Spring 2016

March - May 2016, update posted 19/06/16.

March saw the re-launch of our updated and refreshed website - we hope you like it. We had our usual cake stall in the waiting shelter at Hampton Loade during the SVR Spring Gala which, combined with sales from tool van 66, was our most successful Spring Gala to date. Thanks to Sue for making all the cakes and to Marie and Jan for assisting in staffing our sales stands. Thanks also to everybody who visited to us; hopefully you enjoyed your visit.

Our Annual General Meeting, the formal business for the year, was held in April, thank you to all members who attended. The minutes will follow in due course. Our repainted donations milk churn was reaffixed to the loading gauge once it (the loading gauge) had received a long overdue repaint by station volunteers. Donations towards our project can be left at any time. The SVR Spring Diesel Festival was a new format for 2016 and saw a huge number of home fleet and visiting engines both running and on display. The trust had our usual cake sales and sales van 66 was open.

Don't forget that the Severn Valley Railway is running everyday until the end of September. If you are visiting then our sales van at Hampton Loade is usually open on Saturdays and Sundays. It is also open on some days midweek when we are working.

Barry Railway Carriage 163

Summer must be on its way - we have taken the tarpaulin off 163 - just in time for the spring equinox.

Work progressed well in March treating the mould in each of the compartments, with each one now completed. The worst compartment was the last compartment - the one at the Kidderminster end and where various bit of wood were replaced last year. A couple of the photos show how the ingress of water has damaged the lincrusta, either splitting it or causing it to bulge. At least we are far enough into the year to really get the air into the coach and allow drying out to get underway in earnest. By the late summer we hope to be in a position to start refitting the interiors again.

Why is this compartment so bad? This is the end that the water drains to and has had to have more of the roof boards replaced than anywhere else. Water had been getting in for some time. At least the new roof canvas and repairs last year have stopped that. In the meantime we have about 4 external panels to replace (one of which has caused some of the internal problems) and get restart the preparation for painting.

The end gutters were ready to go off for machining by mid March. Once done the end gutters were fitted on the ends of the coach where they required finishing off along with the side gutters. There are a few other bits of work to be done on the side gutters and roof furniture to re-instate this year. The whole roof will be given another coat or two of paint as well.

The Bridgnorth end gutter has been prepared. Not too unexpectedly another small area of rot was found. This was beneath some filler and was easy enough to deal with. Apart from that it is in pretty good condition, much better than the Kidderminster end. Whilst working in this area it was decided to give the top step a coat of paint. This is the only wooden step on the end, the others are all metal. These may also be painted whilst we are working in this area.

The weather during March and April made it very difficult for us working on the coach outdoors. Every time we have been ready to start some work the weather ensured it wouldn't happen. The passengers were amused one day as the wind blew away Mike's prepared materials! In the end he retreated to do some minor work in the workshop.

Sanding of window frames has been undertaken in the Bridgnorth end first class compartment, which means there are two down and two to go in this compartment. Dave has now made and fitted some temporary vents to stop wild life entering the coach. Last year we had birds getting into one of the compartments. An ongoing job is the refurbishment of originals and making some new ones as well. These can then be fitted as the doors are overhauled. Further work has been undertaken on the gutters where the screws are fitted. These will soon be painted.

The footboard on the Bridgnorth end of the coach is progressing and has now got a coat of topcoat. There is a small amount of rot to be dealt with at cant rail level at the Bridgnorth end of the coach although the rest has now been filled and given a coat of primer.

Quite a lot of work has been required on the gutters to bring them up to standard, especially around the joints. It is amazing what a difference a coat of paint can make.

The unfortunate design of the coach (like many others) means that water off the roof is taken to the end of the coach and then runs down it and, being wood, causes certain areas to be prone to rot. This area has now had the rot removed and has been repaired with 'Repair Care', a two part filler that leaves wood filler standing, being much stronger and more durable. Not only that all the processes of repair could be undertaken in one work session.

Once the side gutters had been progressed far enough we were able to get the scaffold platform height altered and commence the door overhauls.


Winter 2015/16

December 2015 - February 2016.

