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.
Sadly the picnic saloon has been neglected for the last 6 weeks as the team reverted to working at Crathes on a couple of projects:
1) Replacing floor and side timbers on the tube wagon, critical for keeping the steamers supplied with coal and carting the spent ash from the fires.
2) Completing the MK2 coach restoration including fitting a new vacuum cylinder for the breaks, all in time for the visit in early May of HRH The Duke of Rothesay
And so: Progress on the picnic saloon for week of May 8th.
Bill Halliday spent Tuesday doing a survey on the windows both fixed and sliding, many are broken/missing. Much measuring in preparation for making wooden templates for the glass manufacturer and, disassembly of complex mahogany frames with brass fittings. Hopefully we'll be able to order the glass in the next few weeks.
We continue to expose the rotted corners (4) at floor level, pictures attached showing Doug Harper experimenting with the first reconstruction using laminated sections of new oak. The annotation to this pic should be "pass the forceps please" or "is it the left or the right one!?)
The third pic shows a door post belonging to the double cargo doors. The lower section is missing altogether and at home I am in the processing of preparing a new section for scarfing.
News of the volunteers, we've lost young Calum (Civil Engineer) he's secured a job with Dragados on the building of the extension to Aberdeen harbour. John Dempster has retreated to Skye for the summer and Alex Glennie has been whipped off to India to support a project for a new specialised vessel.
In closing, a note of thanks to Martin Knowles our WEB master for donating a petrol generator and a router to the project. Many thanks Martin!"
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.