Claire Sheppy writes:
With most of the work completed to the outside of 6705, work has returned to inside, where various improvements and rectification work continues to the windows, window surrounds and panelling. But work has also turned to the picture frames for the pictures which were such a feature of Great Western Railway coaches in their heyday and Greg reports that the frames once varnished end up looking really pleasing.
However readers of the Heritage carriages project pages will be well aware that 6705 is by no means the only coach entrusted to us, and whilst we do not have sufficient people as yet to be working on more than one coach at a time, nor a suitable site in which to do so, it is imperative that we continue to try to protect the coaches waiting their turn in the restoration plan as best as we can. This is in the main achieved by use of tarpaulins over each of the coaches. With coaches having to stand in the open, they are also vulnerable to the ravages of encroaching weeds, with Buddleia and brambles being the two main culprits, so recently another effort has been made to cut back all of the growth from around the coaches within the yard at Williton.
Once again, the West Somerset Steam Railway trust will be playing a significant part in the forthcoming Spring Gala where the theme will once more be the Somerset and Dorset Railway (commemorating 50 years since it closed.) To this end, we will be once again opening up the sleeping car at Bishops Lydeard for as many of the days of the Gala as possible, and additionally we are bringing in a representative model of the Gala theme, this year being an N-Gauge model of Burnham on Sea terminus station (built by Alastair Knox) which will be on display in the conference room area of the Gauge Museum at Bishops Lydeard on the Friday and Saturday 11th and 12th of March during the Gala. This will be available to view in operation for a minimum donation of 50 pence, with a suggested figure of £1. Photos of this particular layout can be seen below.
Additionally, we shall be holding a small railway themed bric-a-brac stall at the entrance to the Gauge Museum conference room area, for which donations would be much appreciated, suggested items are railway books to sell, model railway equipment, tools suitable for railway restoration or model railway work, small railway artefacts etc. All proceeds from this will be donated to the trust, whereas proceeds from bringing in the model will go towards the cost of bringing in the model of Burnham on Sea.
At Williton, 6705 will be available to be seen during times at which the Swindon shed is open, and it is intended that a steward will be on hand to show interested people around the coach.