About 30 people have helped in one way or another this year - a record. This has included the SVR Junior Club who achieved in 2 sessions what it would have taken us to achieve over a month. Thanks go to Brenda for making the cards, Marie for looking after the shop (and Jan on numerous other occasions), Sue for making the cakes, Mike W for his various efforts, Mike C, Dave, Graham, Dewi and Sam for their various efforts, Hampton Loade station staff and the SVR for making us welcome and providing facilities. There have also been a number of other people who have chipped in from time to time. Our thanks also go to everybody who has shown an interest in our project, bought items from our sales coach, given us donations.....you get the jist.

Barry Railway Carriage 163

2015 has seen a great deal of progress on 163. Work has included replacing rotten roof boards, removing the old roof canvas and replacing with a new one, repairs to the can rant rails and gutters, Kidderminster end repaired and repainted and body side repainting.

The first and second compartments from the Bridgnorth end have now been cleaned and treated for mould. The lincrusta has been removed. The work took longer than expected - several months, but now we know how it all fits together again we are making more rapid progress on the second compartment. Hopefully the two first class compartments won't take very long as they have much less already fitted in them. Once the weather improves, i.e. stops raining and warms up, the interior can really start to dry out. It is amazing how much dampness sits on the interior surfaces some day, despite the ventilation.

Last winter we undertook the task of steaming wood to form new end gutters. In the summer they went off to the contractor to be machined. By the end of the summer (having done the side gutters) he returned them as they required more work.

We had hoped that one panel of lincrusta could be saved, but when we tried the corners it became apparent that it too had been affected by water. On closer inspection we could see one or two bits had already disintegrated. Once the decision was made this was the easiest panel to remove, confirming that water had got behind it and got trapped. Another panel was also found to have some rot so has been removed and joins the growing list that will require replacement.

All of the small and large loose items have been moved out of the next compartment to be tackled ready to start work. With any luck we will be able to remove the tarpaulin before the spring gala begins on 18th March.

GWR Tool Van 66

As there were no trains running on the Valley for a few weeks we have to take the opportunity to do some work on the inside of our sales van - GWR Tool Van 66. This year we have replaced some lights so it will be much brighter inside this year. Dave has made some alterations to the shelving to enable some of our items to be better displayed. Alterations to our card rack have also taken place. Some painting took place and other finishing touches attended to before we opened again on Saturday 13th February. Time since then has been spent sorting, tiding and stocking the shelves.


Autumn 2015

September - November 2015.

No doubt some of you will have noticed that our website was not updated in 2015 (apart from the Facebook feed). Primarily that is due to our webmaster either being at his paid work or working at Hampton Loade station. It is our intention to update the site over the coming months. In the meantime you can see for yourself his, and the rest of the Hampton Loade station staff's, efforts either at the station itself or in the many photos online.

Barry Railway Carriage 163

With the SVR Autumn Gala approaching we tidied up the coach and gave it a bit of a clean. The pattresses for the roof vents are being prepared with some new ones also being produced to replace some past their best. The replaced moulding at the Kidderminster end is now up to primer allowing the section of cant rail to also be advanced. Where the safety system was installed at the end of the coach meant that the D at the top of the Kidderminster end didn't get fully painted. This is also making progress as is the riverside painting.

Work continued on Barry Railway coach 163 throughout the Diesel Gala. The D on the top of the Kidderminster end and replaced corner section are now up to undercoat level having had one coat of brush filler applied. The same is true of the area above the windows on the riverside of the coach. These areas haven't had the same amount of coats of paint as the Kidderminster end had for two reasons - they needed less filling and the time likely to be available before the weather breaks. Nevertheless this work will give good protection to these areas and is an added bonus compared to how far we thought we would get this year.

The gutters were returned to us in October - the end ones need some more work doing before they return to the contractor for the next stage of preparation. This will be done over the winter. We have been furiously working away on them to get them ready for fitting before the weather breaks. The backs have received paint and the channel sanded to remove sharp edges that could damage the canvas. A couple of other repairs have also been necessary.

Filling all the holes ready for primer has been done on three sections. There are six sections in total and it takes several hours of sanding and pre-work to get each ready for painting. A concerted effort over the past couple of weeks has enabled the gutters to be ready to be re-fitted on 163 and this took place in November. There was somebody working on this for 13 days out of a 14 day period - surely a record for the Trust.

