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GWR Snake C 1145
GWR Full Brake No 1145 was built at Swindon in 1922 and designated Snake C. Accommodation consisted of a
guard’s compartment situated between two luggage vans, with a corridor along one side. Fuller details may be
found on the Heritage Railways Carriage Survey by following the link Carriage Survey Entry for 1145.

After the SVR obtained replacement vehicles for Santa’s Grotto in 1999, 1145 saw use as a store, and briefly as
accommodation for the Bewdley Station and LNER (SVR) Coach Fund shop until its deteriorating condition led
to its temporary replacement by LNER Pigeon Van 70759.

In order to release 70759 for restoration, the LNER (SVR) Coach Fund has agreed with the Great Western (SVR)
Association and the owner of 1145 that in return for the LNER Fund’s working members carrying out basic
conservation & restoration work, it will be used for the foreseeable future as accommodation for the shop.
The Great Western (SVR) Association’s website may be visited by following the link http://www.gw-svr-a.org.uk/.

Work to be carried out on 1145 include:-

           Strip off old roof covering, gutters & ventilators, replace with new canvass, paint & re-fit fittings.

           Replace certain critical areas of decayed body framework & arrest deterioration in the remainder.

           Ensure body side panels are sound, firmly attached and watertight.

           Remove, repair & re-hang side doors.                   

           Repair floor.

           Re-instate the guard’s compartment partitions.

           Remove unsound paint inside and out. Re-paint in a suitable GWR livery.

           Fit out the interior with suitable shop fittings.

Please note:- all changes we make are done in such away that they can be reversed, any parts removed are
identified and put in to store so that restoration to original build at a later date is still possible.
January 2010

To keep the rain out a canopy has been constructed that hooks on to the side of the carriage it has been built
such a way that it will fit on either set of doors.   
The painting will be completed for both the carriage and canopy when the weather improves.
November 2009

Monday 2nd with the restoration and fitting out as a shop of GWR 1145 more or less completed, it was shunted in
to its new home.   
The 08 Shunter D 3937 Gladys backs on to GWR 1145 and then leaves the yard.
GWR 1145 arrives in the dock ready to open as the new Bewdley station shop on Saturday 7th.
October 2009

Saturday 3rd with all the high level work on and around the roof completed was pinch barred out of the scaffold bay
enabling the last of the doors to fitted and the sealing of the south end gangway door. Jobs left include completion
of the needle gunning and painting of the frames, finishing the painting of the town side, fitting out the stock room
and completing the lighting. Then it is the shunt to the dock in the first week in November with a bit of luck.
GWR 1145 now buffered up to GWR 9103 Nondescript Saloon, The Pigeon I think must be confusing 1145 for
the Pigeon Van LNER 70759. And an empty scaffold bay showing the sealed gangway door.

Saturday 22nd the painting of the body on the town side is progressing well, the needle gunning of the under frame
also on the town side is complete and the station side is well under way and the painting of the roof is finished.
Saturday morning town side primed by Saturday evening the first coat of cream undercoat has been applied
(are we having LNER tourist class Colours on this side?).
Needle gunning of the frames on the station side is 2/3 complete and the first coat of chasse black on the first
1/3 applied.
The display shelving is more or less finished and appears to be filling up fast! Hope the items on offer improve.
And the roof is finished.

Saturday 15th more roof painting, Needle gunning of frames and steel patching over the gangway doorways.
Saturday 4th work on the roof commenced
The plating of the north gangway completed, the sloping section at the bottom is a ventilation duct.  
Saturday 8th the second coat of undercoat is applied.

Photos: Mike Cranmore
JULY 2009

Saturday 25th the gutters were put in place and the majority permanently fixed in place with large screws & white
mastic. The last two lengths were fixed on the following Tuesday. Meanwhile inside the shop ceiling is being
painted prior to the installation of lighting, and the display shelves are under construction.
Gutter fitting in progress.
Saturday 18th With weather forecast looking good it was decided to attached the new roof canvas.
With the canvas attached to centre 7 boards the application of more bedding compound to the remaining
boards begins.
Bedding compound completed the canvas stretched over and nail in place. and the job is done it only took about
6 hours!

Saturday 11th Received canvas for roof and it has been laid out on the roof to check it is the right size. Now
waiting for the right weather for fitting.
Floor covering nearly completed including the carpeted areas at the entrances (these areas replaceable
when worn out)
Some of the Drop Light Straps have been fitted.
And a start has been made on the display shelves
Graham makes a start with the removal the old canvas and then Richard has a go.
And in a short time a large pile of rotten canvas accumulates below, the hole for the guards compartment vent
is uncovered.
And a start on the re affixing of loose boards.

