At Ongar, we have agreed a snagging list, that will keep us busy before we reopen fully next April. There is a lot to be done, including work on the Station building, the outbuildings, Signal Box and gates etc.
One major job will be to put tiles around the urinal, sink and inside the closet of the Gents’ toilet, to make the area more hygienic – and ‘prettier.’ We have made a start by painting the rafters, and tidying up some of the paintwork. The weighbridge has had the lettering repainted white, and soon the rest of it will be painted in black.
Each week, we clean the floors and windows of the Station: where does all the dirt come from?! This ensures we have a presentable Station for the following weekend, and we carry out running repairs, as required. For Hallowe’en, we decorated the Station and the marquee, which housed the face painter, pumpkin carving, apple bobbing and blood and vomit soup, and created the Gruesome Graveyard. There was a lot to do, and we were fortunate that members of other departments assisted us. The C&W team painted the Finnish Loco matt black but kept the ‘Rest in Pieces’ slogan that was written on it, until after the event.
Moving to North Weald, the main project is the rebuild of the ‘Shark’ Brake Van DB993859; this is led by John Wilson. We have finished all the major jobs and only have the upholstering of the seats to finish, before the eighteen-month restoration is completed by the fitting of a cloth roof over the tongue & groove planks. The outside has had three coats of Matt Black; the inside is in Cream and Salsa Red with the underframe and plough in Gloss Black. John has built new seating inside the internal cabin (we reckon six people can now sit inside), a guard’s desk and a top for lamps.
Originally, we hoped to have the Shark ready for the November 15th Photo Shoot; unfortunately, the roof is not finished, but we are confident that it will be in use for next season, giving Brake Van rides. We have calculated that we could squeeze a total of up to 20 people inside and on the veranda outside.
Bob Watkins has made a new window frame for the Signal Box, which is now installed. We will start the rubbing down on most of the other window frames and painting, and will also work on the floors of the Signal Box, Booking Hall and Ticket Office. This involves sanding and sealing them to cut down on the dust.
At present, Bob is building a set of large gates for the gap between the Gents’ toilet and the Anglia Café Coach area, using the same design of those that were there 100 years ago.
We have started the long job of ‘Cuprinoling’ all wooden fences, and soon we will start repainting the white lines on all platform edges (at least, when the weather allows.) We continue to clean the Anglia Café Coach and the Station building each week, and carry out smaller restoration/repair tasks, as required.
The EORVS has donated one of the North Weald GER benches, (which we stripped down and repainted), to the North Weald Mums, who have a new Children’s Playground at the back of the Village Hall.
Plenty of work is pencilled in for 2015 so if you would like to help, do please join the society and get in touch.
For the 2015 season we will (I hope) have an additional EOR/EORVS Gift Shop situated in the Portacabin at North Weald, which will require staffing every day we are open. We also hope to be able to sell refreshments, including alcohol, on more trains throughout the season.
With an additional shop and more onboard catering, we need more volunteers to come forward and assist us in ensuring we can adequately cover these outlets, which provide valuable income for the Railway and the EORVS.
You will be given full training , which is not onerous, for any roles you choose to help out with.