In the past the gutters haven't drained the water at all well and so we have tried to rectify this. Firstly a deeper channel than the original has been machined into the gutters. We have now tried to ensure that there is a more definitive slope away from the centre. Not easy as the roof edge is not flat. The canvas has also been trimmed on this side and will be secured as soon as the weather allows. Once done we can consider putting the tarpaulins over the coach to protect it for the winter.

Also progressing has been the removal of the lincrusta damaged by water ingress. We have found a couple of bits of rot that need dealing with. Once this is done rot treatment needs to be carried out together with mould removal. Hopefully by the summer the compartments will have fully dried out. The dampness had caused the lincrusta to go mouldy but also water had also got behind the lincrusta in a number of places. This resulted in some of the lincrusta starting to start to crumble and causing dampness to be held in the wood. All bar one section has been removed and will need to be replaced once the compartment has dried out. Luckily there are is one side panel and some other small areas where additional attention is going to be needed. Mostly this will be the use of wood hardener as the damage is minimal.

One bit that needs further investigation is adjacent to the window on the river side. We already know that the external panel needs replacing and it may be that the internal panel will as well. It will be treated to stop and further deterioration over the winter before we explore further in the spring. This is one of about five places where we would expect to find potential areas in need of further treatment - hence the approach we are taking.

GWR Tool Van 66

Our Sales Van has seen little maintenance work over this period but has been busy ably performing its function as our primary fundraiser every weekend and over the very successful Autumn Steam Gala, Diesel Gala and Manor 50 weekend.


Summer 2015

June - August 2015.

When the weather is being typically British summer weather we undertake some bits of housekeeping, and so it has been some weekends this summer. A few bits and pieces that needed sorting out in our workshop were sorted.

Sam has been working hard on preparing and painting the outside of the workshops. Following Sam's pre work, he as well as Lee and Dave W from Hampton Loade station staff continued with the outside painting of our workshop. It looks so much better. At some point the roof will be treated which will hopefully stop one or two small leaks.

The donation box was repaired and re-varnished over the past two winters and is now back doing what it should be doing - informing and encouraging people to help with our project. It has already received a few pounds. Thank you if you donated. We would be really happy if it also brought us an extra volunteer or two.

Barry Railway Carriage 163

Work has started on the Kidderminster end of coach 163 ready for repainting. This end of the coach gets the most weathering and so the finish has a shorter life. This was last repainted in 2009.

One of the jobs associated with the roof repairs and canvas renewal is caps for the pattresses on the roof. These would have been made from canvas originally. We have tried this without success (a lost skill?). Our version is going to be made from fibreglass and the picture shows the final stages of making the mould.

Progress continues with preparation of the Kidderminster end of coach 163 for its first repaint in 6 years. There is still more sanding down to do but we are well over halfway. Most of sanded areas have now been given 3 coats of Danish Oil and been filled as necessary then sanded. During 163's service life it was repainted about every 3 years. We know this because of the layers of paint found on some of the original parts. The preparation never seems to end and now we have found a small amount of rot along the bottom. Over 90% of the paint has now been removed with at least 2 coats of Danish Oil applied to the majority as well.

A whole tin of wood filler has been used, mainly to provide a smooth finish for painting. On a couple of panels some delaminating of the plywood has occurred so these areas are having the top surface chiseled out and then filled. As predicted paint has now started to appear on this end. Being warm enough aluminum wood primer could be used.

A big day for the coach - our thanks go to Mike, Mike, Sam, Graham and James for their help today, despite the rain. Also Jan for keeping the teas coming as required. Having uncovered the coach it was a case of removing the old canvas, gutters, nails, screws and other detritus before brushing, scrapping and sanding then laying out the new canvas and then replacing the tarpaulin over the whole lot. It isn't waterproof at present, but is protected to some degree. The canvas will now be left for a couple of weeks to settle (and allow for holidays) before work begins again on permanently securing it. In the meantime we have the gutters to dry out and then prepare for refitting.

As a break from filling the cant rails a bit more painting of the Kidderminster end has been undertaken. We are now up to undercoat level, but using brush filler. The brush filler is mixed with paint so that when sanded we can see if more attention is required on certain areas. Each coat has a different colour paint added so it will keep changing colour for a while! The whole end can't be progressed at the same rate due to the obstructions for the safety system for roof access. Reaching down to the bottom is also a bit difficult so will be done later from ground level.

