On Tuesday, October 21st, in a torrential downpour, our specialist timber supplier Brandams of Haverhill delivered to the Trust’s workshop twenty pieces of sapele mahogany for Van 40. As with their previous delivery, the quality is very good indeed. This provides the main structure for the body: corner posts, door architraves, intermediate supports on sides and ends, top plates, and the substantial curved sections which support and define the ends of the roof. The timber has been funded by one very generous donor through the Trust’s new Heritage Train Fund – of which more detail will be posted at official launch next month.
The next day saw quite a large team of volunteers, working on various RSG projects. The treatment, stain, varnish and fixing of the timber panelling and window trim continues, and approaches completion. Lighting replacement is in hand. The original floor lino is vary faded and damaged, so we have cleaned up and painted one section to see how it behaves: if this is successful, and dries well and hard, we will do the whole floor.

The SRT’s new four-poster bed (or is it a van?). The corner posts are actually upright – and about a foot too tall (it’s big, but not that big)

The new timber corner posts were trial-fitted to the Van 40 underframe – they fit pretty well perfectly, which is gratifying, when it is considered that the headstock construction, made up of interlocking steel and timber, was very complex. Just fitting these parts shows how large the van will be – little smaller than standard gauge wagons of the period. The last parts of the painting were completed, and the maroon timber side-plates re-coated. The GER dark blue paint on the SRT promotional stand was also finished: the cream on the dagger board is the only thing left to do. The Trust will be able to use the newly-modified stand more often, as it is now six feet long, filling the usual space provided.
Finally, yet more reclaimed SR fence rail parts were treated with wood preservative, ready to be re-erected at Wenhaston in a week’s time.
This weekend, we will be attending the Pakefield Model Engineering Show (south of Lowestoft, at the new school near the water tower, 10 till 6 on Saturday, and 10 till 4 on Sunday) – come and see us and find out how we are getting on with our large range of projects.

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