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.
Progress through to Friday 11th August:
Work continues on the replacement of the rotten timbers in the lower corners and the cargo door pillar that had fallen off has been remade and fitted allowing us to complete the first corner.
The missing centre section originally removed to make a fireplace for Hannah Bacon is now replaced.
The attached pics show Doug continuing his (relentless) work on the lower corner and Alex surveying the mahogany panels on the side of the coach prior to their removal. The side panels forming the exterior skin are single ply mahogany sheets, many have split with age and have been damaged during the conversion to a home and on this side will be replaced with high quality 9mm marine plywood. They were attached with 100's of steel panel pins all of which have rusted over the 123 years of the coaches existence!
As the coach will be used and indeed stored outside the choice of materials and external finishes will have to be of excellent quality.
The final picture shows the side of the coach with all panelling removed and the structural frame in the process of being prepped for the new exterior skin. Part of this process is stripping the many coats of paint, varnish and in some places modern sealants from the window frames.
Bill H has finished with the process of removing the broken glass to all fixed and sliding windows and templates have been made for ordering the replacements.