Saturday’s team worked on three projects – Van 40, Coach 7 and locomotive “Blyth”. All the timber drilling and rebating on the van underframe was completed, and the last section of coach ceiling (Southwold end) rubbed down, filled, and primed.
The frames of Sharp Stewart 2-4-0T “Blyth” have always faced into the end of the workshop: Bernie had the idea of turning these so that they face the entrance, and also moving them into a more accessible position. The idea is that the existing parts (smokebox door, chimney, and other parts as they are made) can be displayed better, mounted in the proper relationship to the frames, while the frames, complete with buffer beams, can be presented at the finished height. The ensemble will therefore give a much clearer idea of the size and presence of the complete loco. The idea is, of course, not new, having been used by many of the standard gauge locomotive new-build projects for the promotion and marketing of their funds.
However, the frames/stretchers/beams assembly is much longer than the workshop is wide, so we could either have dismantled the assembly (which has been temporarily bolted together), or moved it in one piece. We chose, of course, the more difficult, but more spectacular way!
After about two hours’ hard work, we now have a chassis in the right place, and, after the next workday, it will be raised (on blocks) to its appropriate height, so that design of the structure which will display the components can begin.
The workshop doubles, on days when we run Bus Tours (Thursdays and Bank Holidays), as a working museum, so we hope that the exhibit will now become more attractive and understandable to the public.