Friday, 24 March 2017

March News Part 4

As it is Red Nose Day today, there is naturally a red nosed Monkey lurking in one of the photographs, as he has been patrolling the workshops drumming up funds this week.

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


The coach is now settled following last week's lift. Woodwork is now much easier with the coach at ground level and the guard's area has been reclaimed as a workshop, and is currently hosing a door undergoing rebuild amongst other items.


The painting of the brakegear wheels, components and buffers has continued to progress and most of it is now in black gloss awaiting fitting.


The Axeman and friends have descended on the underframe for 853 now that it has been revealed in all its corroded glory without the body. The two end strengthening plates, which were badly wasted, have been ground off and disposed of this week. They will be replaced in due course with new material.


Although not strictly related to 853, the accommodation flat wagon which 853 sat on for many years (until last week!) has had a through vacuum pipe made and painted ready for fitting. This pipe will be used when the wagon eventually makes it into the demonstration freight train.

Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129


No progress to report.

British Railways 1960 Restaurant Buffet (Refurbished) E1969


The lining was completed this week after the coach was moved out of the staging area so we could get to the lower areas. Lots of lettering and signwriting followed to put on the various Restaurant Car signage onto the bodysides.


A further few days was spent on finishing touches such as cleaning the windows, getting rid of splashed paint that was where it shouldn't be, cleaning the underframe parts and giving the coach a maintenance exam to ready it for service.

The coach's refresh is now complete and it will be returned to traffic.


British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224


Work on stripping the old paint from the bodysides continues apace, the lower section (below the windows) is now fairly well completed all the way around, with the top section now being the focus.


The interior work has been concentrating on the two corridor ends of the coach, which are being stripped out for welding repairs to be undertaken. Unfortunately some horridly rotten floors and framework has been found at both ends requiring a much greater strip down than originally hoped for! At the Holt (passenger) end, the vestibule floor has been fully removed revealing rotten structural framework which will require bottom repairs.


At the Sheringham (guards van) end, we have removed part of the parcel cage to allow the wooden edge of the floor to be chiselled out, around the concrete floor which we are still hoping we can leave alone. This is again required to allow new end pillars to be welded in around the corridor connection.


As mentioned last week, rebuilding of the doors has also progressed well. A few wooden frames and metal skins have been condemned, many other frames have been repaired with wooden splices and some of the more advanced ones have been reunited and some wooden areas primed.


British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352


This has been shunted outside now, where we can arrange for the corridor connection to be refitted.


British Railways 1959 Class 03 Diesel Shunter D2063


This has now also left the shed and will no doubt be entering service soon. The future Carriage & Wagon shunter also took its first movements in over 8 years, so congratulations to the owner for this milestone achievement. It looks very nice indeed in its blue paintwork.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

March News Part 3

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


Somewhat sooner than expected, the next phase of 853's overhaul was unlocked this week after the exciting task of separating the body from it's chassis was executed successfully. The creation of more space within the workshop (due to the mezzanine floor) allowed the accommodation chassis to be moved along and the body then lifted upwards allowing the chassis to be rolled back out from whence it came.


The body was then carefully lowered to the ground. The new position of the body will allow principally woodwork to continue at a much more easier level, and importantly allows access to the roof for restoration and replacement of the canvas covering.


Additionally, the original Great Eastern Railway chassis, what remains of it, is now fully accessible so a start can also be made on the restoration of this item. The frames will be cleaned and extensive repairs undertaken where wastage of the metal has occurred. This will then make it ready for the reclaimed components such as springs, wheelsets and brakegear, to be fitted back to these frames. Important times ahead!


More mundane tasks have included progression of the current crop of tasks mentioned many time before, namely the door rebuilds, painting of the guards handbrake mechanisms and wheels into gloss.

Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129


No progress to report.

British Railways 1960 Restaurant Buffet (Refurbished) E1969


As painting requires a clean area with no other work close by, it is perhaps unsurprising that the progress on this coach this week has been...painting! The gloss paintwork is now fully completed, which included two coats of the red and cream on the bodysides as well as the two black ends. A start has now been made on lining the carriage. This is halfway there with the top line completed and the bottom line still to do.


Now that the major painting is complete, some of the final reassembly has been able to be started, such as refitting the horrid but sadly necessary three-phase shore supply sockets to the coach end!


British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224


The paint stripping of the bodysides introduced last week has continued and the lower half of the landward side is now stripped. The upper half of the same side, and the lower half of the seaward side, has now been started.


