Work Days: 21st & 23rd June 2020

WE'RE BACK! We're back at work!! No more H&S inspections, no more worrying about how much work we aren't getting done; we're back and working. At last we can breathe a sigh of relief and get on with bringing 3417 back to running condition. After the agonies of Lockdown, and trying to see the light at the end of what looked like a very long tunnel, we are very very glad to be back on the tools. Unusually, we have managed to squeeze two work days into less than a week. The work we managed to fit in during those two days were by turns the most disheartening and encouraging things we have done on the unit for quite some time. Sunday's task is very simply summarised - to strip…
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COVID-19 Update Number 2 – 24th May 2020 (with added Monty Python and Dead Moths)

Good afternoon, one and all. Well, the lockdown drags on and we wanted to keep you abreast of developments at and any from Strawberry Hill. A minimum provision of minions were on site on Saturday 16th to carry out our scheduled Health and Safety Inspection. Both buildings were checked and found to be in good order. It's fairly agonising for us to be allowed on-site but not to be able to get our hands dirty. There are so many jobs waiting to be progressed - the re-wire of Long Trailer 70797, old seat bases to be stripped and new covers to be made up, trim to be stripped out of 70797 and seat backs and bases to go into Motor Brake 62236, to say nothing of starting work on 76263.…
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Our Shop Is Now Live!

Good evening, everyone. Apologies for the late hour, but all of us here at Minion Towers are very pleased to announce that the SETG Shop, under development for the last few months, is now live and accepting orders!Please follow the link at the top of our webpage to view the items currently available to satiate your 4VEP Retail Desires, or simply CLICK HERE.Well done and thank you to the Web Services and Retail Minion for all his hard work over the past few weeks to get things up and running.
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COVID-19 Update: 20th April 2020

COVID-19 Update: 20th April 2020

Firstly, all of us at the SETG hope that everyone reading this update is safe and well. We are continuing to act on government guidelines* so naturally work is on hiatus at Strawberry Hill for the foreseeable future. As those of you who have been following our progress will know, Non-Driving Trailer 70797 is now ready to begin its train heating re-wire. This will mean stripping the trim from the coach to allow access to the under-seat heaters, so Motor Brake Standard Open 62236 will be receiving a portion of the good trim from 70797. Darren has done his usual superb job of restoring the internal window trims, so 62236 is ready to be re-fitted internally. This work alone will keep us busy for several months at least - the…
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70797 Heating Fault Update

Good evening, Followers of Gordon. This is just a brief update to keep you abreast of progress on fixing the coach heating fault on Non-Driving Trailer No.70797. At present we are getting quotes for materials to correct the fault. This will comprise (approximately): 50 meters of new wiring conduit, plus fixings. 200 meters of replacement wiring. We now expect the cost of this will be around £300. Thanks to the kindness of those of you who have pledged towards our #PintForTheVEP appeal, we have sufficient funds in place to cover this outlay; brilliant work, everyone! Buckie (Holder of the Screwdriver of Truth and winner of the 'Mr Greasy Spanner Monkey 2019' competition) believes that at present we are looking at four months work, assuming two work days a month to get…
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Work Day Sunday 8th March 2020 – Part Two

          Good afternoon, dear readers. How was your lunch? We hope you've enjoyed the morning's regular updates. Because the earlier "as it happens" post was getting a little unwieldy I'll go back to something a little more conventional. First off, a brief summary of the morning: 70797 is becoming a nightmare for Buckie. It looks like external wiring conduits on both sides of the vehicle are at least partially rusted through to the point where the heating supply is earthing itself. Of course it's failed safe, but rectifying it is going to be a bit of a mission. Have a look through the morning's videos here for more information as narrated by the man himself. There was a pigeon. Let's call it Fred. Fred visited and…
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Work Day Sunday 8th March 2020 – Part One

Good morning, dear readers (yes - both of you). This is the first time I've not been able to attend a work day when the bulk of the other Minions are on-site, thanks to severe conjunctivitus, so in-between visits to the bathroom for eyedrops and suchlike I thought I'd try something a bit different with this report. We'll have an almost real time, as it happens, blow-by-blow and cliche-after-cliche series of updates throughout the day to keep you appraised of current progress. It might work, it might not - lets see. 11:20am. Buckie, Darren, Lynn and Maggie on-site. Fielded phone call from Lynn whilst I was getting up. She has found a problem Buddliea plant on the outside of the building - it's clearly been there for some years and…
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Work Day Report: Saturday 29th February 2020

Good evening everyone. I'm writing this report from my office, early on Sunday evening. I'm telling you that because several things haven't changed since yesterday; the first thing being that I am very proud of what was achieved at Strawberry Hill only 24 hours ago. Yesterday felt like a huge leap forward for the unit and for the SETG (I'll elaborate as we go along). Secondly, I'm still knackered; this preservation stuff isn't simple, but then again anything worthwhile is rarely easy. How lucky are we to not only have a dedicated and talented team backing the unit, but to have so many of you following our progress on Twitter and Facebook. It's astonishing. None of us are doing this to look cool (after all we're railway enthusiasts and as…
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Multiple Work Day Update: January and February 2020

Good morning, followers of VEP! I apologise for not keeping a tighter rein on the updates to the website, but as always I have been finding (or have been found) other things to do or simply neglecting to sit down and write when I should have. As those of you who follow us on Twitter and Facebook will be aware, work is progressing well at Strawberry Hill. For those of you who don't have access to those sites, you'll find below a brief outline of the past two months' work and what has been achieved. We are extremely pleased with our progress, and despite extremely limited funds we are making steady headway. As our Chief Spanner Monkey rightly observes, "there are things we can do for pennies and we've got…
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Remembering Gwilym Jones.

  Normally writing would involve a keyboard, but alas I find myself keyboardless. So pen and paper will do. And they have the added benefit that they don’t need a charger. It does mean that at some point in the future I’ll have to translate my own handwriting - your thoughts and prayers will be appreciated. Normal service for the SETG News page would involve my writing something daft/amusing regarding our progress on 3417. But today is different. Because today 3417 is lacking one of it’s most Senior Minions. Driver Gwilym Jones, depot driver at Wimbledon Park, ex Euston West Coast driver and part of the original ‘Three Musketeers’ who decided one evening more than a decade ago that 4VEP No. 3417 could not be allowed to slip quietly away,…
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