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 D 85, 30 ' 1” Picnic Saloon from the Victorian era.
Built at 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
THE TEAM 2020
Currently the team comprises Bill Halliday, Mike Rasmussen, Alex Glennie, Mick Duncan with Doug Harper having moved to Bridge of Allan continuing the process of making new mahogany window frames at his new workshop and Fergus McGhie who jointly have some 240 years of experience in vascular surgery, subsea and offshore project management, architecture both naval and buildings. That should just about suffice! We will also welcome other help from volunteers with practical skills in joinery and carpentry and will soon be considering upholstery.
RDRPS would like to recognise the encouragement and invaluable advice being given by Tony Lyster from the Picnic Saloon Trust based at the 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. Further acknowledging the part played at the time by Jon Tyler who assisted in recovering the coach, some internal tables, craneage and transport.
The Trust also has a new website, see the details at :
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 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.
PROGRESS REPORT - October 2020
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.
The railway was recently given the opportunity to uplift a historic GNSR coach by a farming family near Foveran. The initial inspection revealed it to be unsuitable for total recovery but there was a wealth of fitments (including luggage racking, blind fittings, match strikers, complete door furniture etc, emergency stop pull chord system, original fitments for roof paraffin lights and so on which would be worthy of saving for use in future restorations.
The first stage of dismantling the body work has been completed - it will need another day on site to finish off. The team are currently deciding on whether to lift the chassis in its entirety as a template, and for the teak timber which is in really good condition.
Here are a few photographs of the current status.