Interior deconstruction has also progressed apace, with concentration on the five compartments. These are now practically stripped out of all woodwork panels, beading and fittings (i.e. mirrors, luggage racks, lamps etc). Although it looks rather depressing, restoration of the components will be far easier and more pleasant on a bench in the workshop than struggling with them in-situ. The initial reason for the work is to remove the woodwork from the sides of the coach so that in due course, all welding repairs can be safely undertaken.


For the same reason as above, a fair amount of interior planking and ceiling panels have been removed from the Guard's luggage area, as corrosion has been identified at this end of the coach, particularly around where the roof meets the bodysides. Where the planking has been hidden by other panels in the corner of the carriage, the original brown colour scheme has been revealed. The current "livery" of Blue & Cream is a preservation era invention. The original luggage cage, still in position, has had its mesh removed in the past and replaced with plywood, so this non-authentic addition has been removed leaving the (original) framework behind. The cage will (hopefully) not have to be removed for repairs to be made, we do intend on leaving at lease some of the stuff in this area in position!


A healthy stack of components ready for "treatment" has accumulated both outside the coach on pallets and inside the compartments. A start has already been made on the refurbishment process. The first items to be tackled are the exterior doors, of which there are 10. They are a mixed bag with some in very good condition and others requiring full replacement. These will all be stripped down (regardless of their condition) for cleaning, painting, repairing and eventual reassembly. So far about half of them have been dismantled.


British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Third W46139


Restringing of the luggage racks has been completed and two days at Holt has seen them all bolted into position inside the compartments, which certainly fills an odd gap.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352


We decided this week to tie up all of the "loose ends" so that the coach was ready for removing from the works. This has been successfully completed, with the cab blinds and windscreen wiper refitted, and the final small painting tasks attended to on the exterior. It is now ready for service, with the exception of refitting the corridor connection, which must be done outside.


British Railways 1959 Class 03 Diesel Shunter D2063


Works complete. Currently awaiting the availability of shunter drivers to remove it from the workshop.

Friday, 10 March 2017

COMPLETION SPECIAL: Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


We are delighted to report the completion of Suburban E43041, and therefore also the (unofficial) conclusion of the Suburban 4 project as a whole!

E43041 is one of the railway's more unusual carriages built to the standard 1950's Mark 1 design. Weighing 29 tons, it is a Composite Lavatory (CL) and is the only Suburban design carriage within our collection that has First Class accommodation. 42 third class and 19 first class passengers can squeeze into eight compartments entering or existing using one of the 13 doors. Down each side of the vehicle are corridors linking the compartments and providing access to two toilets. However each class is separated so First Class and Third Class cannot mingle!  Even the toilets are split with one provided for each class. Like all Mark 1 suburbans, there are no corridor connections at the ends of the vehicle which prevents access to adjacent carriages. The CL vehicles were built specially for the Eastern Region, who were the only one of the five BR regions to request suburban stock with toilets. This “special feature” meant that the CL design was one of the least numerous design of suburban, with only 50 being built, all by British Railways' Doncaster Works in 1954/55. Compare this figure to the suburban “Third” fleet, of which there were 300 examples. The only other design of suburban to have toilets was the Third Lavatory Open, another “Eastern Region Exclusive”, one of which is also resident on the NNR and was overhauled and out-shopped last August.

E48001 was introduced into service in February 1956 and spent its entire working life on Eastern Region suburban services. Its exact workings are not known, although evidence exists that the coach operated commuter services from London Fenchurch Street out to Shoeburyness. The coach could also have operated on secondary services further afield if required. During E48001's working career it was repainted twice, starting out life in BR's original suburban livery of unlined Crimson. It was repainted shortly after introduction into the standard lined Maroon livery as the Crimson proved difficult to keep clean and was particularly susceptible to fading in sunlight. It received a final colour change into BR's corporate Blue livery, which was rather uninspiring on suburban stock as it consisted of a single colour with no lining or other features.

The first members of the CL fleet started to be withdrawn from service in 1965, only ten years after they were built. The BR suburban stock was the last non-corridor coaching stock to be built in the UK, as modern practice was favouring multiple units and electrification for suburban services, which explains the short working lives of this type of stock. The year 1974 saw three CL vehicles withdrawn from British Rail service, E43041 working its last train in November 1974, having spent its entire life on the Eastern Region without any transfers. Towards its swansong E43041 was working peak services out of Kings Cross, along Great Northern lines being hauled by Class 31 diesel locomotives. Other CL vehicles soldiered on for a further three years before themselves being condemned.

