On the 14th of September 2015, Nationwide Building Society volunteers came to the N&LR to help out as part of a corporate volunteering scheme.

The group was split into smaller groups to undertake a few tasks based on the prevailing weather conditions.
The tasks were:

  • Check the wrapping paper on the gifts for the N&LR ‘Santa’s Special Trains’
  • Continue sorting & refurbishing track fishplate bolts
  • Scraping the paint and body filler off of the NLRPS owned BR Mk1 TSO coach M3919

Facilitators for the day were David Millard (N&LR Infrastructure Team Member) and Gordon Titmuss (N&LR General Manager and NSRL Chairman) with a fleeting visit by Grahame Every (N&LR Volunteering Co-ordinator).

At the start of the day the first two tasks were started due to the wet conditions outside, as can be seen in the photos below:

As the weather improved before lunch the bolt refurbishment was slowed down to allow a start on scraping M3919’s bodyside.

During the lunch break an intense thunderstorm arrived with its additional feature of a tornado nearby in Duston, as seen on TV and in other media outlets.

As the afternoon weather improved, it stayed dry to allow a continuation of the paint scraping and fish bolt refurbishment.

A surprise to the N&LR Volunteer Working Members (including some who remember the arrival of M3919 at the railway) was the discovery of green paint underneath the more modern layers of paint. As more careful scraping was done, a primrose cream colour was found under the green in the window band area of the bodywork.

It is known that the coach was from the ‘Southern Region’ of BR but to find the green paint and underlying Primrose indicates the livery history of the coach is a follows

  1. Crimson & Cream, also known as Blood & Custard livery when built in 1958, with Gold/Yellow & black lining.
  2. Light green, (malachite green?) painted sometime after April 1956.
  3. Darker green, a dark malachite/coaching stock green painted sometime after April 1956.
  4. BR post 1956 Maroon (not confirmed, but theoretically possible).
  5. BR Blue & Grey post 1964 Corporate livery.
  6. Preserved & Current livery: a version of BR Maroon.

The findings of the Nationwide Building Society’s volunteers has been passed onto the Chairman of the NLRPS for use in the coach’s refurbishment program that is being developed at the moment.

Many thanks to all who took part in the day, it brought out a few surprises along the way, but a lot of time and effort has been saved by doing tasks that would have been done at the weekends by one or two volunteer working members. The day’s obligatory group photograph is shown below

Additional information about M3919 can be found on its webpage and in The Historical Model Railway Society’s book written by Keith Parkin ‘British Railways Mark 1 Coaches’ IBSN 0-902835-22-X and its supplementary IBSN 0-902835-18-1