The "Push to Flush" tap
Just as we thought the wc area was as complete as it was going to be before the new flooring vinyl was laid news came in that someone had remembered that someone else had the "Push to flush" wall mounted tap that supplied the lavatory. This duly arrived, was cleaned and made to work so that its plunger sat correctly and it will be fitted in due course.
The new vinyl, of an incorrect but as-near-as-we-can get pattern has been delivered and will be fitted once the ceiling has been papered which will be done, in turn, when the external rub down for painting is complete just in case the paper attracts statically charged dust to its embossed surface through the unglazed windows.
The WC Flush Plunger
So attention turned to the one remaining and so far untouched area - the luggage area. At a little under 8 feet across by 5 wide its a small area and much of the old paint was pealing so it was thought to be a quick job to strip to bare wood for scumbling. The reality has been two months of hard slog against a time hardened paint that appeared to be glued on as well! Commercial grade paint stripper only eats through a few layers - and there were many layers. Indeed, there appears to have been 3 attempts at scumbling, which is the art of creating a wood grain effect using paint. A hot air gun was tried but being terrified of fire this effective method was only used sparingly and with frequent use of a water spray - amazing ones reaction to a tiny splash of orange paint when fearing fire! On the ceiling the only effective method was a sanding disk and the new air powered sanders came into their own. The grit grade used got progressively coarser until we were using 60 grit.
Working with the vacuum powered, dust collecting, air driven sander meant that the old paint was removed in layers and this revealed a painted pattern, to our astonishment. The ceiling is created by the underside of the roof planks laid on the carlines (roof hoops, beams, curves - depending on your choice) which means that with two hoops there are, effectively, three sections to our ceiling. Three sections have twelve corners and in each was an identical device and they are connected by a line formed of long dashes with a full stop between. The faint remains were recorded with remarked wet paint and paper overlain, photos and scanning and will be replicated in due course. Given that we have seen this pattern, or similar, before but always on third class ceilings in coach bodies dating to the 1870s and 1880s the questions that arise are Why on a luggage room ceiling? Why in third class? Why in the 1890s? One suggestion, which the writer favours, is that Apprentice Painters nearing the end of their training were told to put the decoration on the ceiling as it required working upside down and on a curving surface as well as accuracy and repetition. The decoration is just one layer thick and no restored vehicle in preservation caries it though an unrestored example elsewhere has been visited and compared - its corner patterns are different!
As in other areas of the Saloon, repairs are needed in a few places. Two vertical boards in one corner were found to be rotten and two horizontal ten inch wide planks are missing from a door whilst on another door two more will be replaced. One of the hasp & staples that are used to lock the outer double doors with a pin & chain is missing. Fortunately, our wonderful spares stock supplies the missing parts. Due to the configuration of the opening of the doors only one leather restraining strap is needed but the survivor was warped, twisted, dried out and its stitching perished so a replacement was ordered from Nidderdale Saddlery which also repaired and restored the original!
A Carline revealing the letters LNWR
Leather restraining straps
Just in case there should be any doubt as to who built and owned our Picnic Saloon one of the needle gunned carlines (which are U channel with wood infill) has revealed the company initials when being painted with Red Oxide primer on August 6th.
Elsewhere, work has started on the rub down of the outside for top coat painting, small holes are being filled and fittings removed. Ken has decided that the shade of dark plum isn't actually dark enough and is remixing paint accordingly. He bases this on paint samples found under layers of paint in years gone by. After much thought Mike is perfecting a method of recreating the internal door patterning and a friend in Poole, Dorset has spent many hours cleaning up, correcting and producing transfers of the LNWR monogram - we have some surplus for sale for anyone interested. We already hold a complete set of coat-of-arms crest transfers but the debate is raging as to whether the number should be in straw yellow as it is on the lining or in gold leaf or paint. In the early days gold was used but changes were made to yellow and others are discussing it at length. This is an example of our dogged determination to get the restoration done correctly rather than just a quick bodge.
APPEAL FOR FUNDS!
Well, it had to come one day. We have had a quote for lining out the exterior of our Saloon which is way beyond our means. We need to find a good amount of funding - can you help, please? Any amount will be very gratefully received. Please see the how to donate page. Thank you.