Temporary Chassis for Lower Saloon

3 Jun

Well, with everything going swimmingly at the Markfield end, now that our sea container is on site, we turned our attention today to the Lutterworth site which will be our home and where we shall begin the assembly of Car 31.

It feels great to be talking about assembly after so much dismantling!

Well rather than starting to lay the frames on stilts (in each corner), which is how Dick Kerr would have done it at their Preston works, we have chosen to build the lower saloon on a skeletal trailer. This has lots of advantages but the main one is it is easily contained and can be mobile if need be. Our vision being that once some work is underway we could transport it to various shows and rallies.

So at 11 o’clock today our good friend Jim Wilkie arrived with his Land Rover from Old Sodbury near Bristol with a wonderful gift in tow – a 25ft long trailer! It was actually a trailer on top of a trailer as this particular gift hasn’t been road legal for years but thats no problem to us.

A trailer on a trailer! (ours isn't road legal yet)

The trailer had spent many years in use at an airfield but was replaced by a galvanised one several years ago and Jim has very kindly gifted it to the Leicester Tram 31 Group, for which we are most grateful.

Jim prepares the trailer for unloading.

A few pallets for packing, a make shift ramp, a couple of jacks and a ratchet strap….. and hey presto, the trailer was on the ground.

Easy does it!

Due to it’s size it took four of us to roll it into position but the whole affair took less than an hour . There was a great deal of clearing to be done prior to putting the trailer into position but once in the space we could really see things working out.

The trailer in situ - just right for building a lower saloon.

Thanks to our group members, Baz and Andy for an excellent days work and extra special thanks to Jim Wilkie for this generous gift and also mucking in on a bit of conservation.

We took Jim to the Markfield site also and he couldn’t resist helping us carry the remaining upper deck side into the container and also the metal roof work from sister tram No.95 which had rotted into the ground years ago but amazingly the metal roof work remained and was in better condition than No.31’s. Both lifts were a four man effort so thank you again to all!

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