the Chairman’s

Bob and Stewart (this is the only way we can get the fencing timber to the worksite)
Bob and Stewart (this is the only way we can get the fencing timber to the worksite)

witterings about this [so far] non-existent railway, and its long struggle for recognition – they also gave the Trust a very generous donation, and offered whatever help that they can give. Nice to know that SRT does have some powerful and knowledgeable friends!