Photos: Mike Cranmore
JUNE 2009

Monday 15th a shunt was booked to move 1145 in to the scaffolding bay to enable the re canvassing of the roof.   
And hoping the forecast for heavy rain would be wrong, the tarpaulin was removed. Above 1145 less tarpaulin for
the first time since November 2007 awaiting the shunt.

Photos: Mike Cranmore
GWR 1145 pulled out by the Ruston and then being transferred to the 08

Photos: Mike Bristow
Tuesday 16th 1145 safely in the roofing bay a temporary platform has been constructed to enable the Massey's to
paint the town side.
Not a scratch in sight and nothing out of place inside either, all thanks goes to the team who did the shunt.
And a view not often seen hopefully we will see a nice white roof soon.

Photos: Mike Cranmore

The final top coat of paint has now been applied and now for the finishing touches.   
The bolections get a coat of maroon and Bob begins to apply the lining.
First strip applied and the “GWR” Transfer.
Also the “Guard” and “Luggage” Transfers.
And even some sign writing.
Work on the interior has also progress with the installing the door to separate the shop from the storeroom, the
corridor ceiling frames fitted and the some of the door bolts reinstated.

Photos: Mike Cranmore
MARCH 2009

The corridor side has now moved on dramatically with Dave and Bob Massey working their magic with paint a brush
or two.   
The left photo shows the half in cream under coat and the lower in primer in the right photo the lower half in brown.

Photos: Mike Cranmore

The replacing of life expired steel panels on the corridor side has been completed and the last pair of doors are
ready for fitting. some repair work has been carried out to one side of the carriage end which came to light when
replacing a corner bracket bolts.   
A new door panel being fitted the centre picture showing top of the panel awaiting the application of a mallet for
final forming of the top.
To access the bolts of the corner bracket a patch was removed and found more repair work. and on looking
below a possible cause the buffer beam has been bent in by about 1" this has happened behind all 4 buffers.
A new patch has been cut and awaits fitting.
All the new panels have been fitted and the last pair of doors will be fitted shortly.
The rebuilding of the working platform on the opposite side has been started.

Photos: Mike Cranmore

The past 2 months has seen the guard’s door completed and fitted and another pair of luggage doors have been
renovated leaving 3 pairs of doors to go, the renovation the corridor side toplights has been completed and
striping of paint from the internal wood is in an advanced stage.   
Give Mike a paint scraper and a board that needs paint removing and there is no stopping him, he also does a
great job in refitting the boards.
We have had replacement frame brackets (green parts) manufactured. and dummy door locks (the white parts)
for the doors that will be not be general use.
Richard on toplight renovation duties.
The first of newly cut steel panels has been fitted.
The lamp Patrice blanks have been made, note marks the original cable route.
The north end gangway door has been sealed and a ventilation fan installed for when we have a hot summer!
Here we see the reason for the need of rapid progress of 1145, the condition of LNER 70759 pigeon van
(currently the Bewdley Station & LNER Fund Shop) is deteriorating particularly on the line side, the soon we get
it under a tarpaulin the better.

Photos: Mike Cranmore

Work has been progressing over the last few weeks, On the outside of the corridor side Gutters have been
removed and paint striped, repairs made where required and the old screw holes plugged ready for painting,
the paint has been scraped from the steel panels and a number of panels have been identified for replacement,
2 pairs of luggage doors have been renovated, the guards door is now subject to the same treatment, 5 of 7 new
window bolections have been fitted and some of the Toplight glazing has been refitted. Internally the guard
compartment walls are complete and painting has been started. A legacy from the carriage’s Santa days the
black paint on the ceiling is slowly being striped. The wall cladding has been reattached and the paint striped
(it is surprising how much the wood has shrunk in 80 years).
The corridor side with the paint removed awaiting steel for the replacement panels at the far end.
The gutters are being repaired by cutting and splicing in new wood.
The Guard compartment walls completed and the first coats of paint applied.
Two photos of the interior of the guard’s compartment.
Two photos showing the restored interior wood panelling less paint also some of the restored toplights. Note the
infill stripe at the top of the panelling in the right hand photo to make up for the wood shrinkage.

