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Rebuilding Gresley Buffet 644 - Chapter 22

During the late autumn of 2008 the weather was not kind and as a result, not much varnishing was possible. Dave Simpson started trialling painted numbers and letters using Mike Trice's outlines. A VERY tricky and skilled job.

The image on the right gives some idea of the complexity of the LNER lettering. On 644, "LNER" and "644" is spelt out in 4" high lettering and "BUFFET CAR" has to be written in 7" lettering. Don't envy DS this job! This photo was taken of the lettering on the Severn Valley Railway GNR FK.

lettering

Vent and lamp bezels

As time passed since the ceiling was papered, the temperature and humidity in the coach saloon varied as was to be expected. What was not expected was that the ceiling 4mm birch plywood would move around quite so much! The movement caused the filler between boards to become less than exactly flush thus detracting from the appearance of what should have been a smooth continuous surface from end to end of the saloon. After lengthy discussion, it was decided that the only long term solution to the problem was to fit fine beading to cover the joins in the plywood. But before Jim Summers could start with the side joint mouldings, the wider moulding which runs down the centre of the ceiling had to be put in place. Before that could happen, the lighting bezels had to be put in place and it was found that the thread on the bezels didn't match that of the bulb holders, so all of those had to be changed out! All the other objeects which cross the centre line had to be fitted including the ventilator grille shown in this photo.

The vacuum cylinders were both refitted to 644 by Stuart and "young" Chris. As you can see from the photo, the cylinder was refurbished by "G G". "G G" is Graham Gilmour, master of the black art of vacuum cylinder refurbishment, who passed away in November 2008 and will be sadly missed. Members of the 644 and 461 restoration squads are endebted to Graham.

vacuum cylinder

chair frame

At last the prototype replacement seat frame has been fabricated and has been delivered to us. Some fairly minor adjustments were required, but at least it looked like an original 1930's art-deco chair. One thing was blindingly obvious from a first seat in the chair - people were slimmer and trimmer in the 1930's!

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