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 D 85, 30 ' 1” Picnic Saloon from the Victorian era.
Built at 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 , 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.
The Trust also has a new website, see the details at :
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 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.
PROGRESS REPORT - December 2019
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.
Well although our core team has been heavily involved in preparation for the Santa trains, coach repairs etc etc we've been very fortunate to get a start on the chassis, now this was scheduled for much later in the programme with all our focus on the wooden coach body and, as always, funding constraints!
However yet again Mr Bert McIntosh of McIntosh plant hire came to the rescue offering us the services of his excellent Blacksmith Paul Gessler a real authentic country Smiddy, winter is often a quiet time for major earthworks contractors so Paul was twiddling his thumbs.
Having moved the chassis to Paul's workshop, I'm astonished at the progress being made as evidenced in the attached pics. The chassis is much later than the 1894 coach body and was a CCT for freight, it is 4 3/4" too long and some 10" is being taken off the width prior to welding an additional structural member to the full length to support the perimeter of the wooden body.
The chassis is being taken down into component parts, will then be shot blasted and painted before reassembly. All critical pins in the suspension and braking system etc will be replaced and we're then faced with the task of retrofitting a vacuum braking system given that it will be used for passenger services.
We have a decision to make; the original chassis had 3 axles, 6 wheels and the current has 4. Do we make the modification??? more next week as they used to say in comics of the 50's and 60's.
Back at our workshop the team has taken delivery of a shiny new band saw and are in the process of selecting further critical woodworking tools as we start to contemplate manufacturing of the myriad complex interior timber parts and reconstructing the doors, these are in poor shape."
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