SECR 3188 (LCDR 668) on arrival from Yarcombe, Devon, at Horsted Keynes on 18 October 2005 (Chris Dadson).
The photo on the right shows the 1897-built carriage as initially stored with LSWR No.25, on a bogie underframe. Although being of the later LCDR design (compared to our pair of restored 1889-built LCDR carriages Nos.3360 and 114) the body width and profile are the same, but with a slightly higher, flatter roof. The aim is to be able to run a 3-coach LCDR rake in SECR livery (to match the Bluebell's SECR P-class locos) within 3 years. The team who had just completed the restoration of "People's Millions" coach 3360, started work on 3188 on 15th June 2011.
Dave Clarke's flickr site features the overhaul of this carriage in further detail, and Dave supplies most of the photos and some of the text included here.
It did not take long for the domestic alterations to be removed (external aluminium double-glazed units, and other quarterlights crudely panelled over). Dave Clarke's photo shows that this was completed within days of the carriage entering the works.
The only remaining partition is the one which separated the brake from the remaining passenger compartments. The boards and the cladding from the southern end show the position of the luggage racks and the use of a batten to reinforce the partition and secure the netting can be seen as the black shading in the first photo below.
The next photo shows two sets of four holes on the south side of the partition, suggesting that the luggage rack and its associated brackets were raised at some time. The same evidence has been found on the internal south end planking. It is also evident that there were only two brackets against the partition, with the ends of the luggage rack poles secured by small fittings on the coach sides, an arrangement frequently found in LCDR and later SECR vehicles, and creating a nice differentiation with the other two LCDR coaches we've previously restored.
Another difference in this later design is that the the garnish rail on the inside of the door is more complex and features a hinged plate that covers the gap between the garnish rail and the droplight, as seen in the third photo below. Note also the match strikers at each end of the garnish rail indicating, as with 3360, that this was a smoking carriage, but also acting here as a restraint to the hinged flap.
A start has been made on stripping the paint from the interior cladding on the sides and the roof boards. The latter appear to be in very good condition and one (seen darker in the photo on the right) still contains a large amount of resin, quite common in pitch pine, which as a result is a much more durable timber than most soft-woods.
The quarter-lights (windows) in the northern corners had been sealed up when this end of the carriage was converted to a brake van but, as seen in the first photo below, the framing remains intact beneath the panelling, with the addition of one cross-member. The window in the end of the coach (on the right of the photo) was added when the carriage was converted to a brake, and is thus to be removed.
The panelling on the west side of the brake has been removed to reveal the original door pillars from compartment B (counting from north to south). These have had two large half lap joints cut into them for the waist rails and a third for the upper rail, which will be repaired.
The roof furniture (five Eros vents and rain strip) and canvas have been removed and confirm that the roof boards are in excellent condition although they had several holes bored through them for domestic water pipes and electrical cables.
"Eros" vents, rather than the more common "Torpedo" type, seem to be a feature of LCDR carriages. Only those designated for smoking had roof vents, and 3360 also has this Eros pattern. Unfortunately the other five are missing, so to replace them we need to find or make some more. If you happen to have one in your loft, we'd love to hear from you!
Peeling paint on the exterior has revealed some Southern Railway lining and sign writing. This includes the first "A" of "Railway", "Third" lettering on the door (both in gold leaf), and the set number (835) on the northern end. The lettering is interesting in that, contrary to a mistaken belief that such third-class carriages would simply be lettered with yellow paint, it is actually still gold leaf (with black shadowing) in spite of the carriage being part of a simple excursion/Hop Pickers' special set at the end of its service on the Southern Railway in 1935.
Work started on this day on the restoration of carriage No.3188 (as LCDR 668 is now known). The team who undertook the "People's Millions" project are taking this on. The photos right and below show that it has been craned onto a temporary underframe and is now in dock in the carriage works.
The other photo below shows Tony Clements examining the structure he has revealed by removing the (later) internal panelling in the brake van of 3188. This revealed exactly what we'd hoped, namely that the conversion (which we are reversing) had simply involved covering over two door pillars (which thus remain in their original positions) and the relocation of another. Assuming the other side of the vehicle is the same, that means we only need to make two new body pillars (which go alongside the missing partition), and two new doors to effect a back-conversion to a 5-compartment third, as built. The vast majority of the teak structure appears to be in excellent condition throughout, with the exception of the two bottom-end rails, which will be replaced.
Dave Clarke's flickr site features the overhaul of this carriage in further detail.
See also the web page for this carriage.
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