Further work on the cant rails has been carried out over the past weeks with the riverside of the coach now about 85% complete. Unfortunately some further rot has been discovered hidden away under the old filler. Hopefully this will be dealt with by our contractor this week. We are also taking the opportunity to sand down to bare wood and are roughly in line with the tops of the doors. This will then go through all the normal painting processes and will help to protect the wood from the cant rail downwards.

Some of the mouldings are also going to have to be replaced. One in particular partly disintegrated when the loose material was scraped away. None of this is a surprise to us and our budget for this work allows for such matters to be dealt with.

There was some heavy rain one Friday morning so the opportunity was taken to check the inside of the coach for any leaks. Thankfully there were none. It looks as though the coach is now water tight for the first time in about 4 years. The first and then second coat of paint was applied to the new roof canvas - at least 2 more coats to go.

The weather at times has not been the best for progressing with the painting on 163. Never the less over a couple of days the Kidderminster end has gained the next coat of brush filler. The surface is now becoming less pitted as each coat is applied. One more coat of brush filler to be applied and then the final coat of undercoat. Hopefully good progress can be made over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The new rain strips were fixed on the roof and given their first coat of paint. This means that the canvas is now less prone to the effects of especially strong winds. Not the easiest of jobs due to the curved nature required fitting with the curvature of the roof - six pieces of wood taking all day to get right!

GWR Tool Van 66

The lettering on Tool Van 66 is more susceptible to weathering than the brown. In order to protect it a coat of varnish is being applied to prolong the paints life. Some odd jobs are also being carried out on the vehicle such as above the entrance door. This has now been rubbed down, filled and now has primer applied. With Graham being available midweek at present he has been spending some time working on jobs on 66 that can't easily be done at the weekend. One of the corner posts needed filling and is now up to the painting stage. Also the section above the door got missed when the sides were re-planked and this too is being painted.

One of the midweek jobs has been painting areas where the public might normally go - this week those around the door have been tackled. Hampton Loade has very few passengers mid-week so this can be done easily. These are small jobs that usually get done just before catching the train home.


Spring 2015

March - May 2015.

We had surprise visitors one March weekend - a couple who remember seeing our coach being removed from Clent over 20 years ago. They came to see how we were getting on. We also had the return visit of the junior club with Jacob and Ryan putting the top coat on our small scaffold tower. A very neat job they did too.

We have held the formal business of the year with our AGM in May. A nice little mid-week job has been done away from the SVR - re-varnishing the donation box. What a difference a bit of varnish makes.

Barry Railway Carriage 163

Our merry band of volunteers were having a quieter time on the coach in March due to a number of personal and family issues that having to be dealt with. Nevertheless preparation work is on-going for the summer season when we hope significant progress will be made.

So far this year we have had a contractor in to do further repair work to the roof and this should be followed by work on the corner posts over the next couple of months before the roof gets a new canvass. Last years efforts turned out to be fruitless in stopping the leaks so this gives just one option - a whole new canvass. We thought long and hard about whether this was the right was to go and quickly came to the conclusion it was. The existing canvas was over 20 years old, so it owes us nothing. Our contractor can do in two to three weeks what it would take us all year to do.

The second of three expected contract jobs for this year has now been completed - removal and repair of rot on the corner posts at the Kidderminster end of coach 163. We still have some side panels to replace and this will be done later in the year. One of the panels had rotted from the inside outwards due to a space within the panel created during manufacture.

The last bit of rot found in one of the First class compartments has been removed. Thankfully it was much less than feared. Mike has also been gradually removing bits of old nails left in the wood over the past few weeks - a tedious job but worth the effort.

It is nice to get back to restoration work, and that is what has now started in the 1st class compartments. Some preparation work for the fitting of the internal panels has taken place. These panels are not ready for fitting yet but this work will make the fitting easier.

Another part of the restoration work is repairs to original door vents. This is our second attempt to repair these. Next week we will see if it worked. Not all of those fitted will be originals.Work on the door vents has passed the first hurdle, so Dave can now progress to the next stage.

