In an effort to stay on schedule we arrive in numbers today to make a start on removing the roof. This is the first step to actually transporting the vehicle from the site that has been it’s home for the last 60 years. No.31 has been on this spot for longer than it was in service to the city!
The roof is made up of 'T' section steel, wooden chocks and pitch pine boarding. The first step is to strip the pitch pine boarding to expose the steel and give us an idea of condition. Stripping the boards presented no challenge whatsoever, the boards were so badly decomposed that the boarding just turned to dust as we attempted to lift them!.
Before we stripped the boarding we photographed and measured everything. The sunlight exposed some distinctive markings on the boards. These stripes mark out the steel treads that were screwed to the floor of the upper deck to prevent passengers from slipping over and also providing a way for excess water to drain away.
Michael clears away the remains of boards - not much we can do with these but the wooden chocks can be boxed for re-use.
The tie-rod nuts came undone with incredible ease much to our surprise!
Looking more like the inside of a viking boat the body is becoming less like a tram every visit. The damaged side (on the right) now minus the vertical window posts now reveals the true extent of the bellying out. This was caused by the weakening vertical posts transferring the weight above and actually forcing the lower side further away.
An area we couldn't get to before - the South end of the saloon. Still with some woodwork visible from its conversion to an enclosed platform. At the bottom of the vehicle the front fender can be seen - it has survived very well having been buried underground for a long time.
With the South end now fully accessible we remove the sliding door and take off the farmers additional boards that had been nailed on to it. Behind the additions we discover the same transfer as on the north sliding door requesting standing passengers to move right in to the saloon.
Left side of the bulkhead sliding door cover and sliding door removed. The bottoms look like they will need some repair but there is no reason why these can't be re-used once repaired.
Barrie gets out the trademarked British Bit and Brace and begins to remove the right hand side of the bulkhead.
A team photo at the end of a very successful day. (Left to Right) Adrian, Chris, Michael, Barrie, Steve, Michael. Thanks to all who helped today - also Paul too, who managed to fit four hours in between wiring up a house in the morning and then going off to play five a side football! The tram alone was enough for me and I think we all left exhausted!
Next visit will be to split the sides!