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LCDR 4-wheel brake 3rd No.114 of 1889
Return to service: 4 November 2006
In the morning there was a special train for the volunteers involved in the restoration, representatives from the Bluebell Railway, and the Bluebell Railway Trust (which had funded the cost of the materials used in the restoration) and with specials guests, the Mayors of East Grinstead and Haywards Heath. In the evening there was another run, for the railway's volunteers, again behind "Terrier" No.55 Stepney, and with LBSCR coach No.661 to complete the train.
The last three months have seen the completion of the sign-writing, final coats of varnish on the exterior and interior, completion of the dog box, and other details in the guard's compartment, as well as the last scumbling in there.
This photo shows Stuart Fielder applying the very last touches to the internal lettering on the passenger doors.
The photo below shows the carriage over the pit for final mechanical adjustments on 28th October.
Here, still awaiting gold leaf to finish it off, is Stuart's very proficient first attempt at signwriting one of the doors. The style of blocking is unusual, without the normal shadowing, but based on the best evidence we have for LCDR lettering. It is hard to be certain as to exactly how it would have appeared, but this is based on the little information we have, and the evidence of the shadow left by the lettering on the timber, found when the original door panels were stripped down.
The last pair of brake doors have now been completed. Bump stops have been fitted to the body and doors, and ventilator hoods (some new) fitted to the doors. Since this photo has been taken, the offset handles for the brake doors have been cast, fettled and polished.
The first photo below show the luggage racks and seating now finally installed. The process of fitting the luggage racks has benefitted from seeing how LBSCR racks of this period were fitted, made up in advance on the bench mounted on the back board. This discovery was made thanks to the recovery of a complete luggage rack assembly by our friends at the KESR, who donated to Stroudley item to us.
The interior of the brake van has now been scumbled, and most activity recently has been put into completing the braking and electrical systems. Stuart has made a start on signwriting.
In the last few months this project has come on by leaps and bounds, with 8 of the 10 doors not only in place, but pretty much completed, and the varnish-work to a state where only lettering and a final coat are still needed.
Dave Clarke's photos show (below) the interior painted graining in the brake van coming on well. Most of the droplights are in the doors, and the commode handles (some new castings) in place. The T-handles await a final polish.
The last big job is the major rebuild of the last two doors, which were cut down to accommodate a fireplace in its bungalow days.
June and July 2005
Since the coach was only numbered as 106 for two years from new, consideration is being given to completing the coach in its 1891 condition as Third-class brake No.114.
The roof has received another coat of paint. The oil-lamp chimneys are seen prominently in this photo by Nick Beck taken on 9th July (left).
Further progress has been made on the west side with the fitting of the third passenger door handle. This photo (right) was taken by Dave Clarke on 26th June 2005. Dave and Tony Clements, who have been leading the work on the coach over the last six months have now formally taken over as project leaders.
Below, in this 12 June view from Dave Clarke, progress on the East side is seen, with three doors now hung. Inside the brake compartment, the framework for the dogbox is complete and now requires cladding, while the front board / lip of the parcel shelf awaits fitting. The yellow paint is the undercoat for the scumbled finish which will be applied.
The final photo (from Andrew Stongitharm) shows the blue seat material with red buttons.
27 Feb and 6 March 2005
March 6th saw Ian Johnson install the vacuum brake test gear and Tony Clements fabricate and test fit one of the draught baffles in the brake. Although the coach won't be ready for Easter as some had forecast, the summer is looking a good bet at present!
Both photos from Dave Clarke.
Another of Dave Clarke's photos, showing the new T&G planking fitted to the brake interior. You can also just see one of the four hand-rails fitted to the duckets, fabricated by Ian Johnson. The beam which will support the parcel shelf on the other end of the brake van has also been fitted, along with several repaired original interior T&G boards. It appears the whole of the interior of the brake van was originally scumbled, so the intention is to replicate this.
Splits have been repaired in some of the external teak panels, and a fourth door has been fitted.
Left: The first of the overhauled doors have been re-fitted, using refurbished original hinges. The ventillator bonnet on the nearer door has been removed again to prevent damage, since the door stops have not yet been fitted.
These 5 photos: Dave Clarke
Right: The interior of the brake van is progressing again, with the fitting of the brake column, and some work being done on the interior panelling.
Left: The ceilings are all now pretty much up to top-coat; the decision has been made to use an off-gloss (eggshell) finish, and of course, as with any vintage restoration, nothing as pure as a modern brilliant white, which would not be authentic even for a coach of half this age!
Right: With the steam heaters connected up, the best way to store the seats is actually now to fit them, with their plastic covers to keep them clean. The red buttoning to the blue cloth is not seen here, but is an original feature determined from a tinted drawing of the coach.
Left: The end steps and hand rails have now been fitted, since the other ends of the bolts have to be accomodated within the end compartment, which was holding up the interior fit. Lamp brackts have still to be fitted.
Father and son team, Andy and Stuart, have made stunning progress
with the "oak effect" graining of LCDR Brake Second 106's partitions and side panels, as seen in this photo by David Clarke. Work has now re-started on the overhaul of the doors, and the exposed interior teak framing has been repaired and a start made on re-varnishing.
The oil lamp chimneys have been fitted in place, as seen here (although they have since been turned through 180 degrees to match the works drawing).
Internal painting of the three compartments is in hand. All external mouldings are in place, although some have yet to be bedded on. Oil-lamp chimney pots for the roof have been painted, and work has resumed on the step-boards.
The rebuilt end of the coach (Richard Salmon)
The photo above shows the coach, at this time on its temporary underframe (from ex-LSWR van DS1309), and without its roof, which had been removed for repairs. When originally aquired by the Bluebell, this end contained a large picture window. The structure and panelling have been rebuilt back to its original condition.
The story and photos of the recovery operation which got the coach to the Bluebell in 1977 is told here.
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Last updated 6 November 2006 by Richard Salmon, reformatted 13 December 2021