Progress update December 2021
The LNER Coach Fund team engaged on this GWR-based project reckon it’s time for another
is the progress being made. Work continues in the bar area, with the walls panelled
in the style of the old
‘Clapham Buffet’ car which used to reside on the SVR courtesy of the National Collection.
The actual bar
counter position is marked out on the walls while thought is being given to its detailed
design. The team were
pleased to welcome some members of the SVR Bar Staff who were able to offer some
advice on how it should be done. While the miniature kitchen area is currently being
used as a tools store as
work progresses, we nevertheless look forward to another visit when the Bar Staff
can advise on that area
In the saloon area, at the other end of the coach, the pictures and their surrounding
frames and panels are
fitted up. These pictures are GWR carriage photographs from the turn of the 20th
century and one shows
Dawlish station with single track and Victorian looking bathing machines on the beach,
while another photo
shows what we believe may be an Edwardian Royal Yacht at Stonehouse near Plymouth,
and we are very
grateful to the GW(SVR)A for help with these. Below the carriage waistline in this
saloon we have fitted large
wooden panels stained and highly varnished to match the panels above, and superb
they look too. The LNER
team is very broad minded in sourcing materials and in fact these sapele panels came
from LMS coach No.
13045, sister to No. 2300 in the regular LMS set, which was broken up for spares.
With today’s volunteer
skills that coach could have been saved as well but, alas, that is speaking with
The steam heating equipment, consisting of a series of inter-connected large diameter
pipes running the
length of the saloons at floor level, was sourced from the famous ‘Might Come in
Useful’ stores in the
carriage works at Kidderminster. These pipes have been installed using newly made
steel brackets and the
job currently under way is fitting the covers over them to make them look a bit tidier.
These covers were also
unearthed as a jumbled heap in that invaluable Kidderminster stores and were overhauled
and tidied up as a
Covid homework project by one of our volunteers, while some elegant wooden tapered
ends have now been
made and fitted, profiled to deflect impacts from passing wheelchairs, Henry vacuum
cleaners and the like.
These wooden covers, with brass vents, were thought to come from another long lost
LMS vehicle - all grist
to the mill to this team – so you may imagine our delight when it was subsequently
discovered that in fact they
had come more appropriately from various GWR Dining Cars!
Another job currently being tackled is the communication cord. Appropriate hand-pockets,
where the famous
red chain may be pulled with a penalty of £5 for improper use, were obtained from
wooden covers running the length of the coach are being made from scratch.
We are most grateful to a generous sponsor who has come forward with funds for the
Unfortunately no drawing for these could be found so we have resorted to ‘guestimating’
the shape from
published photographs, re-engineered to suit disabled users. We are extremely pleased
with the appearance
of the first trial prototype.
The vehicle end doors have been fitted and are hinged, in place of the GWR heavy
and cumbersome curved
sliding type, which will make for easier use by passengers. Finally the electrical
circuits are being installed
and some of the lights are now fully working, powered from a shore supply and controlled
through the proper
We are encouraged that the vehicle is really starting to take shape, with light most
definitely visible at the end
of a long tunnel. A big ‘Thank You’ to all who have contributed or helped in any
way, not least in conserving
those myriad useful spares at Kidderminster, which have saved an absolute fortune!