27 December 2015

Year summary

As the year draws to an end, it's time to reflect upon what has taken place in respect of the restoration in the last twelve months.

The year started out with RT3316 wrapped in a mega tarpaulin, being stored outdoors. Far from ideal, but storage for a double decker in the Home Counties is not easy to come by. I had determined that the only way to progress the restoration was to take on the work myself (with the grateful assistance of volunteers) and would need to find undercover storage in order to do so. I was extremely lucky and found somewhere nearby that I was able to move into in spring and start dismantling. The seats and seat frames came out and it was assessed that the platform and battery risers needed replacing. These are critical parts in this bus and it has taken the rest of the year to get them made and fitted. Thankfully that has now been finished and this major hurdle has been overcome.

During this time, lots of other work has taken place on the bus. I decided in the end that most body parts needed to come off so the year end sees a seriously stripped down vehicle. This allows me to deal with the rotten wood and corroded metal framework. The outer appearance of the bus disguised considerable decay (this is the case with many RTs) and that had to be chased back a long way. Getting to the root of this and then treating and fitting new is the only way to end up with a proper job that will last years.

There are more hurdles to overcome. Metal brackets between the decks are all corroded and need replacing and I haven't been able to find any anywhere. I've been lucky enough to find many items that I need and they will be invaluable, but some items just aren't available (or elude me) and need to be made. In 2016 I will also have a load of window pans (frames) to repair - the existing ones will be married with donor ones and cut and shut together. The work is planned to continue throughout 2016 with the aim of completion as early as feasible, whilst ensuring that it is done properly and such that it will last and not need to be done again any time soon.

I will finish with a photo of what RT3316 looked like before the restoration work began. This was just 8 months ago, but it seems like a lifetime.

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