Keith and Joshua from the Junior Club worked on 163 ably assisted by Les. For beginners at painting they did a very good job on the river side running boards. Even the paint didn't go too astray. One with paint in his hair where he touched a bit he had already painted, one with a nice streak across his forehead and two adults whose hands just happened to be were a paint brush was heading!

Work on the original door vents from coach 163 has moved on. The join is becoming less visible and they have been cleaned ready for the next stage of work. This is just one part of the vent, so there is still much to do.

A Thursday session of painting took place as the weather was not looking good for the Saturday. This involved taking the scaffold tower to bits and painting the bits that couldn't be got at when it is assembled. This job is now all but done. The roof vents have also been finished. The only work to do on them is when they are refitted to 163's roof.

On 163 the area of underframe that had been de-rusted and had red-oxide applied now has the first coat of grey undercoat. Another coat of grey and then two coats of chassis black will enable the new footboards to be applied in a few weeks time. We shall shortly be having the roof canvas of 163 replaced. This will cost us a four figure sum - if anybody would like to help offset these costs we would be very pleased to hear from you.

The majority of work this quarter has been preparation. One of the two tarpaulins that have protected the coach over the winter has been removed. The other is now covering the majority of the coach. This is all part of the preparations for the canvass replacement. The roof of 163 is now prepared for the canvass replacement, with all the roof furniture removed.

Only one coat of paint is still to be applied to the river side running boards of 163. The final coat on the platform side will be applied before too long. This will finish off the job started by the Junior Club. It just goes to show how much time they saved us with their efforts.

GWR Tool Van 66

Several of the junior club lads had a go at chipping some of the paint off the underframe of van 66 and also removed some of the loose paint from the end. Thank you all for your efforts. You did a really good job and have helped us move a number of our tasks for the year towards completion. Hopefully we can arrange another visit in the future.

The gangway connection was removed from the Bridgnorth end. There is only one gangway connection on the vehicle and it will now go to Bewdley for restoration. Work can now begin on replacing the planking and other repairs ready for its return.

Further progress is being made on the underframe of van 66 in the vicinity of the footboards. Just the black top coat to do before the first two new footboards can be attached. Van 66 has now regained its number and GW lettering on the platform side thanks to a good job by Dewi.

Tool van 66 is getting a fair bit of attention at present whilst we await the right weather for the re-canvassing of 163. The underframe is now ready for the footboards to be fitted on the river side after a couple of visits over the weekend. More work will be done on the underframe as a fill in job.

The wood above the door on the platform side is now being prepared for painting. Both of the replacement footboards on the river side of 66 have been fitted with just some painting required around the holes. Most of the handrails are also back on 66.


Winter 2014/15

December 2014 - February 2015.

Our sign that normally sits above the milk churn at Hampton Loade has been on a winter break and looks much the better for it. A protective coat of varnish still to go before life in the outside world returns.

The workshop is undergoing a bit of re-organisation to provide more worktop space ready for forthcoming jobs.

Barry Railway Carriage 163

You may remember that during the summer patching was being carried out on the roof canvas. As we got to the Kidderminster end of the coach rot was found in the roof. Work had already been carried out on some of the roof towards the Bridgnorth end where a similar problem had been encountered.

This time we are getting the repairs done as a contract job to speed up the process. As can be seen work is progressing well. The steaming of the wood that will form the end gutter is being undertaken by us. The wood will then be machined to the correct profile before fitting.

By mid January the sections were glued before being sent off for machining to shape.

GWR Tool Van 66

We have been cleaning and tidying van 66 ready for the February half term reopening of the Severn Valley Railway.


Autumn 2014

September - November 2014.

The coach and scaffold tower have both been moved to allow access into the siding for the likes of 1450 & Autocoach, 4566 and the M7 at the Autumn Steam Gala.

Following the recent visit of the Branch Line Society to the Severn Valley Railway, the Barry Railway Carriage Trust would like to thank them for their generous donation towards our project. We hope they enjoyed the weekend.

Barry Railway Carriage 163

This years painting on 163 is almost completed. There is just another coat of varnish to apply. There is a certain amount of satisfaction putting on the first top coat on the coach. It means the panic is over and that there is protection for the wood even if the weather breaks. This means that the whole of the station side is back into Barry Railway Carriage Red and a start has been made on the repainting of the river side of the coach.

