Originally there was some confusion as to who owned the Conveyancer-Scott truck. I thought that Keith Redfern had obtained it from somewhere in Stourport but I could not be sure. Then I was told that Wez Bowler had obtained it, but he subsequently said that the truck he had obtained was an electric truck and not this one at all, so we are now supposing that our first thoughts were correct and are pressing ahead with the restoration, funded by the 'Friends'. It is to be restored in early B.R. carmine red complete with British Railways 'sausage' transfers and appropriate sign writing.
Graham is continuing with restoration of this important very local artefact for eventual display on the concourse. We have found out that the truck was actually built in Kidderminster, at a works in Cherry Orchard, just down the hill from our station!
There seems to be a connection between Conveyancer Fork Lift Trucks at Darlaston and Conveyancer-Scott and Graham found another picture of a demountable truck dated 1948, although elsewhere on the Internet it states that Conveyancer-Scott began trading in 1950. However, ultimately the Kidderminster business seems to have folded in 1959 and finally ended as part of the Rubery Owen organisation. So in view of its close link with Kidderminster as well as trials on the G.W.R. and wide usage on B.R. the history of these trucks makes its restoration really worthwhile.
There are several jobs underway at present. Roland asked us to put a gate into the fence at the bottom of the platform ramp so the 'Northern Belle' guys can get through with their quad bike and trailer. This has entailed repairing two old speartop gates by fitting new ends and hinges with Charlie doing the de-rusting and painting, and the manufacture of two more speartop panels to go either side of the gates. The Permanent Way Gang kindly provided four rails cut to length and drilled to be used as the posts. All this work proved to be less important as the Northern Belle, now under new ownership, up and left! Fortunately the only cost to 'the Friends' was for a few welding rods. We intend to install the gates and fence anyway as the access to the platform could be useful from time to time.
Late last year we took down two free standing back-to-back GWR poster boards, each being sized for three quad royal posters. The wooden posts which supported the boards were rotten and had been propped up by concrete godfathers - not the Great Western way!
As the boards were very prominent on the platform and were also suffering from decay through prolonged exposure to the weather, we decided to repair them and reinstall them on posts made from redundant bullhead rail.
Bob has taken on the task of splicing in new wood to replace rotten parts of the planks and frame. Once both boards are repaired they will be mounted with a shaped plank along the top to act as a roof to keep the weather out of the backs of the boards and hopefully extend their life.
Meanwhile your editor has been busying himself with a 'homework' job of restoring three vending machines destined for mounting on the tobacconist's kiosk. They dispense Woodbine cigarettes and Black Cat cigarettes each at 2d. for ten, and matches for 1d. and date from the 30's - just right for the period of the station. At the time of writing two of the machines are finished with the third underway. Being colourful and eye-catching they should go some way towards making the kiosk more interesting and encourage young people to enquire what 2d. is!