Quick Update: March 6th 2019

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Good day, folks! A few quick updates for you rolled into one, because I have been rather lax in updating the news. I apologise - please blame the deliciousness of biscuits, the Big Railway, finding free bricks (it's a long story - don't ask) and many other varieties of mundane stuff which get in the way of Playing Trains and telling you lot about it. For those of you who follow the exploits of 3417 on Twitter these little nuggets may come as old news, but I know there are many who don't. So enough excuses; we have things to share.  Firstly, the long-standing AWS fault in both cabs has finally been remedied. Thanks are due in huge part to our friends at the Southern Preservation Group at Tunbridge Wells West…
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Workday: 26th January 2019

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      Good afternoon, Oh Children of the VEP! Harken all ye here assembled, for we bring you glad tidings of Work Completed, Tea & Pasties Consumed, Ice-ed Buns sent Home, Wood Fitted, Filler Applied, Horns Sounded and Floors Swept! Right - that's enough of the Town Cryer nonsense; on with the news. Minions Darren, Trousers, Potter, Lynn and Maggie were in attendance at Strawberry Hill on Saturday for the first work day of 2019, where they made significant progress towards completing the interior restoration of Driving Trailer No. 76262. After the first order of the day was completed (tea and biscuits, folks - very important) Darren, Trousers and Potter set to the work. The first task of the day was energising the unit; making working conditions for several…
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Work Day 22nd November 2018

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Today, children, we will see exactly how many Mark One coach cushions can be stacked inside a VW Transporter van, how long it takes to unload said van, how many times Potter can change his mind about where the fresh cushions should go and how long it will be before Lynn and Maggie tell Potter to stop being a prima donna and sod off while they organise things properly. Also in this issue; 4VEP Light Fittings - Do They Have Vampiric Tendencies?, What Has Gone Wrong With Pret a Manger's Bacon & Omelette Rolls? and Do You Know How Many Cups of Tea & Milk Chocolate HobNobs the SETG Can Force Into a Delivery Driver's face Before He Begs for Mercy or Drowns in Tannin?" Before we start, the SETG would…
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Break In Transmission

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Sorry folks - I'm on holiday. Talk amongst yourselves until I get back. If you're good, there may be a fridge magnet for you when I get back. Regards, Senior Scribing Minion. PS: Despite being 1,715 miles away from Strawberry Hill I still got a message from our chum Peter Spokes asking if he could borrow slammer parts... Railway Preservation: it's the hobby that just won't bugger off and leave you alone for a bit. TTFN
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Work Day 3rd November 2018

News
Welcome to today’s edition of “Playing With 1:1 Scale Toy Trains for Fun and Frustration." Prelude: "It's all good fun playing trains, until someone asks you to fit a four-wide seatback to a bulkhead that has decided that it doesn't want to have a seatback fitted to it, thank you very much. At this point the fitters get cross, drivers find themselves grateful that they never became a fitter and everyone wonders exactly how, in years past, pairs of drunken teenagers managed to throw the bloody seat backs out of trains in the first place. Fitting seats isn't for the faint of heart, folks. For the record, we managed to refit the seat after using two shoe paddles, two screw drivers and a lot of railway-grade language. (And a brief…
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Work Day Sunday 28th October 2018

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Today was another busy day at Strawberry Hill, and a very productive one too. After a hiatus of a few weeks thanks to shift work and the usual non-railway Real Life intrusions, we were able to put a small team together to move work forward on coach No. 76262. But before we could begin work, depot procedures had to be followed... After the obligatory tea (and optional chocolate biscuits) and lead by one of our senior fitters Darren Franklin we continued restoring the standard class seating area. This has involved removing all the water-damaged fittings within the coach and replacing them with 'good' fittings  - either freshly made or recovered from elsewhere along the unit. The previous workdays have made good progress towards this goal, and today has moved us…
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Work Day Update and News

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Once again it's been a busy few week for 3417 and it's Minions. Firstly came a very long trip to the National Railway Museum at York last week. This was arranged to collect a quantity of brand-new trim material which will be used to recover quarter pads in the standard class accommodation - quarter pads are the fabric covered, foam padded boards beneath the windows at each pair of seats in standard and first class saloons and compartments. We are hugely grateful for the NRM and Project Commuter for their assistance in sourcing this material, which is vital to the refurbishment of our passenger accommodation. The funds to pay for this material, made as part of a special order by Camira Fabrics, came from our successful Crowdfunding appeal which closed last…
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STOP PRESS: News from Project Commuter

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  STOP PRESS: Senior Minions have just spoken to their counterparts with @ProjectCommuter; our small portion of fresh moquette for 3417 has just been delivered to @railwaymuseum in York. Another step in the restoration of both our units begins! — 423417_GordonPettitt (@Gordon_3417) June 13, 2018   Brilliant news - this is another portion of your crowdfunding money that we have been patiently waiting to spend and means we can finally begin to address the restoration of the unit's interior. Stay tuned for more developments as we get them! Many thanks to our friends at Project Commuter and the National Railway Museum for helping to make this possible.
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Saturday 10/06/18: Traction Motor Move

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STOP PRESS: This morning the SETG will be moving 4 EE507 traction motors, previously donated by Porterbrook Leasing, from Wimbledon Park to Strawberry Hill as part of our on-going plan to concentrate our spares pool in one location. We would like to thank South Western Railway for their assistance at Wimbledon and to thank Castle Scaffolding for donating their equipment and time to help us in the move.   Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook feeds to see the latest news and pictures!
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Sunday 27/05/18: A Bit of a Non-Train Day

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Senior Minion Potter Reporting: I think we (we being 3417's Loyal Minions) have mentioned before that this railway preservation lark isn't all about Glamour, Girls & Riches Beyond The Dreams of Avarice. Some of it is dirty and boring and bloody hard graft. Last Sunday's work day was a fine example of this point; lot of dirt and heavy lifting punctuated by mild swearing and tea. The work crew consisted of yours truly and Darren and the task was very simple: tidy up the shed. Of course, before we started work there are certain things that have to be seen to and Depot Operating Procedure Section 4, sub-section 6 was duly dealt with on arrival. For those who don't know how seriously the SETG take proper operating procedures, please find…
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