It may appear a bit haphazard the way in which the painting has been approached but this has been decided by what can be reached and how easy the old paint could be removed in the very limited amount of time that Graham has available. As this won't be the final coat of paint the coach receives before entering service the most important part is to provide protection for the wood.

Unusually a Thursday evening was the height of activity on the coach one November week. The coach is now cloaked in its winter woollies, so to speak. The tarpaulins loaned to us by the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust have been put to use to keep the coach dry for the winter. The Barry Railway Carriage Trust are very grateful to the SVR Charitable Trust for the loan of these as it will help reduce the impact of the weather over the coming months which in turn will speed up the restoration. The coach looks very different now and is turning a few heads.

GWR Tool Van 66

With Dewi visiting one weekend in September we decided to re-plank the remaining platform side section of van 66. The framework is in superb condition considering the age of the vehicle. The corner brackets are in particularly good condition.

Helped along by good weather and an electric drill (lesson learnt from the previous section) the work was nearly finished by mid afternoon. Getting the last plank in proved to be a little awkward and gave a chance to brush up on our skills. The whole side looks more even now even though there is the tidying up work to do.

The next stage will be to start work on the door and ends. Fine weather has enabled van 66 to have the first top coat applied to the latest area to be re-planked. It is now starting to look very smart.....when viewed straight on! One more coat of top coat still to be applied then it will just need lettering out.

The handrails on the platform side of Tool Van 66 benefitted by having undercoat applied.


Summer 2014

June - August 2014.

Barry Railway Carriage 163

Work continues on the roof repairs. Heavy showers some Saturdays has meant that much work outside was unwise on 163. More canvass has been replaced but a fortnight was lost due to holidays.

Apart from some finishing off tied in with replacing the end guttering, the canvas patch repairs have been completed. We now have to remove all the loose paint and other debris (mainly broken branches) that have collected on the roof.

The next stage of painting was reached on each side of the coach. On the platform side (now salmon coloured) brush filler was used to help build up the surface so that it can be sanded down to a smoother finish. This is particularly important on the door which needs a replacement panel as it is quite rough.

Actually doing the painting is always quite difficult with brush filler as it has to be mixed in a separate container and therefore tends to dry more quickly. It is also a very heavy paint. The wind also meant that the paint was' getting away' where it wasn't wanted. On the river side, which was protected from the worst of the wind, aluminum wood primer was applied. Being slightly cooler it has been left to dry for longer in the hope that the ambient temperature will be high enough this week to dry it properly.

163 is now ready for topcoat on the platform side. Red undercoat has been used as we ran out of maroon. How this affects the tone of the top coat will be seen soon enough. On the river side it has had the first coat of undercoat and then 2 coats of brush filler. One small section is further behind as the grab handle had to be removed to provide access. This section has only had one coat of brush filler to date.

The next big job on the coach is going to be the Kidderminster end of the coach. As you may have read, we have discovered some rot in this end - as expected. Currently we don't know how much there is or how much it will cost to repair, but it is going to be one of the biggest expenses that we have had as a Trust. Professional help will be required to undertake some of the work and initial investigations have already been undertaken following a site visit.

GWR Tool Van 66

Some of the work on van 66 can only be done in dry weather. Preparing and painting the corner posts is one of those jobs. The planks adjacent to the corner posts have to be removed together with all the debris that has collected behind. The posts are not in too bad condition and have been filled where necessary and then sanded. They are then given a coat of primer, 2 of undercoat and at least 2 top coats. A loose panel above the door on 66 has also been fixed.

One job that needed to be done before the re-planking of 66 was carried out is the painting of the end of the sliding door. With one of the planks removed to enable access to the door pillar the end of the door has been rubbed down as far as it can be and primer applied.

All the corner posts of tool van 66 have now been painted up to top coat ready for re-planking and all the planks are ready. The end of the sliding door requires another application of topcoat which will also be applied very soon.

Within about 30 minutes one Saturday all the old planking from one half of the side had gone. We then set about removing the old screws from, what is still good condition oak framing. It was then brushed and vacuumed to get rid of all the debris that had collected. The worst location was at the rear of the sliding door with a good couple of inches of gunk packed tightly. The process was halted part way through by another heavy downpour. A good time for lunch and a cuppa.

