Monday, 12 February 2018

Just a quick update of what’s been happening 

We have been successful in getting the Aviva grant we submitted for last year, we should have 5k in the funds very soon.

We have been finishing off all the little jobs on the frame recently, fitting the door bars, lamp brackets and all the tie bars that hold the frame to the chassis.  Now we have the grant we should be ordering the timber for the roof and sides very shortly making the van water tight. 

The Bath end wheel set has been put back under the van, the chassis in this area has been fully painted and overhauled brake gear re assembled.

We are currently experimenting making the roof hoops out of laminated ply as can be seen in the photos below, so far so good

Keith and Dave have been busy repairing the spring hangers, so far one has been thread cut, the reason this work is taking a while is a few are bent and after building up with weld they need to be straightened before thread cutting.

Monday, 30 October 2017

I do apologies for the lack of updates over the last few months, it’s very hard finding time.

Toad 68784

After a long while the door on toad 68784 has been made, its currently being painted and fitted in time for the gala.

BR Brake

The BR brake vans main hardwood timber frame is progressing well, a lot of the cut outs for the T&G planking are being machined at the moment and chamfers put along the edges,  Unfortunately it’s the  case of to get to part A you have to take BCDE apart.  A very temporary shelter has also been erected over the van to try and keep the timber dry the best we can.

The brake rigging on the Bath end has been overhauled and painted, Keith and Dave have re bushed one of the hangers and fitted greasing points to all of them now.  All has been painted and reassembled on the Bath end.  Two of the axle boxes have had new liners welded in, we are just waiting for the W irons to have new liners welded then the wheel sets can go back under. 

All of the string hangers hare having a bit of TLC, some are bent, all need to have the wastage welded up and thread recut. 

We are getting to the point we need to spend some more serious money to finish off the Brake van, it’s owned by the trust and as you can imagine funding is tight.  The next stage is to get the van watertight this involves buying all the exterior T&G planking as well as the roof planking, after that we need to canvas the roof.  The trust has applied for a grant via Aviva online voting process for charity’s, basically the more votes we get the higher chance we have to winning the 5K we are bidding for  (this would fund the whole project).  It would be greatly appreciated if you could spread the word and vote for us, it’s free and all you have to do it register the link is


Many thanks
AVR Wagon Group




Sunday, 16 July 2017

Not a great deal of visual items to report for the last few months, we are still continuing to build the frame on the STD, most of the big joints are now completed.  The cabin door / window frames are now being constructed.  When this is done we plan to take it all apart again and using the router put all the chamfers on the edges and cut the cut outs for the cladding to go into.  We have also jacked up the van and removed one of the wheels sets for inspection and a clean-up. 

All the brake gear on the Bath end has been removed and is being overhauled / cleaned up.  I did visit another railway recently to take some photos of the vacuum brake system that long term we are going to make / reinstate on the STD Brake.

Another job that’s cropped up is, it seems some very nice person has removed the large toad door key from the good shed and either lost it or has forgotten to return it so a new one needs to be made very shortly if it’s not returned!
I should have some photos later this week (16.07.17) to show what has been happening.

Axle boxes after being cleaned

Worn shims

Frame so far

Cleaned and primed wheel set

Very rusted old shim

Cleaned horn guides, awaiting to be painted

Friday, 28 April 2017

We have continued working on the upper frame, several joints have been cut for the cabin door pillars / windows.  Work is in progress fitting the upper door support on the cabin – this needs to be shaped next so when the time comes can be used to screw the roof planks to. 

The new door for 68784 is progressing, the outer frame has been made, just the tong and grove planking to fit now.  Dave has cleaned up all the door fittings and when the time comes will fit them.

Keith has repaired the straps that go inside the cabin of the STD, new bolts have been welded onto the old steel bar – Dave has now started painting them

Sunday, 9 April 2017

There is not a great deal to report recently.  We have contented on the BR STD, when we removed the rotten box section a while ago the bolts that are cast onto the concrete were very rotten and snapped.  Obviously they needed to be replaced, we drilled 4 new holes in the concreate and put some studding down,  used chemical bolts and this proved unsuccessful.  It was decided then to drill all the way through the concreate and put bolts down, this entailed drilling through 700mm of concreate.  This did take a while as we kept hitting steal cast in to provide ballast. 

Keith and Dave have been busy repairing the 4 straps that go inside the cabin, they had to weld new bolts on to the plate.

Part of the freight set was out for the diesel gala over the weekend, a “head shunt explorer” was run going down a few bits of track not normally open to the public.  Both GW toads were out on these with the 08 and Grumpy top and tailed

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Work has progressed on the BR STD slowly, most work now is cutting the rebates for the T&G planking which will be fitted later on the up side.  We have also started making the joints for the Down side ducket beams where they attach to the top beam.  Last week this was completed and the top beam fitted complete with the rebait the length of it.    


Thursday, 16 February 2017


Due to other commitments over the last year I have not had enough time to carry on with the wagon blog but hopefully now I can get a few updates in every month

GW toad 17464 is 99% complete, all that is required now is installing the new guard’s seat when it arrives, it’s been out on a few runs and no faults have arisen yet.

The Br STD is continuing at a pace, all the timber is being replaced including the hard wood frames, so far the floor beams,   main beams have been completed and fitted.  We are currently fitting the upper roof frame at present.  All timber work joints are being reproduced as they were on the original van therefore taking sometime.  Photos speak lounder than words so here are a few below.

New hand brake nut

17464 Test run

Brake van rides on the volunteers open day

GWR 813 Fund Toads 68784 and 17464 on the volunteers open day brake van rides, 68784 is rather tired now and will be subject to the same restoration that 17464 had in the next few years time


17464 Stored in the sidings

Finished Sign writing

New hardwood frame progressing on the STD

Old frame on the BR brake

New Top beam progressing, joints being cut

68784s damaged door,

Door half apart, due to swelling and damage to the door we are going to need to make a new one, some of the timber has split and is rotten