Barnum Saloon (above) – how they come for restoration!

How they are nearly ready to go in shades of teak (above)

Having discussed the major step forward of working to the bogie refit plan, this now gives us opportunity to construct and progressively fit out the interiors.  Before that, however, we must plan and obtain the external canvas roofing requirements.

Some slight damage/missing elements of the original roofing timbers need to be made good.  Remedial work revealed that generally the roof timbers are in extremely good condition. As the ‘Barnums’ were built to the widest possible loading gauge of 9 feet (slightly smaller than the ‘Berne Convention’), the width of canvas should enable this to be fitted without any sewn seams. Although this will be well-sealed by paint, no joins are the ideal option.  This will be expensive and we may well have to buy in from abroad.

Whilst bogie re-fit progresses, L.N.E.R. changes to the saloon Ventilation System require investigation.  On Grouping in 1923, the ‘Barnums’ were taken into the old GC Dukinfield site (co-incidentally where they were first built).  The four ‘corners’ of each half saloon had the mahogany slides removed (internally and externally) and replaced by louvered glass with bronze fittings.  This necessitated a change of aperture size which must be remedied to return to its Edwardian design. Plans for this are already made out and the materials are available.

HEAVY WORK on HEAVY METAL. Barnum Bogies plus new wagon springs (above)

Once bogies are in place, the braking system, complete with pressure tanks etc. can be installed. Following that, the electrical supply and charge storage equipment will be required, quickly followed by the under-seat heating pipework. All this can be undertaken whilst the interior works are in hand. Good timing and co-operation will be required between works ‘in the basement’ and those ‘in the attic’.

So long as the roof canvassing has been achieved, we can proceed with the interior. So far, we have ‘proto-typed’ and fitted the central ‘Pocket door’ framework. This does three things: – prove that our design (based on the remains in ‘Barnum’ No. 664) actually work, – allows the mahogany door to slide reliably, and structurally – strengthens these 60 foot carriages for an expected busy life.

The hidden support framework and the POCKET DOOR (above)

The Internal Ceilings were originally of ‘Milboard’ – (an early form of hardboard). These were ripped out on withdrawal from service.  What was replaced (by the previous owner), will probably have to be also stripped to ensure roof timbers are in good order.  The Lighting loom is in place, and chandeliers will need purchase. Having looked upwards, we now have to look down!  Originally of ‘Linoleum’ (a coloured mix of fine clay, linseed oil and hessian base), this was printed to show a ‘parquet tiling effect, with a ‘fancy’ Art Nouveau edging strip.  Little but a fuzzy picture or two survive.  We already have a supplier of the modern-day version agreed. What’s more, since ‘fancy’ edging strips of today are light years away from what we need, he can get them made for us AND provide Volunteer training to fit to floor.

Prototype showing in fitting position ~ Cherry Red pile fabric echo’s the original background colour  (above)

A strong echo of the original Mahogany framing – copying the 1910 wood shade (above)

Our major achievement so far – (more detail in the archive) is the splendid prototype seat.  This is now in ‘pride of place’ in Carriage 228 (although heavily sheltered by a robust cover). None survived condemnation, but the detailed, and complex, design survived on paper. Our local supplier, (with the aid close working between Volunteer Keith Stimpson and Steve Billings of Kreative Designs) ‘came up trumps’ and produced a perfect copy – including beautiful polished show-wood and trial upholstery via his own local supplier network.

This leaves us with, amongst a small host of ‘minor works’ (such as the Emergency Stop system, Washroom and Toilet outfitting, etc. etc.) to work into the plan.  We are all very well aware that ‘minor works’ can be no such thing, but the pleasure will be in seeing them set in place, piece by piece, to fulfil the dream of a working, Exhibition Standard carriage for us all to experience ‘The Golden Age of Travel’ – even in Third Class.

We are keeping a close eye on costings, to ensure that all these expensive steps are managed alongside donations and standing orders, which many supporters and interested parties are so willing to contribute.

As we ‘get there’ – for each step we take, further information will be presented. So – please keep looking and support us if you can!

A newly-outshopped Barnum with a floral wreath-effect fabric (above)

The only G.C-commissioned coloured illustration – publicising their use as a Third-Class Dining car – 1912 (above)

How can you help?

Only with your support can we be ready for the big GGCR Loughborough Re-connection! Detailed planning, together with associated costs – of materials and where necessary of outside skills – have been identified and in some cases have already been implemented.  Given the current financial climate, costs must be rigorously managed and controlled.  Assistance with regular donations are warmly welcomed!  Our planned inaugural day will identify and thank our many supporters.

To find out more, visit our donations page.

Roger Penson – Chairman.