This update by Peter Short was originally written for summer edition of Swanage Railway News but did not appear because of the disruption to publication caused by the pandemic.
Like all other departments, we have been affected by the lockdown, but we did manage to work until the day before and some volunteers took away some small items to work on at home. We would usually use the summer period to do jobs such as painting the exteriors of our vehicles and to do a lot of varnishing, but we hope to be able to get back and do something in the not too distant future.
Before the lockdown we continued to make progress:
Bulleid Brake 4365 and composite 5761
We repaired some minor window leaks in both 5761 and 4365 whilst they were at Corfe in February. We hope we can get 4365 into the Goods Shed as soon as possible so that we can carry out some bodywork repairs.
Maunsell Open Third 1381
We took the opportunity in early March to carry out some minor repairs. The door droplights had strengthening bars fitted which should prevent damage when people hold the top of them to close the doors. One of the end sliding doors kept coming off the runner. This was due to a defective ski which was replaced. An under window panel was replaced after the window supporting spring was refitted as it had come loose. The felt along the side of one of the door droplights was also replaced as it had become damaged.
In the workshop, we have continued with the manufacture of replacement luggage racks and several are nearing completion and we are purchasing the remaining component materials as funds permit
Maunsell Open Third 1346
Work at Corfe Castle continued on 1346 until the lockdown. We continued to make and fit mainly new side paneling and the bulkhead partitions were being fitted after some repairs were made. We continued with the never ending task of stripping down, staining and varnishing the original parts and making replacements where necessary. Work on the second vestibule was also progressing and the new ceiling is well on the way to completion.
The task of making 28 new seats also continued on several fronts. Many of the parts required have been made, but the major outstanding parts are the hardwood seat ends and of course we need the ‘boomerang’ moquette as fitted to 1381. A start was also made on restoring the 14 under window panels.Many of these were damaged or decayed, so some new parts have been made, but we are using as much original material as possible.
B van 385
This is our stores van and it needs a repaint which we had planned to do this spring. We still hope we can get it done this year before the bad weather sets in.
All our great team of volunteers are keeping in regular contact and all are safe at the moment and we hope it stays that way. When we can get back there will be so much to do in all areas of the railway. Please consider helping us either physically or financially. The whole railway really needs your help.
Anyone wishing to join our Tuesday or Sunday working parties when they resume would be made very welcome. Please contact us via the links on our project page.
Photographs are copyright Peter Short unless otherwise indicated.