Carriage & Wagon - refurbishment and restoration, maintenance, and cleaning
article by: Dave Clark
The Carriage and Wagon Department comprises three sections:
Refurbishment and Restoration
This is done in the large Works which are located in Winchcombe Station yard. As a member of the large Works team you will be involved in both the refurbishment cycle of our operational fleet of coaches and wagons, and the occasional restoration of previously un-restored vehicles. The degree of practical work involved is now very wide ranging and includes carpentry, upholstery, sheet and other metal working, welding, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, body filling and sanding, painting, varnishing, and a host of other activities. If you have any of the aforementioned skills you will be very welcome, but this does not preclude you if you are non-skilled as training can be provided and there are always many general jobs that need to be done. The Works are open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, usually between 0900-1800, and you may attend on any of these days and at times to suit your personal circumstances.
Our Maintenance Team do sterling work providing essential first-line support to our operational coach fleet in the form of regular safety checks, all sorts of minor repairs, essential replacements (e.g. brake blocks, vacuum and steam heating hoses, dynamo belts, etc), and greasing and oiling where required. This is mainly an open-air job, but a very important one. Anyone with former experience of coach maintenance will be very welcome, but as with the Works, if you are non-skilled then training will be provided. The Team meets weekly, but the actual day changes between Wednesday, Thursday or Friday with the variations of operational days during the running season.
The Carriage Cleaning Team provide an essential and very important service because we must ensure that we retain the good relationship that we have with our travelling public. Coal smoke, diesel fumes and brake block dust all go towards making the exterior paintwork and windows grimy, and as such a weekly wash is essential to restore the exterior appearance of our coaches. Similarly, the interior needs to be kept as clean as possible, whether it's windows, tables, seats, floors, or toilets, all are equally important. Our small team of cleaners would be very glad to have more members to assist them, so if you wish to join them you will be made very welcome. During the running season, the team currently meet on Mondays.
CURRENT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:
have general vacancies in the Refurbishment and Restoration team, but are specifically looking for carpenters/joiners, or anyone with good woodworking skills. Also, for anyone with an aptitude or interest in working on carriage doors or locks.
The Carriage Cleaning and Washing teams need additional volunteers on a Monday at Toddington, while the Carriage Maintenance team is also looking for new recruits on a Friday, preferably with some mechanical, or electrical skills/knowledge, or an aptitude for practical DIY. Please see here to learn how to become a volunteer.
For a day-to-day view of our activities, please go to the Carriage and Wagon Department blog at http://cwatgwsr.blogspot.com/