The Station Festival
The third weekend in October saw the Station hosting the Kidderminster Station Festival, a successful event which marked the completion of the canopy and gave the public a chance to see behind the scenes. This event was an ideal opportunity for 'The Friends' to demonstrate, through the various projects completed during the past year, how finishing touches make all the difference to the ambience of the station.
Vehicle Storage Shed
When our last newsletter was produced we had finished the steelwork for the lean-to and begun to fit the sheeting. In the interests of economy we have mopped up all possible odd pieces of corrugated iron. Some pieces originally intended for the reskinning of the road motor depot have been used, although many were fitted on the Northwood Pagoda and some had 'vanished'. The 08 people had some sheets left over from their shed too and have very kindly donated them to our cause. (We have located a drilling machine and passed it on by way of thanks.)
Every sheet had to be cut to fit, of course, which slowed down the job but the result was over half the walls and a third of the roof clad for 'nothing'. That's the way to do it!! The remainder of the sheeting (apart from the stuff cut off at an angle for the back end) was ordered ready cut to size and supplied by our now regular source SLE Cladding at Whitchurch. They supply the material specially to 1.2mm thick which produces very strong walls and a roof strong enough for a man's weight.
We waited until we had pieced together all we had before measuring up and ordering the remainder, so during the lull while we waited for the arrival of the new stuff we fitted the door frame and the ex-Droitwich Station door, complete with mortise lock and door closer. From the front the building looked quite finished!
Meanwhile the guttering for above the lean-to on the storage shed arrived, being kindly sponsored by donation from our Secretary, Martyn Bidgood and long term 'Friend' Phil James. This gave us the chance to get the paintbrush out before the corrugated iron was delivered, and gain access to install guttering before the roof obstructed access.
As soon as all the cladding arrived it went up taking just three working days work to complete the job. Needless to say this dry area has already become home for some GWR artefacts that have had to survive out in the open until now.
Keith has obtained some really strong racking free of charge. As soon as the concrete floor is finished the racking will go in to store all our smaller items.
GWR Thornycroft Parcels Lorry
Throughout 2006 Progress has been steady, not always in the same direction mind you, but steady! But unless we find the box with the picture on the front it will still require some detective work to get this 3D puzzle of parts back together! During the summer the lorry looked really advanced with the cab, new fabricated bumper and front mudguards back together. Alas this was only done to ensure the mounting holes were correctly drilled in the chassis and it has all been disassembled again. We have found by the way of much head scratching that the unusual play in the wheels was down to worn holes for the king pins in the axle forging. We can only assume the lorry was once run without the locking cotter pins in place for quite a while.
Fortunately we have a spare axle which after a little persuasion from Mick was detached from the remains of another lorry. This is the current priority, once this has been restored and swapped over and the new king pins and swivel joints attached, the wheels can be re-assembled and the whole arrangement will be as good as new. The brakes will be the next item to be looked at. The actuators have been refurbished and the shoes cleaned ready for assembly. Unfortunately three of the four slave cylinder and the master cylinder are too far gone to be used safely. These will have to be sent away to be bored out, re-lined with stainless steel inserts and new seals fitted. This will be the only major cost for the project for this year. An appeal has gone out in the Thornycroft Society's magazine for spares which we need, so hopefully this will bear fruit. Also an appeal should be going out in the main SVR Newsletter (with thanks to the Company) for donations. As soon as the front axle is sorted and components reassembled the front bodywork can be re-attached and the lorry will look like it has come on in leaps and bounds.
Steve Millington. January 2007