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Renovating NB Invalid Saloon 461 - Chapter 12

Refurbishing the NBR mirror

WSS appeared with a mirror which had "NBR" etched into the face of the glass. And it fitted very nicely on to the space above and behind the wash-hand basin, so Chris set about tidying it up and preparing it for use. The stained and painted frame was dismantled and repaired with dowels and glue. The old stain and paint were then removed and a repair piece glued into place to fix a notch which was found in the lower horizontal cross-member. Chris is seen here creating the replacement piece of mahogany for the notch repair. The mirror frame can be seen in the vice at the lower right of the photo.


At long last the bakelite switch in the toilet was replaced by a brass one. A simple job you might think? No. The wires into the original switch were too short for the new switch so they had to be extended using choc-block connectors. Then the backing plate for the swtich had to have a larger hole cut in it to allow space for the new connectors. Finally the new switch was connected up and screwed into place. All this work had to take place in near darkness because of course, the light in the toilet was not operational as there was no switch! The end result justified all the trauma though.

The west end bellows were removed to be replaced by newer asbestos-free bellows. The opportunity was taken while the bellows were off to clean, primer, undercoat and topcoat the ironwork of the gangway scissors. Fortunately it proved possible to remove the bellows without damaging the wooden batons which were bolted to the scissors to clamp the bellows to the ironwork. These were to be re-used to clamp the new bellows in place.

Completed gangway

Replacement bellows were located onsite (thankyou A McPhee!) and were fitted, clamped in place by the original woodwork. One piece was beyond repair and Don had to make a new one from some surplus mahogany. Chris Smith and Mike Noble were responsible for re-assemblyof the gangway. Finally Mike bolted the drop plate back in place but a new wooden spacer was required to set it at the correct angle to stop it scraping and fouling the floor when the bellows were compressed.

Robbie and Don made up and fitted the skirting boards for the west saloon. As well as rounding the top edge, a recess about 1mm deep was made in the back from the top edge down about 1/2" to allow the leatherette cloth to go behind the skirting without distorting it.

Robbie working on the skirting board

Toilet roll holder

A reproduction "period" brass toilet roll holder was sourced (Don's extensive trawling on the internet), then fitted to the wall of the toilet compartment (where else?). Hopefully you can see it "fits the part".

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