E43041 entered preservation in 1975 and became one of eight CL vehicles to dodge the cutter's torch. Preservation was not to prove a guaranteed sanctuary, as the lack of corridor connections, numerous doors and poorly designed windows resulted in the coaches being unsuitable for normal tourist railway operations, and the limited resources of enthusiasts in the 1980’s and 1990’s resulted in the situation where water damage and steel corrosion was far outstripping the capacity to conserve and repair the coaches. Consequently, many CL vehicles became dilapidated after a time and were stored out of service. E43041 did remarkably well however and was one of a fleet of five suburbans based on the growing North Norfolk Railway, a stalwart throughout the 1980's and 1990's. A typical formation was a three coach set formed of two Suburban CL vehicles with a brake on the end.

Stored at Sheringham in 2006

However by the early 2000's the corrosion was rampant and E43041 was finally stored out of service in 2005 awaiting repairs. Repairs which were not in initially forthcoming due to the operational unattractiveness of the suburban design. The vehicle’s long term future was secured however in the early 2010’s when the Suburban 4 project, lead by the late Clive Morris, was launched and E43041 was selected for receiving a major overhaul as the CL vehicle for this special set. The railway's other CL, which was in an even poorer state, was sold on.

After ten years in storage, E43041 was finally extracted in June 2015 and a start made on it's overhaul.


Unfortunately after stripping down the carriage it became obvious that a huge amount of corrosion was hidden underneath and the coach was in an appalling condition. An additional complication came when a large amount of asbestos was discovered forcing work to stop and expensive removal contractors brought in to resolve the issue.


This completed, the greatest bodywork reconstruction ever undertaken on the railway was undertaken, with the entire side that faces the sea replaced, both framework and steel panelling. The vehicle was in a very skeletal form for quite some time.


Whilst all this was going on a full interior strip down and restoration was undertaken using a small army of volunteers. The underframe and bogies were rebuilt and repainted. The seating reupholstered. No stone was able to be left unturned! After the new steel skin was added, a huge push on reassembly was undertaken.


With this being the final Suburban 4 vehicle, the end deadline pf the project was upon us, so a special effort, not seen on the other three coaches, was required in the latter part of 2016 to squeeze the same level of quality finishing work into a much smaller timescale. Thankfully we were successful and E43041 made it's deadline for the Lottery funding aspect of the project. Final assembly and panting work was rapid.


E43041 is now ready for service and has been formed with the other three suburbans W46139, E48001 & E43357. They are to be launched officially during April which will be the official conclusion of the Suburban 4 project, and it's been quite a (6 year) journey!

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


Work on the brakegear and doors continues to progress steadily. Preparation works for the next phase of the vehicle's overhaul have also started... (see Workshop section below).

Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129


No progress to report.

British Railways 1960 Restaurant Buffet (Refurbished) E1969


The coach has now been handed over to the painters who have been making quick progress. A coat of red primer has been applied all around the coach, followed by undercoating in two-tone red & cream with black for the coach ends. This completed, the gloss painting has now started, with the landward side having received its first (of two) coat.


British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite NE21224


Equally as exciting, to some at least, as the emergence of E43041 has been the commencement of our next major restoration project. I present to you NE21224, which is a brake vehicle also containing first and second class compartments. It is almost identical to GE21103, another brake vehicle which can be found running regularly in service trains along the NNR. The coach has been in storage at Bridge Road sheds since its arrival five years ago, due to lack of workshop capacity. With the Suburban 4 project now at an end, we can look more seriously at our fleet of "normal" Mark 1 coaches. One area of concern for the railway has been that two brake vehicles are required for the busy summer season, and we have just two restored and in service. This third brake vehicle will put the railway in a better position, to cover services should one of the two required brakes fails, and to provide a third brake at exceptionally busy times (such as steam galas etc) if extra Mark 1 sets are required to be formed, as of course, every passenger train requires a brake vehicle in it. NE21224 was last used on the mainline as a support coach for 70000 "Britannia". It has had a few modifications for this role but nothing too major. It is proposed to return it as a "normal" BCK. It entered the workshops this week for the long task of full restoration to commence...


In just five days a remarkable amount of visual change has been made. This has been due to the "stripping out" nature of the tasks which does create big changes in a small period of time as large components are removed off the vehicle. So far, the doors and windows have been removed, along with a great deal of wooden interior trim work that was surrounding these parts.


With much of the separate bits out of the way, we have immediately started looking at the bodysides to ascertain their condition. We do not know what is underneath, so a small team of volunteers have been busy stripping old paint away to reveal (hopefully) sound metal below! There is a fair amount of steelwork to do around the windows and doors, as expected, but so far the rest of the body is in good condition.


