September 24 – the culmination of over 20 years’ restoration. Two return trips using the LNER set including TK 1623 was made – the first time an eight-coach LNERCA set had run on the NYMR. The event was a ‘thank-you’ for all the restorers, and their families to see and enjoy a ride with the unique completed Third Corridor.
We had to agree that the first run, the 11.00 service from Pickering, would be the normal service train because had we taken the empty 10.00 path, the NYMR, apparently, would have had to cancel the 11.00 service because there were insufficient carriages.
The 12.30 from Grosmont and 14.00 ex Pickering, however, were special to LNERCA members and also the Thompson B1 Locomotive Society members. They had provided their B1 61264 – such an appropriate locomotive for the occasion. It carried the headboard ‘The Thompson Renaissance’. On arrival at Pickering, LNERCA Chairman Nick Stringer welcomed everyone to the event, whilst Vice Chairman Murray Brown thanked everyone for their support in so many ways. He singled out Jerry Hawley and two of his paid staff, Keiran Murray and Gordon Neale for all their assistance, the PRISM Fund which got the restoration off to a good start with the first installment of £2,000 (in total £20K), Master painter Dave Simpson from the SRPS, Bo’ness’, who undertook the much admired scumbling, The Thompson B1 Locomotive Society for supplying the locomotive and LNERCA joiner, Andrew Daniel for undertaking such a complex job as renewing the complete bottom rail whilst the roof was still in position – believed to be a ‘first’ in preservation circles. Andrew had also replaced a missing compartment partition in addition to helping throughout its restoration. Murray Brown then handed over to the special guest who announced just who he was – Edward Thompson’s great nephew, Tom Walters.
Mr Walters was delighted to be asked to attend and recalled his Great Uncle when Tom Walters was a young boy, calling him ‘Uncle Ned’. Mr Walters was then invited to cut a ribbon on one of the doors of 1623 to officially declare it ‘open’. Mark O’Brien, NYMR boiler Inspector and Engineer of the TB1LS, had arranged a cab ride for Mr Walters – the first time he had ever had one.
A sumptuous buffet had been provided for £10 per head but some folk chose not to know the price and expected it for free. It had been widely publicised that a £10 donation would be appropriate. The buffet had been prepared by Maureen Skelton and her friends, Jim Kay and Edwin Craggs – it was much appreciated by everyone, whilst Andy Furness manned the bar.
A particular fitting and nice touch was the provision of specially made destination boards ‘King’s Cross – Whitby’. Few people were ‘in the know’ about this, the idea being it would be a pleasant surprise – it was. Thompson carriages were often used as the through carriage on King’s Cross services, coming down to York on ‘The Scarborough Flyer’ then being shunted onto a Whitby-bound service. LNERCA Archivist, John Sutcliffe, deserves commendation for this initiative on the day.
It was a superb occasion and a fitting and rightful culmination to so many years’ hard slog. The Trust Chairman attended, as did Tom Bright from ‘Steam Railway’ magazine.
The local media in general showed no interest – a considerable disappointment.
LNER Fish Van E75169
The Fish Van is home! It arrived on a transporter at New Bridge on Tuesday September 27th and was unloaded the same morning. In the afternoon, the C&W Class 08 shunter came to collect it and took it to Pickering yard. The following day, it was craned onto its temporary isolated piece of track alongside the LNERCA’s workshop where it will now be rebuilt.
Andrew Daniel will be in charge of the woodwork necessary. An inspection of the NRM’s ‘Blue Spot’ fish van took place place on October 7. For this we are grateful to Curator Bob Gwynne. The inspection revealed that there are considerable differences between the later roller-bearing variation (diagram 800) and the earlier LNER design (ours) – diagram 214.
Much of the old woodwork from 75169 was retained as patterns.
Work will now progress at the same time as work on ECJS 189
East Coast Joint Stock Restaurant Third No. 189
Marcus Woodcock has continued replacing defective half pillars along the bodyside. The old ones are sawn out and the new ones carefully cut to size, then glued and screwed into position.
Meanwhile, along both sides of the clerestory roof, all the maroon paint and sealant is being removed, together with prising out the scores of tacks which held the clerestory roof canvas in position.
Yet another setback has taken place, further justifying the epithet of ‘the coach which goes backwards’. A patch of rot has been found under most of the steel carline ends on the clerestory roof and all the steel screws holding the carline down are badly corroded. (The carline is sometimes called a hoopstick, which spans from one side pf the coach body to the other, and onto which the roof boards are bolted). The easiest way to remedy this will be to remove the carline, splice in a new timber pad under the ends and re-screw down. This of course means removal of the roof boards, this is not too much of a disaster as because we have already taken the decision to replace the centre roof board to help support the light fittings, so most of the boards will have to be removed anyway.
LNER Composite Corridor (CK) No. 18477.
We await 18477 being shunted into Pickering yard where contractors will remove residual asbestos insulation. When this is complete, Andrew Daniel will then fit the new framing to the corridor side. 18477 will then be shunted back into the Long Siding pending raising of funds for the next stage of its restoration.
Do come along for a few hours to lend a hand and to see if you enjoy it – it really is most rewarding to help restore a carriage – something to see at the end of it.
Any enquiries – please contact Marcus Woodcock (email@example.com) or Murray Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org).