With the installation of the seats, tables and luggage racks completed in both saloons there was just one major item missing, the table lamps. There was plenty of evidence to show that lamps had been originally fitted in both saloons e.g. screw holes and severed cable runs, but as to the design; nothing.
Enquiries of other Gresley carriage groups drew a blank, whilst at first glance the two official photos of the exterior and interior did not show any lamps. However, by enlarging the photos up to A4 size parts of the lamps became just discernable. The exterior shot showed that the lampshades were of the classic snowdrop design; good news as these are still readily available.
The interior photo was taken from behind the seat at an angle towards the window, thus the main body of the lamp was hidden by the seatback. The lamp top was just apparent against an over exposed background and as a result the overall height of the lamp, the size of the boss into which the bulb holder fitted, its angle to the table top and the profile of the lamp stem was established. It was also obvious that the lamp back plate fitted onto the side panel above the table rather than on top or astride the windowsill as for example in LMS RFO 7511.
For the main body it was decided that a few educated guesses would have to be made. For instance one could safely assume that the style of the lamp complemented the luggage racks and that the shape of the back plates would be similar for both. Also the body would be round rather than angular.
Having decided on the basic design time was then spent trawling through umpteen carriage books to see if a similar style had every been used. Hey presto volume 2 of David Jenkinson’s British Railway Carriages of the 20th Century showed the interior of a Bulleid Southern Electric 1st Class Restaurant car displaying a table lamp that complied with all the required criteria; moreover O V S Bulleid had worked for the LNER and was not adverse to cribbing ideas especially when it came to styling the interior of coaches!
Scale drawings were prepared from the photos and these were used to produce patterns for the lamp body, boss and core box. The patterns were made by Brian Oldford of the Bridgnorth Pattern Shop. Brian and the small team are all self-taught in the mind boggling art of producing patterns. The Bridgnorth Pattern Shop has taken on a very important role in SVR operations producing patterns that vary from water valves for GW toilet pans to loco driving wheels.
Visit www.gw-svr-a.org.uk/news.html and find musings from Bridgnorth Pattern Shop and view for yourself their range of work.
The castings required a considerable amount of machining before the lamp stems could be brazed into position. The on/off electric switch fitted into a slot into the lamp body and was held in position by a switch plate. The whole assembly was then polished, the 1st Class being subsequently chromed before the internal electric wiring was connected up in each lamp.
By the end of April 2008 all the lamps were fitted in position and connected to the main electric supply via the switch cupboard in the corridor. Whilst not guaranteed to be 100 per cent authentic the lamps have transformed the appearance of both saloons as shown by the accompanying photographs.
The pattern for lamp body made by Brian Oldford of Bridgnorth Pattern Shop.
The polished brass table lamps fitted in the 3rd Class saloon. It looks like spring outside, summer cannot be far away!!
The chrome plated lamps fitted in the 1st Class saloon. Summer has arrived!
7960 returned to Bewdley at the end of February having had the mechanical repairs completed at Kidderminster. In addition the roof was painted and the body received two coats of varnish.