By the time the storm had passed it was getting quite late in the afternoon and the drill was starting to complain. We had to wait a while whilst the battery charged (we had used this one earlier on in the day). Eventually one last plank had to be customised to fit the remaining gap and have the correct profile applied. Having originally only fixed each plank with 2 screws - in case of having to redo any part of it (we did!) the rest of the screws were then added. The difference this has made to the look of Tool Van 66 is considerable.

There were plenty of finishing off jobs to do. The holes have been filled, rubbed down and painted. The sawn areas have been painted and a final topcoat applied. It is possible to tell that it took over a tin of paint as there are variations in the colour of some of the planks.

We don't yet know when the other half will be done, but all the wood is prepared. It has been rewarding work, especially as the contrast is so great. Why not join us and get the satisfaction of being able to say 'I did that.'?


Spring 2014

March - May 2014.

We have been getting some advice over a particular aspect of forthcoming work and there were a number of visitors during this period that we spent time with explaining our project and progress. Our notice board above the milk churn has had primer applied where necessary. The new jobs board in our workshop has been painted and fixed in to position.

Several weekends have been taken up by holidays and work commitments for some of our working members, meaning less progress at times.

Barry Railway Carriage 163

One of the two doors that has been awaiting refitting has been refitted. We have received two pattresses for the roof. They are difficult to make due to the cross section required and are very specialist. This gives us one spare (for which we have a specific purpose) and one to replace an existing one suffering from rot.

Work on the roof repairs continues. Currently this is focusing on the area next to the gutters. Some weekends the weather was unsuitable for working on the roof but still a sizeable amount of work took place. With Dave, Dewi and Sam in action one Saturday copious amounts of painting took place

Other work taking place has involved getting materials (and arranging payment for others that have been ordered) and showing some guests the coach at times.

The river side of the coach is not seen so often as the station side due to it being partly hidden by trees and the pathway drops away below the station. This side of the coach gets less sun and the trees provide some protection from the winds. As a result it deteriorates at a slower rate than the station side. The paintwork lasts at least twice as long on this side of the coach without attention.

Once the roof is repaired and painted the station side painting will continue and then the river side will be done unless the Kidderminster end is ready to do first. During the working life of 163 we know it was repainted every 18 months to 2 years.

An unrestored section of a 1st class compartment has been taken away by new volunteer Dave C for work to commence.

GWR Tool Van 66

Van 66 has been on its travels again. The siding at Hampton Loade was required for the Spring Steam Gala meaning 66 had to be moved out the way. It was returned on the 29th March and wiith holidays and work commitments taking precedence for some of our regulars the only work has been putting 66 back in order after its travels to Kidderminster. This is a surprisingly time consuming job.

The new planks for 66 have been painted and are ready for fitting - it could be some weeks before the re-planking takes place due to the need for good weather and volunteer availability - keep that sun coming!


Winter 2013/14

December 2013 - February 2014.

Four of our winter work list items are now completed with another seven underway. Our 2014 wish list is 1 - To find another skilled carpenter to help speed up the restoration of coach 163. 2 - To increase the number of active volunteers involved with the BRCT. 3 - Increase the amount of money raised for the restoration. Each of these is a step towards getting Barry Railway Coach 163 running again.

Away from Hampton Loade other less exciting things have also been going on such as sorting out some paperwork and typing up the AGM minutes.

Barry Railway Carriage 163

Unfortunately at this time of year we can do very little on 163, so we are working on van 66 as a useful way of being productive. Whilst the work on van 66 may seem a distraction as to our ultimate goal of restoring Barry Railway carriage 163, we cannot understate the importance of the van to us. This is giving us the means to built up our funds and carry out the work on 163. Once that is done the weather should have improved and external work on 163 should be able to recommence. Once again work on the roof will take priority.

GWR Tool Van 66

The interior upgrade progressed well during the closed season. With a lot of the paneling in place an outbreak of spots occurred with filler. All the old holes and screw holes have been filled and painted. We also have given the new card rack made by Dave the same treatment. The left hand panel will be kept in black and remain exposed. The ceiling has had the old loose paint removed and was then painted.

