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Carriage & Wagon Works News

Restoration of LBSCR Third No. 328


 
Stroudley Coach Body 328
Built in 1890, No. 328 is interestingly on the cusp of Stroudley and Billinton designs, being essentially to the then late William Stroudley's design, but with externally fitted bolection mouldings (window frames) of the pattern associated with later Billinton carriages.

This coach body was recovered on 13 October 2000 from within a domestic dwelling at Shoreham Beach where it had been since 1918. It is known on the Bluebell as "Betty" after the lady who lived in it, whose daughter facilitated our acquisition of the carriage when the property was being redeveloped.

The photo on the right shows the carriage as initially stored under a tarpaulin after arrival at the Bluebell, with the tarpaulin lifted to enable visitors to view the carriage on a special open weekend.

An underframe, from Southern Railway PLV (Passenger Luggage Van) No. 1536, was obtained and has been shortened to carry this body. Restoration work commenced in 2010, being undertaken by volunteers and funded through the Bluebell Stroudley Coach Fund. In addition to this page, more photos are available on Dave Clarke's Flickr page.


Photo by Richard Salmon

 

 

 

6 June 2021

After the second and third COVID lockdowns, work has resumed, seeing most of the roof now in place, and the exterior painting progressing with coats of brushed filler applied to enable a smooth finish. (Richard Salmon)
 
Photo by Richard Salmon

 

 

 

 

 

5 December 2020

With the interruption of the first COVID lockdown, the team on this carriage were the last back into the works, being generally speaking the eldest. Here we see the central roof planks in place, and wiring could then be installed for the LED lighting (which will be disguised inside gas-lamp fittings). (Richard Salmon)
 
Photo by Richard Salmon

5 January 2020

Exterior painting is now progressing, and preparation of the roof timbers is in hand. As with other timbers on this coach, they are wider than is available commercially these days, so two narrower boards are being jointed together to achieve the same width as the original. They are seen protected by the dust sheets in the foreground. (Richard Salmon)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

24 February 2019

With the external panels in place, the first of the edge strips have been fitted to the door pillars. In the absence of mouldings to cover the panel's edges, the LBSCR used them to protect their end grain. All the partitions are now grain painted. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

6 January 2019

Half the partitions have now been grain painted. Others are in undercoat. Externally, the last of the lower panels waits to be fitted. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

9 December 2018

A complete partition grain painted, and the quarter-panels and door pillars painted to topcoat. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

4 November 2018

Alternate panels in the southern compartment have been grain painted by Chris Broadbridge. On Chris' next visit he will paint the missed ones using tape to mask the recently dried paint. The shaped cover at the top of the partition covers the patch fitted in the partition roof hoop when the original oil lamps, shared between adjacent compartments, were replaced with one per compartment back in Brighton days. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

5 August 2018

Topcoat can be seen under each of the seat bases, with undercoat on the carriage end, and more ply panelling fitted to the sides. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

25 May 2018

The first exterior panels have been trial fitted to the east side of the coach. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

25 May 2018

Filler covers the screws holding the panels to the southern end of the coach and white undercoat has been applied to the interior. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

16 March 2018

With the panels fitted to the southern end those for the northern end are being painted. The interiors of the compartments are also now being primed. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

2 January 2018

The lamp brackets have been fitted to the trial fitted boards on the southern end of the coach. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

17 December 2017

The final marine ply board is ready to be offered up to the north end of the coach. Once fitted, they will be removed for sealing on the back and edges and initial priming on the outer face. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

29 October 2017

With the internal planking now in place on the end, the first three marine ply panels have been cut and trial fitted to the southern end of the coach. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

29 January 2017

The last partition is carefully being trial fitted to the coach. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

15 January 2017

The upper planks have been cut to size and fitted into a rebate on the underside of the large roof hoop, on the northern two partitions. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

8 January 2017

The waist panel with the vestigial carriage number has been temporarily fitted to the east side of the coach. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

2 January 2017

Some interior and exterior panelling is now in place, and the building up of the partitions is progressing. The eaves panels (at the top of the bodyside) are unusual because they are 5/8 inch thick rather than the normal 3/8 inch (16mm instead of 10mm) and as a result the mahogany originals have generally survived without splitting. The panel carrying the carriage's number has also survived to be refitted. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

16 October 2016

A close-up of the cant rail repair. Also seen behind it is a newly made partition roof hoop which has been fitted to the northern side of the compartment. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

16 October 2016

The carriage as seen from the public viewing gallery, with all roof hoops in place, and cant rail repair completed. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

16 October 2016

This view shows the completed partition (with dividing seat-top rail) and deep roof hoop, thus recreating the southern most compartment. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

28 August 2016

The new section of cant rail is taking shape and has been continually trial fitted to ensure a perfect fit. Note also that some of the roof hoops have been fitted. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

28 August 2016

Original sign-writing on one of the battens which sits on the partition and to which is attached (on its back) the luggage rack netting. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

