After everyone got to Middleton (due to diversions with the level crossing being rebuilt) we got down to work.  Mike continued rubbing down and then filling the upper deck floor latts.  Jim trial-fitted the window bars across the lower saloon window and we then all got involved in boring holes in the staircase handrail stanchions.  New bases have been fitted to these after our research trip to Crich last week.  these needed marking then drilling.  Jim then spent most of the day labouriously filing 20 holes square from round.  In the meantime Mike and I trial fitted the first one and worked out one or two tweaks that need doing for the remaining seven.  After that we shortened 16 bolts and re- threaded them so that they can all be attached next week.   We also trial fitted one of the vertical poles on the step.  The brackets need to be slightly shortened but hopefully the handrails should be fitted soon.


Yet another day of progress with four of us working.   It could be called a tram tidy up day.  Mike Waring spent the day rubbing down and filling the floor latts upstairs then covering them with protective film so that they stay clean for painting, which is the next job.   Jim and Richard spent the day fitting vent windows in the saloon and over half of them are now fitted.  This is quite a fiddly job as each one has to be offerred up, marked, drilled and then fitted.  Jim works outside the tram using a piece of wood to hold the vents in place from the rear while his partner fits the screws from the front.  The end result is that the tram looks better. I spent most of the day under the tram.  the first job was to take one of the suspension rods out so that its damaged thread could be repaired and then the nuts were fitted in the saloon so that the mudguards and seats can be fitted. Then I started on the brake return springs which needed fitting.   The brake beams had to be removed then the springs fitted, the beam refitted and everything tightened up, all under the tram with very limited clearance.  Too many Christmas dinners don't help in confined spaces.  Once the springs were fitted the remaining brake pull rod was put up and then Mike helped me fit the cross stays.  These can't be fitted until the brakes are in as they restrict access.   The end result was a much tidier tram floor as all the steelwork disappeared downstairs. Jim was then able to do a tidy up inside and it looks  lot better. Jim and I then trial fitted a decency board at one end and sorted out the positioning of the brackets.   All in all a good days work.

Away from the tram design work on such things as the lamps progressed and Mike and I went to Crich yesterday to study Chesterfield 8 and the bell system on Blackpool and Fleetwood 2.  Now we only need to make the bell system.  That sounds easy when it's written.


Another good day of progress. We were joined by Andy Bailey from Crich and a lot got done.  Jim brought in the first end advertising board that he's made up at home and we trial fitted it. It looks good and I then went out shopping for some brackets to hold it on. After a suggestion from one of the Middleton volunteers I bought 28 black enamelled conduit clips from an electrical wholesaler which worked a treat.  Mike Cook started turning various jointing pieces for the handrail system from steel bar and when those were finished started to prepare to braze some lengths of handrail together so that we get a tapered appearance on the vertical rails inside the staircase.  Andy and I then started work on the dash and fitted the stanchions at D end then bolted the dash rail down and then Andy made a good job of fitting the brake handle at that end and then put up the brake rigging.

It's rather cramped in there but we did manage to get the dash fitted.  The brakes were then applied and tested and worked!!!.  Some minor adjustments are needed but the system does work.

Here's the brake pawl and one of the new dash stanchions.

Jim and I then carried on fitting vent windows and the results are starting to lookrather nice.  All in all a great days work.  We also discovered that by careful positioning of the tram we will be able to fit the other dash so things are really coming on.



I didn't get chance to do an update on Wednesday but got down to the tram today and got some more done.  For various reasons not much got done on Wednesday but I did manage to get a coat of undercoat on the various staircase handrail stanchions.

Here are some of them hanging inside the tram to dry.

Malcolm Johnson had also machined the three new dash stanchions for us and they were hung up to dry as well

A nice piece of tapered machining.  This also shows the limited clearance between the dash and the doors of the shed.

I also got down today and got the topcoat on the handrail parts then found time to fit the first two vent windows inside following the fitting of film by National Window Films Ltd.

2 down just another 16 to go but they are all progress.


Another very cold day but four of us turned up.  I had taken delivery of all the remaining handrail fittings so Mike Cook started off drilling the various fixing holes in these and did a great job filing the ones in the stanchions from round to square to take coachbolts to attach them to the stairway stringers in due course. Jim continued with the window sills and got the second one finished.  Mike Waring got on with cleaning up the floor latts upstairs ready for painting.  After lunch we marked out the first of the decency boards for  the canopy ends. This is a rather strange shape to follow the twin curves of the roof and the handrail. Malcolm Johnson is continuing with production of the dash stanchions, the first one is nearly ready and looks good. Due to heavy snowfall we finished early and didn't attempt to laminate another decency board due to the very low temperatures.