Readers will have to get used to NE21224, as we shall be reporting on it for some time!

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Third W46139


Work to restring the replacement luggage racks continues, and there is now only one compartment remaining to complete. They will then all be ready for fitting to the coach.


British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352


Only minor works completed this week, with some of the loose ends tied up. The jumper cable sockets and end pipework has now all been painted on the bufferbeams, as has the sliding corridor end door which was looking a little shabby.


The battery charging sockets have been painted red, and all solebar lettering completed, which finishes the underframe work to the vehicle.

British Railways 1959 Class 03 Diesel Shunter D2063


The Carriage & Wagon shunter's repainted air tanks have been fitted, and it won't be too long before it leaves the shed.


Workshop


A large space next to the mezzanine floor, which was previously in use for temporary storage, has been cleared and looks much better now. This space is partly to be used for accommodating the body of GER 853 which is to be separated from its accommodation chassis shortly, which will be a great leap forward in its ongoing restoration. There was talk that a Monkey enclosure may be possible too, but we shall have to see if there is enough room after the Joint Heritage Coach Fund have moved in!

Friday, 3 March 2017

March News Part 1

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


The reclaimed brake gear introduced last week has seen more work, mainly scrapimng down, rust proofing and coating in red primer paint. The handbrake column, handbrake wheel and one (of the four) buffers have been treated so far.


A cross shaft for the brakework has seen some modifications to it before painting, this includes extra slotting to enable a handbrake mechanism to apply the brakes as well as the standard vacuum "train brake". This is because we are using a cross shaft from a non handbrake fitted vehicle to 853 which of course will have one, being a guards vehicle. The Monkey family seemed particularly impressed with the modification!


In other news, of course, the door reconstruction work continues...

Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129


No progress to report.

British Railways 1960 Restaurant Buffet (Refurbished) E1969


The long and arduous task of paint preparation has now finally been completed. Both sides of the body have been fully sanded and filled to a smooth finish, feathering in all of the repairs we have undertaken whilst the coach has been in with us. The tail end of the week has been spent cleaning down the coach, hoovering the roof and surrounding areas, so that the painting can commence next week.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


This vehicle is due to be released from the works next week, which will be the (unoffical) end of the Suburban 4 project!

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Third W46139


The dedicated reader may remember that the Suburban we out-shopped 12 months ago had to enter service without its luggage racks as we were struggling to source replacement netting for them. This was finally resolved in October but with CL E43041 approaching completion we decided to re-net those racks first and then return to W46139's. Well the time has finally become available and Roger Ison is now busy stringing all of the nets onto W46139's luggage rack frames. So far approximately half of them have been completed.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352


The external repainting work to the body has now been completed, which pretty much finishes the exterior. Both cream lines and numbers have been applied, as has the top coats to the half yellow warning panel on the front end.


The final task was tom apply some of the final trimming on the body which included the "Private" signs on the cab doors, a blue square in each corner (which represents the vehicle's multiple working code) and a data panel on the rear corner next to the corridor connection.


There are some more tasks to complete on the chassis, including repainting of the jumper sockets and a few other small pipes etc. Some chassis lettering also needs applying. However we are on the home straight and the vehicle should be completed soon.

British Railways 1959 Class 03 Diesel Shunter D2063


The engine room doors have now been fitted back onto the loco, meaning it is watertight again marking the end of the repaint and therefore the C&W involvement in the loco. It is expected to be shunted out of the shed and into the big wide world fairly shortly.




Workshop


Loading of the new mezzanine floor has now started in earnest with several cabinets from the lower end of the shed moved up and reloaded. This has already created a great deal of space with the area alongside GER 853 opened up allowing more space for a safe work to be undertaken. The Vintage coach team got into the spirit as well and assisted with the tidying and reconfiguration of the area of the shed being "worked on", the results are a pleasing start to this area which will be better for all. Of note is a new cage which has been constructed to hold our milk bottles (which are used as disposable paint kettles). This project is to continue around the shed as time allows.

Friday, 24 February 2017

February News Part 4

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


Work on the doors has continued. Four more Great Eastern Railway luggage doors have been picked up from a similar grounded body located in Walcott (on the coat about half way between Cromer and Great Yarmouth) and will provide parts for the same doors intended for 853 and currently undergoing rebuild.

Some reclaimed brake gear has also been brought inside ready to refurbish for the guards compartment in 853. It isn't strictly of GER ancestry but it will provide an authentic "feel" and of course replace the required equipment that was lost when the brake became a grounded body back in the 1920's. Buffers are also being gathered for the project. One of these was attached to the grounded body in the yard that the Pway department use as their HQ, and was removed (by force!) this week.

