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1894 London and North Western Picnic Saloon

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picnic saloon elevation and plan
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London & North Western Picnic Saloon

A FAMILY HOME FOR THE BACONS'

The coach body was used as a family home for 60 years until the owner Hannah Bacon passed away.  Her family Alan Bacon, who was brought up in the coach, and Marjory his wife donated the coach to RDRPS with a sum of money towards the restoration in 2004.

Sadly, as evidenced in the attached pictures, the coach has suffered from years of exposure and the interior bears no resemblance to the original depicted in drawing no:2191; all the interior panelling and furniture is either missing or damaged beyond repair.

THE PLAN

The coach body has now been moved to its new location.  A foundation of sleepers and a series of 8” x 4” RSJs now forms a solid and level structure for the reconstruction to start and to ensure that the body remains square.

Currently we’re removing what remains of the interior including a modern partition, plumbing, electrics and a kitchen sink and cataloguing what we find.  In doing so we have found the original body number stamped on the old WC door being 189.  These numbers were changed when in the early 1900’s smaller companies such as LNWR were amalgamated to become London, Midland and Scottish, the LMS number being 589.

Creating cover to protect what remains and to allow the continuing work is critical, and in this the current yard proprietor has been most supportive in the positioning of the coach adjacent to a stack of large containers.  He’s also leased us an elderly lorry body for storage and a workshop.

As we dismantle the coach, every part will be numbered and either reconditioned or replaced.

picnic saloon elevation and plan

AND SO THE JOURNEY BEGINS !

A project team from the Royal Deeside Railway Preservation Society has embarked on the restoration of a London and North Western Railway D 85, 30 ' 1” Picnic Saloon from the Victorian era.

HISTORY

Built at Wolverton works in 1894, this is the second of two such remaining picnic saloons to be left out of several hundred.  It was built to drawing No: 2191 with copies below showing the upholstery shaded to give an impression of the full Victorian luxury.  An example of what the coach will look like when finished can be seen at the right.


This project is being supported by the Marr Partnership

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

The Picnic Saloon sitting on a four wheel chassis, before its move from the lay-by to the new location

Updated 13/10/16

THE TEAM

For the moment the main participants are from Monymusk, another stop on the old Kintore to Alford line. We have Bill Youngson, Doug Harper and Fergus McGhie who jointly have 211 years of experience in vascular surgery, subsea and offshore project management and painting and decorating.  That should just about suffice! We will also welcome other help from volunteers with practical skills in joinery and carpentry.

OTHER SUPPORT

RDRPS would like to recognise the encouragement and invaluable advice being given by Tony Lyster from the Picnic Saloon Trust based at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton.  Tony and colleagues are well advanced with the restoration of the other remaining LNWR Picnic Saloon which interestingly spent several years as a Croquet Pavilion!  In recent years they have donated several items to our coach including a whole section to replace the gap in the side.  Thank you Tony.

FUNDING

Whilst the RDRPS has started with self-funding, we are delighted to announce that we’ve been awarded a significant sum towards the restoration by The Marr Area Partnership Initiative.

The coach will take many hundreds of hours to complete all of which with the exception of specialist services will be provided FOC by the volunteers.  The interior being mahogany, birch panelling, carpeting and luxurious buttoned upholstery will require significant expenditure in the later part of the restoration.  We shall be pursuing other fund raising methods in time.

PLEA

Some of the exterior fittings such as brass handles and roof ventilators are missing so if anyone is aware of where these can be sourced then please let us know.

Contact Fergus McGhie for further information, volunteering and finding of bits :

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The pre-fabricated wooden building to be used to provide weather protection to the Picnic Saloon while it's being worked on arrives on site and construction begins.

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Meantime Bill enjoys a hard earned cuppa inside the Picnic saloon.

PROGRESS UPDATE : March 9th 2017

With Bill and Alex on vacation, we were down to 3 workers  this Tuesday.   John Dempster continues with the unenviable task of stripping the beautiful interior mahogany window frames of 122 years of french polish, varnish and many layers of paint and other goo we can't identify!

You may remember that until 2004 the saloon served as the home of Hannah Bacon and her family for some 60 years near Nottingham, as such, a large section had been removed from the centre of side of the saloon to accommodate a fireplace.

When RDRPS obtained the saloon in 2004 The Picnic Saloon Trust located at Quainton Road, Aylesbury donated several replacement parts to us including an entire centre section from a saloon of similar vintage.

THE PROJECT

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The attached pictures show our new volunteer Calum and I starting the process of grafting in the replacement section, the lower and end interfaces have been prepared and fitted and the upper will be tackled next week. Quite complex as the timber structure is different, so much thinking!! Thankfully, the large window in the replacement section is almost identical in size to the nearest millimetre; amazing standardisation for 1894.  

As a carpenter friend once said to me "measure twice and cut once!" 

Very shortly we will embark on the expenditure of recovering the roof and replacing some of the exterior panelling with the target of having the Saloon treated with at least one external coat of paint before the Autumn.

We're struggling for funds at the moment so would appreciate any donations no matter how small.

More next week!!"