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Thornycroft Nippy


This long term fill-in job keeps rolling forward. The drop-side body of the lorry is a completely new construction as the original was removed while at the scrap yard. Scale drawings were prepared from official photographs and details derived from our visit to the Milestones Museum where the Thornycroft Society's lorries can be seen. The drop-side body is now complete, needing only final painting. I must say I'm pleased the tedious job of making 169 imperial coach bolts is over!


Meanwhile Steve has been working on the cab. All the new timber has been fitted to the roof and the roof assembly bolted back onto the cab. The sliding driver's door window frame has been removed and fitted with laminated glass, leaving only the windscreen itself to be re-glazed. (Interestingly the rear window in the cab doesn't have the luxury of glass - it is merely an aperture fitted with a sliding wooden shutter.)


We have obtained a roll of Rexine roof covering which I thought was much too thin, but a piece of original material has come to light amongst our piles of spare bits acquired with the Nippy, and it's the same! The Rexine will be stretched over the roof and held in place by the gutters. Unfortunately we do not have usable gutters so we will have to form some up out of steel strip for the purpose.


Steve has begun painting the cab in top coat cream and brown so for the first time in about 64 years the lorry is beginning to return to its original colour scheme, and the nearside windscreen has been fitted. The frame is a new fabrication. Total cost for the windscreen was a mere £30, and no need to contact Autoglass!


There remain only a few external details to complete such as fitting registration plates and lights before the lorry is ready for its final paint job and lettering. Inside the cab there is still plenty to do. The seats need re-upholstering and the instrument panel fitting out and all wiring to be fitted. This should take us a fair while yet.




Other Ongoing Work


A new small project, recently begun, is the restoration of a different type of Great Western platform barrow. It is an unusual type in that it is a two wheeled hand cart with metal spoked wheels 32" in diameter and it runs on solid rubber tyres. It originally came from Stratford.


Many years ago the cart was restored at Bewdley by Malcolm Broadhurst's station gang and solid tyres from some flat section rubber were glued in place to replace the originals which had perished beyond use. This proved to be an unsuccessful repair as the tyres eventually came adrift and the hand cart was taken out of use. It found its way into the former Kidderminster Road Motor depot for 'safe' storage, then out into the elements with everything else when the building was demolished. Fortunately we found space for it in the Storage Shed once we had this built, and as luck would have it before too much damage was done. As a result much of the wooden structure has been retained needing only the removal of peeling paint and a good spruce-up.


The one remaining problem was the tyres. Needless to say these are a special rubber moulding with an internal steel coil. To make a join one end is stripped back to reveal the coil and this is screwed into the other end to form a join. It is very expensive, but if the cart is to be finished we will need to part with about £400!!! Luckily the cart has been restored using materials already to hand so will only incur the cost of the tyres. If you would like to help us with this, your donation would be very welcome! We were rather staggered by the cost but after much deliberation have decided that the cart is sufficiently rare (probably unique) that it deserves to be finished, out on display and in use on the station, rather than being relegated to a dusty corner of our storage shed for the foreseeable future. Without tyres it cannot even be safely moved without damaging the wheel rims.


There are other barrows on the station that have become rotten by exposure to the elements, including an astonishingly large sack truck formerly at Worcester and originally restored by Dave Redfern. It may be the next in line for treatment...



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