Greetings Barnum followers….. This time we have real good and real bad news to impart…..

Big strides continue with the fitting out of the Barnum body-shell – with the floor taken up in sequence over the bogies. The first bogie on cursory inspection from above appears to have considerable weight of metal. But the second is just not good news, as on lifting the floor the other end of the saloon, there is evidence of considerable plate wastage and bolster failure. The latter is expensive – and we have learned the costly way of identifying which part of the bogie received the lavatory discharge over the 60 years in service…..!

Started some 20 years ago when this Barnum first arrived at Ruddington, the floor is removed to enable the scraping down of the frames, wire brushed, then given coats of zinc oxide and bitumastic paint to prevent further corrosion.  It is not the easiest or most attractive work, but must be done now!  Meantime, inside the saloon another pile of profiled and sanded tongue and groove teak boards and skirtings are ready for the next stage when the floor is re-fitted.  This is all thanks to the continuous stream of prep-work by master craftsman Peter Wilson.

And for those who check us out or visit occasionally, rest assured the “gnomes” still work wonders for us overnight it seems – but not without massive effort. Check the photos for the manufacturer’s signature!   As the result of taking patterns from the other Barnums, new step plates have been profiled and shaped from plate steel at the local steel fabricator – FC Curran Fabrications, in Nottingham. The bad news is they have just closed down the works for good and cut an association of over 30 years with Ruddington.

So who do you know that can help us next? We seek your recommendations based on your experience – and of course that must be a really good one…. email us please: roger.penson@outlook.com

Caption – From the one original, replica exterior foot steps have been re-created….overnight perhaps…?