Storage Shed Extension
As you may remember from previous editions of this Newsletter, we have had permission to extend the new Storage Shed in order to "Great Westernise"it and give space for racking to house all the small items requiring eventual restoration, materials etc. The extension takes the form of a lean-to and is based on the former G.W.R Bus Garage at Stroud. By happy accident the main Stroud building is the same width and length as our Storage Building and very nearly the same height. The big difference is that the Stroud garage has a curved roof as against our pitched roof, nevertheless our building is of the same material – 3" pitch corrugated iron so should look the part with a coat of light stone paint.
The first job was to produce a set of drawings. We have no drawings of the building at Stroud, so were forced to work out the external dimensions by counting corrugations! This would be fine for building an OO gauge model, but we also needed to know what supports the building on the inside.
Armed with the drawings of the Pagoda as a basis, it soon became obvious where steelwork had to go, e.g. around the door frames, in each corner, horizontally beneath each window and so on. The building just designed itself!! There was one unfortunate setback, though. Originally the Pagodas were built using 2½" equal angle and strangely enough this was available until recently (but called 65mm of course) due to a huge order for Russia being cancelled and the stuff being left on the shelf. It is now all used up and no longer available. We have had to use 70mm, a pity, but at least it will never fall down.
Woodall Steels provided the material. They kindly gave us the same discount that I would get at work. Checking with other suppliers this represented a good saving. All the corner pieces which hold the building together were profiled locally at reasonable cost, and we did all sawing and drilling ourselves, Bob Brown and I doing the donkey-work. The tedious bit was painting it all and here most of the team leant a hand.
Keith had a word with Phil Sowden to get the final 'all-clear', while Bob Brown, Steve, Jane and I set to painting and assembling the framework. The steelwork was erected straight onto the hardstanding so that it could be levelled and adjusted as necessary before it was bolted down on packing. At the time of writing all the steelwork has been erected, levelled, packed and bolted down. It is now apparent that we will have some very useful extra dry storage space once everything is finished. The next job will be to fit the sides and roof to get the building rainproof before calling in our concrete contractors to pour the floor. This was done with the main part of the building, and I well remember Mark sploshing around in the stuff as the concrete lorry disgorged it far faster than we could spread and level it!
At that stage the door and windows will be fitted. The door is ex G.W.R and from the long-demolished station buildings at Droitwich. It was rescued when Kidderminster Town Station was begun, with the intention of using it there, but as it happened all the doors fitted were new replicas.
The windows were originally sliding signalbox windows from Blakedown or Hartlebury, I'm not sure which. They have now been slightly modified by fitting sills and have big heavy bars inside to improve security. The bars were generously donated by Melvyn Thompson when the Brintons Carpet factory closed, and were part of the stockpile of material in their forge. The door and the three windows are finished ready for fitting.
Final fitting out will be the erection of racking along the length of the extension on both sides. Storing all the smaller items in here should free up sufficient space in the main storage building for the Mechanical Horse trailer to get some well deserved dry storage. After restoration, the Mechanical Horse with its trailer together with the Thornycroft will represent the key types of motor transport operated by the railways before the war – a worthwhile exhibit for the SVR.
Unfortunately we do have something of a cash crisis. There are insufficient funds to finance all necessary guttering. It is not essential to fit all the guttering at once but makes sense to install the run above the extension at an early stage. The intention is to seal the roof of the lean-to to the wall of the main building using 'Flashband' flashing. The design of the panels which make up the main building is such that it will be difficult to get a really good seal at the top edge of the Flashband at the joints of the panels. This makes it imperative to fit a gutter to the roof of the main building directly above this joint to prevent rainwater running down to the spot where we really don't want it!
The gutter will be cast iron and it is expensive. (We also intend to fit guttering to the new Porters' Cabin and the Henley Building which both urgently require them to stop rainwater running off the roof straight down the woodwork of the walls. Thankfully the Coalyard Miniature Railway has sponsored guttering on these two buildings, see below).
We have a little guttering in stock, so if you are able to make a contribution it will help us to proceed with the project. Getting the gutters in place is important as they protect the wooden buildings as well as keeping drips off anyone using the buildings!
Mick Yarker. October 2006