The Wagonette: Finished and Ready to Come home!
The Wagonette has finished being fitted out by David Mosely at Naval Base and is now ready to be returned to the BPSWA Depot at Whiteman Park.
A couple of fittings remain to be attached after which it will be ferried to Fremantle to take part in the BPSWA, Arthur Grady Day display on Saturday 28th May 2016 (Queens Street Fremantle).
David has done a wonderful job which involved a complete rebuild to the wheels; the coachwork refurbished and some timbers replaced and with a new paint 'job' to the body work; the canopy (or 'tilt') frame has been rebuilt and a new covering completed by a local upholsterer, putting the finishing touches to a beautifully restored coach. BPSWA will look forward to this fine addition to our displays at this and future events.
An 'Update' on the 'Horse Bus'
A brief inspection of the progress made so far on the Wagonette especially the condition of the 'tilt' or canopy of the horse bus (27th April, 2016). The repairs to the body work look excellent with the colour scheme (of gold wheels, red wood work and black picking out the iron work) creating a 'standout' impression of the progress so far. A new floor has been fitted to the 'saloon', timber bearers and runners replaced or repaired where rotted, and the metal and timber work painted. It’s shaping up to be a very attractive exhibit.
When lifting the saloon canopy to replace the flooring, it was found that the timber canopy framework was being held together by the canvass. Only the lower framing around the seats, the panelling at the back of the driver’s bench and the two horizontal runners supporting the roof cove panels are in sound condition. The rest of the frame is weak, rotted and coming apart.
Where possible, the original material will be retained but broken or rotted timber will have to be replaced to enable the structure to retain its shape and integrity before new fabric is fitted by the upholsterer.
The aim is to still meet the deadline for of the 28th May (to display the 'old lady' at the Arthur Grady Day at Fremantle this year..)
The Wagonette (Horse Bus)
History: The oldest passenger vehicle in the BPSWA national collection is a wagonette (or “little wagon”) horse bus, built around 1900 and thought to have been used in the Bunbury area. It came to the Society in December 2005 via the NATIONAL TRUST (WA), “Deaccessioning Project”.
The wagonette has been stored in the back of 'A' shed gathering dust but Council finally decided to return it to display standard. New timber wheels were built by a coach builder, David Mosley of Naval Base, and these were temporarily refitted last week so the wagonette could be loaded on a vehicle trailer (kindly loaned to the Society by the Whiteman Park Administration for the day) and taken to Naval Base. The canvass canopy or 'tilt' is to be replaced and a new timber floor fitted. Missing parts of the passenger saloon will be replaced and other timber work repaired as needed.
The underside of the chassis will be painted to match the yellow ochre of the new wheels. Specialised wheel right and canopy skills were beyond the scope of our volunteers so it has been helpful to have the advice and experience of someone of David Mosley's background available.
We are looking forward to having the "Horse Bus" return for its first public appearance at the 2016 Arthur Grady Day in the centre of Fremantle on Saturday 28 May 2016.