Progress is being made with the restoration of our (probably) unique G.W.R Container. The re-planking and lining of the back and sides is now complete. as is the repair of all the strapping and other steelwork, most of which is now fitted.
The roof planks which are in good order and easily repaired for re-use have been fitted. All screw holes were plugged and screws fitted in new positions to avoid the pockets caused by the original screws corroding and expanding in the top of the container's frame. The two hoops supporting the roof had been seriously attacked by woodworm to the extent that it was possible to crumble them to pieces to remove them ready for replacement. Fortunately the woodworm didn't seem to like the type of wood used in the roof planks and had not infested them apart from a few odd holes close to the hoops. To kill any remaining worm and avoid the new timber being attacked all the woodwork has been given two generous coats of woodworm killer, and old wood given three, with a spot fourth coat where evidence of previous infestation was found.
In the 86 years since the container was built the roof planks have shrunk in width a little, so each plank was moved a little closer to avoid an excessive gap which required the last plank to be widened. It had its rough outer edge cut off cleanly and a slightly wider strip glued on to make up for the shrinkage of all the other planks.
Bedding compound for the roof canvas has been received, and the canvas ordered with delivery due at the time of writing. The left hand door has been dismantled and the outer planking extensively repaired. This involved gluing splits and letting in plugs where bolt holes had opened out due to the corrosion of the bolts. We decided that as so much of the original woodwork had been beyond re-use, every effort should be made to use what we could. However the inside of the doors consists of light weight tongue and groove planking screwed on at 90 degrees to the outside planks. To produce good strong structurally sound doors this has had to be replaced.
The right hand door will shortly receive the same treatment and then they will both be re-hung, and work can begin on the bottom drop-down door. Our target completion date was the end of 2017, and at this stage it remains just about achievable.
About than ten years ago, Keith Redfern obtained a small battery-electric truck manufactured by Conveyancer-Scott. It was of ex-railway origin and formerly used at Worcester Shrub Hill Station, of a type used extensively by the railways after the war.
Stored in the open at Kidderminster Town it fell into a derelict condition, gradually deteriorating in the compound until Graham said he'd like to take it on as a 'Friends' project. I spoke to the Station Master, Geoff Smith, to seek permission to restore and display it on the concourse once completed - he was in agreement. There is little point of going to trouble and expense restoring an object if it is immediately allowed to deteriorate out in the open again.
Graham began straight away by dismantling the casing to access the steering mechanism which had seized solid, and having freed that up to make the truck mobile, has begun the restoration process with the usual de-rusting ready for a full repaint.
In fact Graham got started so quickly I didn't have a chance to take a 'before' photo!