Colin provides an update on siphon van restoration:
" Sat 15 - at the Siphon:
We went down to the coach to inspect what the weather had done to the sheets.
I had brought Ann as extra hands in case of any problems, in the event the coverings were ok. I thought we would have no power but Fred had fixed up a lead from a socket nearby so we had another go at the slats as Fred had done some more work on the post and bit by bit we inserted all 22 slats for the two windows.
Each of the windows have different fittings, one side just slid in with a plain shoulders although they had been painted so we had to fettle each one, the other frame had lugs to fit in holes either side and so we had to fettle these as well as well as checking that they were straight to the eye and fitting into the post holes. very time consuming. finally just one slat was holding out and was 1/8" out but we had to leave then as the dog was at home and must have been crossing his legs. so that is for next time.
Ann meanwhile had been scraping paint off the internal walls - very boring but will look good when finished.
All in all a good day and some progress and no water through the roof but a bit through the holes in the sides.
I would just like to thank Fred for all the work he puts in at the siphon and a lot done at home and without which we would not be going anywhere.
We had fun in the form of coaches being shunted back and forth by an 02 Shunter by C/W guys who admired what we have done so far ."
Gil, Dixie and Bruce continued with fitting the brackets, hangers, brake shoes and rigging to the tender. By end of day, all of the brakes are fitted and fully operational. Bruce had moved on to making gaskets for the tender's vacuum pipes.
We had anticipated having to push the tender, today, such that the shunter could couple up to the rear and move the tender. It was planned that on Friday, when Dinmore Manor arrives, our tender will be turned. This involves it going up onto the lorry; the lorry doing a U-turn in the car park, and dropping the tender off facing the opposite direction. I was armed with a pinch-bar (a duff one as it turned out) and ready to get the tender rolling, when Mark Y called a halt to it all. There was some doubt about Dinmore arriving on Friday. As we need to be over a pit to fit the remaining pieces (vacuum and steam heating pipework), we might as well stay put!
Meanwhile, I'd been working on rail chairs all day. Painted 16, cleaned a further 3 and sold 2.
I nipped down and painted 14 LNWR in enamel black. Washed the brush out, and then noticed two more hiding! Went home anyway.
On the way out, discovered that Dinmore Manor had arrived. I asked Mark (who was shunting her into the shed) if he wanted our tender moving, but he said that the move & turn-around is now to be carried out on Monday.
Popped in at Winchcombe and discovered a new pile of rail chairs for us. I picked out 2 LMS, 2 GWR and 2 BR(W), and took them to Todders.
Painted the lettering on the 14 LNWR chairs.
I went via Winchcombe to pick up 6 more rail chairs to take to Todders. Bruce arrived and we decided to start on finishing the tender. Gil arrived and we began refitting the vacuum pipes under the tender. Then Geof arrived, saying that the weather was good enough (just) for him to join in. So he took over from me, and I went back to chair painting.
The chaps fitted the vacuum pipes (two of them) and started on the steam heating pipes. But this could not be completed because we need David to do some welding where we had to cut the pipe free to take it off.
Steve was around, and did chip in when it was time to move the tender. We had to push the tender (by hand, as it were) along past the points, so that the 08 shunter could couple up to the rear of the tender and take it round into the yard. Steve & Geof demonstrated how to push the tender [not], with Bruce acting as brakeman.
The shunter deposited the tender in the yard, with Geof applying the handbrake.