It’s been a while since our last update but our Project Manager, Paul Amsterdam, and his merry men, have nonetheless continued to make excellent progress.
Since October, work has mainly been focussed on the interior fit-out. Plastering is now well underway in all three rooms; the main tea room seating area, the archive room, and the WC.
Photo 1 shows the platform-side wall, note the ‘dummy door’ in the middle. The horizontal bull-nosed wooden ‘waist line’ represents the upper limit of the vertical tongue-and-groove dado panelling which will be installed beneath. This reflects the original furnishing of the Booking Hall and General Waiting Room as per LNWR drawings.
Photo 2 shows what will be the WC. Note the tongue-and-groove ceiling and cornice; this is an area where, again, the Trust has tried to be ‘true’ to the original LNWR drawings.
Photo 3 is another view of the ‘dummy door’ on the platform-side wall. The horizonal bull-nosed wooden waist line steps down at this point to avoid looking odd for people looking in from the outside.
Photo 4 shows the trial installation of the vertical tongue-and-groove dado panelling, adjacent to the front door (forecourt).
Sadly it hasn’t all been plain sailing.
The roof has developed a leak and we are awaiting Network Rail to come and fix it. This probably won’t happen until the middle of January, and is delaying the completion of the ceiling.
The recent extremely cold weather has led to some heavy condensation / damp patches in places so we are reviewing the ventilation provisions. But in a way it was lucky to find this out now, rather than to find out once more of the interior is finished.
There is still external brickwork to be finished, not least that the chimney on the North East elevation needs rebuilding. Our brickwork contractor continues to be a law unto themselves.
We are reluctant to specify an opening date at this stage but once we’re on the ‘home straight’ we will communicate further. Thoughts have tentatively turned to some time in May 2023 which will be close to the 165th anniversary of the Abbey Line’s opening.
Wishing all our members and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!