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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 :
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.
Meantime Bill enjoys a hard earned cuppa inside the Picnic saloon.
The attached video shows excerpts of the period when from 1944 and for 60 years the LNWR Picnic Saloon served as a home for Bill and Hannah Bacon.
After the second world war when houses were in short supply, the redundant Picnic saloon was converted to provide a home for Hannah where she her raised son Alan.
He and wife Marjory donated the saloon to RDRPS in 2004 on Hannah's death, along along with a sum of money contributing to the transport and restoration.
PICNIC SALOON RELOCATION
The various clips show the Picnic Saloon as the core of a comfortable home, the couple on their wedding day and subsequent removal and journey north to Aberdeenshire where the saloon was stored for 12 years before restoration commenced in October 2016.
RDRPS intend that when the restoration is complete, the picnic saloon will be named 'Hannah' and will be used for weddings, celebrations and corporate events.
Wednesday 22nd November update
Through to November 21st we have good progress to report, a new addition to the team and word of a sponsor for the external roof covering !
The background is that we're working in appalling weather conditions but with our make-shift roof cover and tarpaulins we're able to keep going.
The attached pictures show that panelling with 9mm marine plywood (very expensive but should last another 100 years) we had hoped to have the new paneling treated before winter but with the low temperatures and high humidity this will need to wait till warmer drier weather in the spring. The original panels were attached with steel pins, we are upping the spec where possible and using thousands of 25mm copper pins; these are a nightmare to hammer in ! Even mild mannered Bill Halliday was close to using bad language!
You will also see a picture showing the original exterior panelling from both ends of the coach, these are laid on a sheet of plywood to be used as templates, one new panel has been cut and fitted temporarily and is being used as a template to allow us to complete panelling of both ends. Again, this would not have been possible without the rotted corners being sorted first !
We are readying to order the replacement glass which will again come from a sponsor but more news on that later.
The 3rd and most seriously rotted lower corner has been completed by Doug Harper so, it does pay to have a retired surgeon on the team!
We are now a core team of 5 with Mike Rasmussen a retired architect from Aboyne joining a couple of weeks back, in addition to his knowledge in the design and construction industry he has a background of building wooden boats; welcome Mike. So we are now Bill, Alex, Douglas and Fergie.
Although early days yet, Mike through previous contacts is negotiating with a company to provide and install our replacement roof covering; more news later once this has been confirmed and we will be able to express our thanks to them and the suppliers of replacement glass."