This week I was fortunate to have a lot of assistance from a new NVR volunteer who was very keen to get stuck in. This meant progress on the "Esso" tank No.1914 was rather more rapid than usual. Between us we managed to strip off all the remaining paint on the selected section between joints, and wire-brush and prime the top half. The lower half will follow as soon as possible.
The rebuild of the timber panelling of Southern brake van No.S55550 continues, the second verandah end has now been completed, as has the end of the cabin.
Tim is working on the interior of his BR standard 20T brake, with painting of the cream/white complete. At the time of writing, brown on the lower half of the walls may now also be complete. The steam gala of 10th/11th September remains the target completion date of this van.
The two surviving 'new' containers have been moved on to the old coal hopper chassis, which will be their home in the medium-term until they are restored. Once properly roped up and sheeted over, which should happen very soon, the whole lot will be moved away from their current location and put somewhere rather more out of the public eye. It is hoped that much of the spare material left over from the restoration of the BR brake van above can be used to restore at least one of these in an economical way.
Talking of wrecks, the future is now looking a little brighter for these two vans, which have been stuck at the end of the Civil Engineers' siding near the signal box for many years now. The LMS CCT seen here is pretty rough and was in danger of going for scrap, but I am delighted to report that it has recently been purchased by a committed working member of the railway who intends to see it restored. Interestingly, it retains the modifications made for the James Bond "Octopussy" filming, including grab handles underneath for the stunt man to cling on to while the circus train in the movie, of which this wagon was part, sped along the track. Whilst the end doors will probably be replaced with the original LMS pattern (still in store from when they were swapped for the filming in 1982!) it is hoped to retain these more discreet modifications as a point of interest.
The adjacent BR 'Palvan' has also been purchased by the same person and its considerably superior condition should see it up for restoration fairly soon - two more pressing vans are likely to be in front of it in the restoration queue, but then its turn should come.