23 August 2016

Some replacement roof hoops were required, and the spare salvaged ones are ex-first-class. Here Paul Cripps reprofiles one of the first class roof hoops to match those in No. 328. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

14 August 2016

A split in the east cant rail had been repaired and braced with steel plates and bolts, however a reassessment of the repair has led to the conclusion that this section will be replaced with new teak. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

21 February 2016

The top (cant) rail has been fitted to the west side of the coach. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

17 January 2016

In preparation for fitting the cant rail, strings have been set up to check the alignment of the tenons on the top of he bodyside which are to go into it. The original cant rail on both sides has survived intact, so is a good reference to ensure the coach goes back in exactly the same shape it was originally. Note the doors from the coach stacked up at this end. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

21 June 2015

The final fix! Mastic was applied before the side frames were bolted down to the bottom rail. Originally white lead paste would have been used. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

26 April 2015

By the end of April the four intermediate sections have been test fitted and a start has been made on the seat rails and brackets. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

29 March 2015

Shadows on the body pillars show that the back of the seat was a separate bar that sits within the partition. The bar has two rebates, the first sits on the lower partition and the upper half sits on top of the bar. Once installed, the pine quarter paneling produces the rebate which holds the lower partition in place. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

29 March 2015

The second body section has been test fitted. The remaining two will also be installed so that the seat rails can be cut to size, the brackets at the bottom of door pillars aligned, and top (or cant) rails test fitted prior to final erection taking place. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

15 March 2015

The first partition is having a trial fit, and will be left to see how much shrinkage occurs before the last board is fitted. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

1 March 2015

The front beams of the seats either side of the first partition have been intalled. The fore and aft seat supports have also been test fitted in order to see how the seat back relates to the the partition when it is installed. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

15 February 2015

New quarter panels have to be fitted before the seat structure. Two boards have been butt jointed together to fabricate the wider boards that were fitted by the LBSCR. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

1 February 2015

Originally the carriage had no heating. We are fitting steam heating but, so it will not be visible, rather than five large radiators on the floor we are fitting ten smaller ones suspended under the seats. The steam heat radiator brackets can just be seen hanging from the four fore and aft seat supports which have been trial fitted. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

18 January 2015

The next section of framing has been trial fitted to the southern end of the underframe. The two seat front rails have been installed but the rear rails against the partition, their supports and the fore and aft cross members have yet to be fitted. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

30 November 2013

Seat components and body frames are stock piled on the floor of No. 328. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

2 November 2014

The first of the replacement quarter panels has been trial fitted to the south east corner of the coach. Each of these boards is formed from two narrower deal planks glued together. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 
23 May 2014

Robin Cain admires the fit of the newly fabricated north western section of framing. Unlike the original mahogany, this is plantation grown teak. This section had to be replaced because the original had been removed to provide a bathroom extension in the bungalow. Over the coming weeks, various repaired sections of body framing were also offered up. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

18 May 2014

Two new teak body pillars are seen, having been fabricated for sections of bodyside damaged during 'domestic alterations' when a bungalow. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

16 February 2014

A new seat front rail and four cross members have been trial fitted to the southern end of the coach. The latter are hanging free as the rear rail hasn't been fitted yet. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

26 January 2014

The southen end of the coach has been erected. New sections of plantation grown teak have been acquired to replace the missing body side pillars. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

22 December 2013

The northern end is trial fitted to the bottom side and end. The seat is an integral part of the framing and the seat-rail is seen in the foreground, which will have to be fitted before the unit can be finally installed. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

24 November 2013

With the floor now completed to gloss, it is protected by sheets of hardboard. The repaired pitch pine northern end frame and some of the mahogany side framing has been laid out on it. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

20 October 2013

Undercoat has been applied to the newly laid pitch pine floor and sapele bottom side. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

8 September 2013

Some of the body framework sections has been laid out on the newly completed floor. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

28 April 2013

In the foreground, the first of the pitch pine floor boards have been fitted to 328. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

28 October 2012

The two 'halves' of the eastern bottom side have been joined together with a glued half lap joint renforced by bolts. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

13 May 2012

The newly adapted underframe for 328 shunted into the northern end of the dock. The newly fabricated sapele bottom side sections have been laid on the underframe. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

29 April 2012

With the body having been dismantled, three sections of body side lean upside-down against the works viewing gallery. The nearest is the smaller section including a corner pillar and door pillar. The larger sections incorporate two door pillars. (Dave Clarke)
 
Photo by Dave Clarke

 

 

29 August 2011

Having completed the mortising of the sepele bottom side's upper surface (for body pillars) here the mortices are being cut into the inner face for the floor bars. The carriage in the background is Stroudley Brake No. 949. (Dave Clarke)
 


Dave Clarke's fotopic site features more photographs of the overhaul of this vehicle.

Go to the Web page for this carriage.

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