Repair work in progress; Chris Jones looks on (R). Paddlebox frame in position
(photos supplied by B Lawrence)
The overall message for this quarter is the impact of finances on the work programme. Funds from the national appeal enabled contractor’s bills to be paid, but further work was still slowed by lack of funding.
This could easily discourage volunteers, but, led by Colin Harrison, local efforts at fund raising by the volunteers themselves were organised. These included of local talks and even jumble sales. Paint purchased and painting could continue.
Donations exceeding a total of £2,200, offers of loans, and offers of mortgage repayments have come in from Society members from all parts of the country. The total is significantly higher than in any previous KC Appeal and is a tremendous vote of confidence in the KC team and the volunteers working at the ship.
To all those who responded to the Appeal, many thanks, and to those who sent small amounts and apologised for not being able to afford more — a special thank you for your support.
WHERE THE MONEY GOES
Contractors have completed more than £6,500 of work on bottom plating, well deck and frame repairs. This has been made possible by funds from the Society (in particular the Durrant bequest) and the present appeal fund. The appeal fund has enabled the most recent part of this work, the repair of below water line frames, keelsons, stringers and bulkheads in the forward saloon and engine room to be completed at a cost of £2,900.
At the time of launching the Appeal, we needed £3,500 to ‘get out of the red’, which included the balance of the contractor’s account, berthing and material costs, insurance premiums and so on. Furthermore, £2,000 was required to complete the contractor's work and allow for future expenses. The Society made available £1,500 bringing us to within £2,000 of the appeal request.
At the time of writing, we are considering how best to take up the generous offers of regular repayments and loans. Meanwhile, contractor's work has had to cease with two thirds below water line repairs completed.
The Appeal Fund is still open. We still need income to meet fixed costs — berthing, insurance, and so on — and materials — steel, paint, oxygen, acetylene, timber are all very expensive. Also, we would like to get together enough funds to complete the below water line repairs.
Thanks -to the staying power of the painting gangs, it is expected that the total below water line surface will have received an additional two coats of protective paint this summer. The black paint on the upper part of the hull will not be complete, but this can be finished on the mud berth.
The sponson brackets should be substantially complete and steel replacement around the stern is still in progress. These jobs have reached a sufficiently advanced stage to allow completion after unslipping. Another vital job is the paddle boxes and wheels. The two shafts which pass through the hull are at present away from the ship with new wheel spokes being made to fit the hubs. These shafts will have to be positioned by crane before the vessel is unslipped. The paddle wheel assembly is running slightly behind schedule so, if necessary, the shafts will be fitted without the hubs. The paddle shaft bearing brackets have now been completed by Babcock Power and will be fitted as soon as they arrive. The rudder support structure has suffered badly from corrosion and is now being repaired. The rudder bearings also need attention and, again, the rudder will soon need to be back aboard ship as it will be difficult to handle on the mud berth.
It is probably difficult to appreciate from these notes the strides which have been made this year on the restoration of KC. Our thanks are due to all those who have contributed, some of them very substantially, by working at the ship.