Photos: Mike Cranmore

The First week of the month a start has been made on the Guards compartment reconstruction. The speed of
the rebuild has been greatly assisted by Mike Walker who supplied working drawings of the vehicle interior which
enabled Peter Milnes to machined the timber to finished size.
Two photos first taken from the long van end the second from the short van showing the extant of reconstruction
on the 10-08-2008
Two more photos showing some of the interior construction.

Photos: Mike Cranmore
JULY 2008

With the work on GWR 1145 moving on apace the need to spend money is increasing. The GW(A) is already
committed to spending approximately £1000 for bolections and window moldings, and need to raise a further
£1000 for the roof. If you are able to donate towards the appeal, please go to the appeal page on the GW@

Please note if you are a UK tax payer donations can be gift-aided.

Sunday 20th  
On the removal of the fixed windows the bolections where found the be life expired, new ones where ordered and
the first two arrived last week above we see an old one, a new one as delivered and the new one fitted.
Having gone to the trouble of part building the platform on the west side it was decided to complete platform on
the east side so out came the spanner to move it around.

Photos: Mike Cranmore
JUNE 2008
The construction of the access platform on the west side is well underway. And the “first passenger” for the
pigeon van, albeit with a long wait for the train ...

Photos: Richard Hill
MAY 2008
The construction of a platform on the east side is now underway to enable the removal of the gutters and other

Photo: Richard Hill
APRIL 2008
Mike Walker, owner and restorer of his own GWR Snake "C" visited GWR1145 on the 19-04-08 he explained the
construction of the bulkheads and corridor screens and gifted some very useful drawings to the project which
have enabled the timber order to be compiled.
So far 5 lower body panels have been taken off to permit access to the frames, 3 of these panels are now back
in place along with the first pair of door panels.
The guards door has been hung for the sharp eyed the middle hinge is missing see below to see why. During the
removal of the door a number of the team had spent over and hour in trying to drive to pin out of the middle hinge
in the end the hinge was removed instead and a team member took it home for investigation, having tried various
ways to remove the pin including the application of heat it still would not budge, after a closer look it was
discovered the pin had sheared off three fifths of its length the top part just pulled out leaving the bottom two
fifths to be drilled out, a spare pin from GNR 2701 will be used until a new pin has been machined.

Photos: Mike Cranmore
MARCH 2008
The corner post and lower portion of the end frames has been  revealed to show the state of the timber and what
needs to be done.
On the 8th a grand tidy up was the order of the day and along with the station staff the contents of the old station
workshop was moved out. It had been stored in the snake while the construction of the new workshop took place.
This allowed the checking of the roof alignment which had sagged due to the guards compartment having being
removed sometime ago, this proved to be back to where it should be and it was felt with the cross ties left in place
the acros could be removed to free up more space, of course this will not last long when replacement
compartment goes in.
And this is some of what came out
The first pair of goods door frames are complete and on the 9th where re-hung the fitting of the panelling will
soon follow.
26th with the repairs to the first section of frames complete the panels have been replaced, the door panels will
follow shortly.
Also the corner posts for the Guards compartment been cut and trial fitted, the blanks for the door posts have
been cut ready for profiling.

Photos: Mike Cranmore

January 23rd a shunt took place to swap round the Snake with GNR 2701 ready for to move of GNR 2701 to
This has enabled proper access to be gained and making the interior available as a working area.
One Door frame has now got a new bottom rail and the vent cover has been filled, the second door is now
having the same treatment, the internal panels for the doors have been varnished.
The steel door panels have been primed.
The door threshold step has been rebuild and a temporary sliding door has been installed to enable easy
access and to keep the weather out.

Photos: Mike Cranmore

The doors that were removed in November have had the steel panels, locks and windows removed and the
frames are now under going repairs. The plugging of screw holes will be a major task.
A number of the lower side panels have been removed to facilitate removal of rotten timber and replacement of
rusted through corner brackets, also a number of panels have in the passed been repaired by riveting patches
on, these are going to be butt welded in place to give a clean finish.
The Guards compartment was removed a number of years ago and this has caused the roof to sag a number of
inches, acros have been positioned under the affected area in an attempt to rectify to problem before the
reinstatement of the compartment walls.
Photos: Mike Cranmore

Some of the Fund’s working members have already started on jobs such as paint removal and panel fastening.
On Saturday 17th November 2007, just before the weather turned wet 1145 was covered with a large watertight
tarpaulin (the same one that protected 2701 before its roof was made sound).
A pair of doors was also removed and placed under cover prior to repairs commencing.
As can be seen from the below photos there is a fair amount of work to carried out to get the vehicle in to a water
tight condition.
Photos: Mike Cranmore