With the poor weather and an extended Christmas holiday Graham spent quite a bit of time at Hampton Loade during the festive season service. With just the signalman for company most days together with the wind and rain whipping round quite a bit of progress was made. All the work that has been done can be undone at a later stage should 66 revert to being a tool van again.

With three of us working on van 66 on several Saturdays during January further progress was made. Have you noticed that taking something out is always easier than putting something in? So it has proved with the new electrics. This was not helped by the amount of wet paint as the walls and ceiling got their first top coat.

If you are wondering why there appears to be big holes in the ceiling this is where replacement roof lights will go. This is a job in itself and will be done in due course, but unlikely to be this year.

We obtained matt black paint for the doors and wall panel thanks to Hugh at Kidderminster C&W. There were also carpet tiles, lights and display cabinets obtained and we have purchased some low voltage lights to illuminate inside the shelves.

With only one more weekend to go before services recommenced on the Severn Valley mild panic started to set in. Inside van 66 painting had reached top coat by this stage with the ceiling finished. The electrics were completed and checked.

The floor tiles were fitted in time and some touching up of paintwork took place to give it that finished look. The team that did the work on van 66 comprised Marie, Dewi, Sam, Graham and Dave. Our thanks also go to Kidderminster C&W for providing the matt black paint.

Marie has been sorting out the enlarged shop area. 66 is now doing the job we intended for it - bringing in some money to enable the work on 163 to continue.

The next job to be undertaken on 66 is the re-planking of the platform side. This will improve the look of the van considerably.


Autumn 2013

September - November 2013.

Our winter work plan has now been put together. The list comes to 16 items. These range from clean the coach to re-planking the side of 66 and everything in between!

We have received the unfortunate news that the land near Starcross upon which 3 Barry Railway carriages stood on has been sold for redevelopment. One of the coaches has been burnt and one has been rescued by the WSR and has been moved to Williton. The fate of the other coach at present is unknown. It may also have been burnt. The coach that that has been saved is identical to 163, which means that the coach that has been burnt is either the one and only Barry Railway brake coach known to exist or a similar coach to 45 or 71 which are full 3rds. The number of the saved coach is unknown but it was built in 1898.

Barry Railway Carriage 163

Roof repairs and bodyside painting have been undertaken during the glorious summer weather of 2013. Work has been continuing on getting the coach ready for winter. The two doors at the Kidderminster end on the platform side have now been repaired, painted and varnished so that they will be ready to put back onto the coach.

Some paint removal on the end panel has revealed some substantial rot that will have to be dealt with next summer. In the meantime it is being treated to ensure it gets through the winter OK. Further investigation of the rot on the panel reveals that there was a hidden joint between two sections of wood. This gap shouldn't have been there, but water got in and has rotten the outer layers. In order to get this panel through the winter, without causing other damage, the gully has been filled and the first coat of paint applied. This is going to be a very rough job, just to provide some protection.

The final bit of external painting for the year was done in November. Pretty amazing considering the time of year and this completes the first of our winter tasks. We did have some storm damage affecting the coach - one of the tarpaulins ended up on the coach at one end and in a tree at the other! We have had a tidy up of all the tarpaulins and added a new one. Hopefully this will ensure the interior stays water tight for the duration of the bad winter weather.

One of the problems we have found with the restoration is that sometimes what is sold as a brass screw is nothing of the sort - it has a coating. Result - rust and damaged wood. Getting hold of brass screws is not so easy these days, particularly slotted head screws. All the coach restoration projects on the SVR use them. So if you know of any going spare make sure they go to a good home.

GWR Tool Van 66

Our sales coach was moved from its normal position to Kidderminster for the SVR Autumn Gala and whilst there was turned on the turntable before returning to Hampton Loade siding. We can now restore the other side of the van.

The return of 66 has seen the securing of the entrance ramp. Due to internal changes that were required to enable public access from the opposite side of the van the inside is a bit messy at present. The next couple of weeks will see improvements and it is hoped to repaint the interior over the winter.

Further work on the inside of our sales coach has been undertaken in November. This is likely to be a recurring theme over the coming months. Once this is done we can have a bit of a change round and it will be easier to circulate. Our aim is to have all the internal work completed by the time the SVR starts operating again in February.