In the last couple of years we have carried out a fair bit of work for the Bridgnorth project, but now that it is approaching completion we are back concentrating wholly on our own station, Kidderminster. There have been a number of new projects and some longer term ones completed.
By far the most impressive has to be the restoration of the Conveyancer-Scott electric truck which was completed at the end of August, spearheaded by Graham who carried out the majority of the work on this project.
We have also, at last, finished the 'Art Deco' lighting for the restaurant. This was a team effort with the electrical connections done by Fred Cotterell. The new lights have a definite 1930's look and have a better period feel than the nondescript modern'olde worlde' pub lights they replace.
Another job completed was the restoration and fitting of enamel advertising signs to the W.H.Smith's kiosk and the tobacconist's kiosk.
As for new work, Graham is now looking at progressing the Thornycroft, hopefully to completion. This original G.W.R lorry has stood idle with no progress for five years or more and does not need all that much work to complete. Unfortunately a major job, the wiring, will have to be done from first principles because the standard Thornycroft wiring diagram differs from Great Western practice, in that it has a separate CAV voltage regulator where the standard Thornycroft arrangement has the regulator built into the dynamo.
There are a few other jobs underway. Charlie has made a start repainting the lamp standards on the platform. When they were originally obtained from Aberystwyth and one or two other locations they invariably got a bit knocked about prior to erection.
Bob Leonard has gone to town with lamps on the bay platforms and the result is really first class. He is setting a 'standard' we should all aspire to. No pun intended.
Lee has completed the restoration of a second G.W.R 4-wheel platform trolley. They were once the most common trolleys on Great Western station platforms, but having a flat platform they tend to gather rain water and rot, so though we have numerous different G.W.R barrows we had no usable 4-wheelers until Lee restored these two.
Thanks go to Christopher Batten who arranged the donation of a pallet load of cobble stones. I have long held the hope that cobbles could be laid to delineate car parking positions in the car park if it (eventually) gets a tarmac surface.
The exciting new job underway at the present time is the restoration of the recently acquired G.W.R Platform Ticket Machine. It is absolutely superb! It was spotted during a visit to the Ffestiniog Railway covered in dust in a shed at Minffordd.
We consulted some people 'in the know' and looked up the sale price for machines at railway auctions in the last few years and came to the conclusion its value was between £2500 and £3000. Our offer of £2500 was accepted. Thanks to the Station Fund and one of our longstanding members who both made substantial donations to this project.
In the 1930's railway stations were invariably smothered in enamel advertising signs. The value of these signs today and the difficulty finding 'mint' condition examples has meant that Kidderminster Town has only a few.
We have recently added a few more, three on the WHS kiosk and one on the tobacconist's kiosk. The sign on the WHS kiosk was very heavily restored, with chips being filled by Charlie and myself, then the filler coloured with paint mixed to match the enamel as best possible.
In the case of the St Julien sign, the border was a green tile effect and the whole sign custom made to fit under a tobacconist shop window. There were even two sets of holes drilled before the enamelling process to line up with ventilators in the shop's brickwork!
The tile area was very heavily damaged but the sign itself had only three chips and could easily be restored. So the decision was made to cut off all the tile area, restore the remainder and mount the sign on the front of the tobacconist's kiosk as shown in the picture on the previous page. I think you will agree that the finished result is quite imposing. When the kiosk is being used for Station Fund sales the sign is partly obscured by tables, but comes into its own when the kiosk is fully dressed for special events such as 'The 40's'