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Railway Vehicle Preservations

WORK WEEK 2005

REVARNISHING THE PIGEON VAN (and other things); WORK WEEK 2005


Or how to win pub quizes in Leicestershire!

The years work week ran from Monday 30th May to 4th June, with the main aim of revarnishing Pigeon van No.4050, but also finishing touches on TPO sorter 70294E and a number of other fill-in jobs. The week saw over 400 hours of volunter effort from 16 different volunteers spread through out the week - the earliest start being 05:30(!) and the latest finish 21:00. The largest number of volunteers on site at any one time was on Saturday when 11 turned up at the tea room together (and later created a new record chip order). The week was very successful with virtually everything planned completed. To all involved many thanks.
(And did I mention we won the pub quiz?)

  • DAY 1 - Cleaning and repainting the roof of the pigeon van. Some general tidying up of the interior of Sorter.
  • DAY 2 - Main activity was on the West side of the pigeon van which saw heavy sanding and stripping to take the upper panels back to bare wood. Meanwhile the plywood panel, missed in the original restoration, was removed and replaced with teak. Elsewhere the yard was shunted to get the Beavertail bogies through the shed, giving a rare appearance of 24278 (our newest acquisition) outside (with 62565). Work also started on a set of steps for the workshop van.
  • DAY 3 - On the pigeon van the darkened areas of wood were bleached to restore their colour, and then washed off. Meanwhile the sanding continued. The wiring diagram for the Beavertail was also completed ready for this work to start in a few weeks time. Elsewhere a traductor arm from the sorter (70294E) was having a new spring fitted.
  • DAY 4 - The first varnish went on the bare boards, while the lining was touched up where required. By the end of the day the top half was varnished with the bottom having a light sand ready for varnishing. In the TPO the floor was painted. In addition the repaired traductor arm was fitted and the buffer beams painted. Work on the workshop steps continued. After a marathon day the four remaining decided refreshment was in order. In due course the "pigeon varnishers" wiped the floor with the opposition to win the pub quiz, only being robbed of the star prize through a rigged tie-breaker question. Just shows what a day in the fresh air (or high on varnish fumes) does for you!
  • DAY 5 - Focus of activity moved to the pigeon van East side, where the sanding operation was repeated.
  • DAY 6 - The pigeon van had a complete coat of varnish. Our one man trolley department set to work. After a long break work also resumed on the frame repairs of 24278, the workshop steps continued and the TPO sorter was declared finished.
The pigeon van still requires at least two more coats of varnish and another coat of roof paint before returning to service. The TPO sorter leaves for its short working visit to the Nene Valley next week.