The carriage restorer’s convention is an annual event and it is about restoration and networking with restorers from all over the UK. Our museum hosted the very first convection in 1999 and we were delighted when we were asked to host it here once again.
The response was great with 77 delegates from as far apart as the Isle of Wight and the Scottish Highlands.
The first presenter was Stephen Middleton, renowned carriage restorer who took us through the fascinating story of the world’s first ever petrol driven railcar and his efforts to restore it to working order.
Chris Binks talked about Water Gilding and potential practical application of these techniques for the museum collection.
Richard Gibbon and a team from the Vintage Carriages Trust gave us an update on the Railway Heritage Register Project and the extremely useful online database of surviving carriages across the UK.
Practical demonstrations were the main focus of the afternoon session.
Walter Riley stole the show with an amazing display of exceptional skill on traditional wood graining. 30 minutes later, an mdf door was transformed with a realistic oak effect.
Charlie Bird presented his recent work incorporating low energy and conservation friendly LED lights inside the museum’s historical carriages.
A visit inside the LMS 3rd class sleeper in the station hall concluded the day.
On Sunday morning, Helen Ashby, Head of Collections greeted the delegates.
Andrew Daniel and Ben Riley gave us progress reports on restoration projects at the LNER and LMS carriage associations.
Tim Shields and Paul Molyneux-Berry talked about the restoration of Metropolitan Railway carriage Met353 and the modifications of the underframes and suspension to run on the London Underground during the 150th anniversary celebrations.
In the afternoon Ian Matthews, who recently completed the painting of the 4489 Dominion of Canada locomotive, continued his demonstration on brush painting, lining and lettering.
Stathis Tsolis and Adrian Ashby concluded the practical session with an application of varnish fix transfers.
The convention ended with a visit inside the Pullman car topaz in the museum’s Great Hall where delegates had a chance to admire the prestigious interior décor.
You can download your own copy of the delegate handout here.