Lastly, 16 passenger communication cord ends (shaped like cute little trumpets!) have been painted white ready for eventual fitting.

Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129


No progress, however it did have a wobble up and down the yard on Wednesday as part of the shunting required to swap vehicles around inside our shed.

British Railways 1960 Restaurant Buffet (Refurbished) E1969


An uninspiring update this week for E1969, however it has seen the most work out of any of the current projects. Every day has been spent with several people progressing the bodywork preparation, so the smell of body filler and the hum of sanders remain a constant!


A slightly different task has been the roof, which has had all its loose paint chipped off and these areas patch painted in roof paint to bring the layer level with the sections which are still in place. Once the filler dust has gone, the whole roof will receive a "top up" coat to freshen its appearance. The roof does not need a full strip down, as this has been done already on this carriage when it was fully rebuilt in the 2000's.


British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


A landmark moment this week. Early in the week the final seats were completed and brought up from the upholstery department. The sheer size of these seats, and the complexity of the First Class examples, is a real credit to our volunteer upholsterers Keith and Martin who have done a fantastic job these past months on E43041. They have recently been putting in extra work days as well to get the carriage finished, a fact which has not gone unnoticed by paid C&W staff. The outstanding four compartments (three Third Class and one First Class) were rapidly fitted out with the seating which concluded the final main restoration task on the vehicle. E43041 is now awaiting a final internal clean before being released into service.


British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352


The repainting continues. The task of lining out the vehicle, introduced last week, has progressed steadily. The upper (of two) lines has now been completed, which was the final task that required the vehicle to be in the staged area. M56352 has now been shunted out of there and its place taken by E1969. Once out of the staging, M56352,s lower line was started. So far, the black edging has been completed and the first (of two) cream sections of the line applied to the front end and the landward side. This job will continue next week. The lettering has also been started, with the vehicle's numbers and cab door "Private" signs applied in black only (cream to follow).


A start has been made on the half yellow warning panel on the cab front, which has been marked out and has reached the undercoat stage.


Attention has now turned to the chassis area, which is accessible now that the vehicle has left the staging. This will not be getting much attention but a quick spruce up to improve its appearance. Alan Cripps has cleaned down the front bufferbeam and coated it in red, whilst Dave Palmer has undertaken similar treatment to the solebars and rear bufferbeam, but had black as his colour of attack. It is amazing how much of a difference simply repainting the solebars and bufferbeams makes.


The loco department have been back in and have replaced the multiple working control air pipe on the front bufferbeam, this had been missing for a while as it sprung a leak some time ago and had been blanked off as an interim measure. It is now back in position as nature intended.

British Railways 1959 Class 03 Diesel Shunter D2063


The windows have now all been successfully fitted to the Carriage & Wagon shunter, so Monkey won't be getting wet when he has his cab rides during the showery months!


Workshop


No pictures of the Axeman this week as I forgot my camera the day he was in, some would argue that describing him in text only might be for the best? Nevertheless he was busy as ever, assisted by those who are easily led astray,.. The hoist arm for the mezzanine floor has been fitted into position and the hoist itself installed, wired up and tested successfully. This feature will be a great help when we start loading up the mezzanine later this year. He has now turned his attention to a carrier basket to easily hold the items which will be going up and down.

Friday, 17 February 2017

February News Part 3

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


Another case of "more of the same", I'm afraid. Most of the folks have been occupied further progressing the door reconstructions. Lots of woodwork and filler has been appearing as a result. After a long absence Monkey has finally returned, we're not sure what he's been up to but he mentioned something about American politics... He was on hand to supervise the door works in any case!


Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129


No progress to report.

British Railways 1960 Restaurant Buffet (Refurbished) E1969


The aluminium window frames and door edging strips mentioned last week are now fully finished off, with their filled holes (over the rivets) now dressed smooth and a coat of etch primer applied throughout.

Paint preparation work continues with a particular focus on the lower half of the seaward side. Not too much to report on the task, as it is the classic sand/fill/sand/fill/sand routine, which doesn't really translate into exciting words very well!


The interior has just had a little bit of finishing works done to it to tidy up some of the damage caused by removing the windows, such as touching in of varnish.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


Re-upholstery of the final three (third class) compartments is now approaching its end. It is anticipated that these last seats will be completed and fitted over the next few weeks, which will signal the end of this major rebuild.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352


As suggested last week, the second coating of the green gloss has progressed at a fast pace this week, and the main panel painting is now complete except for the yellow warning panel on the cab end. The seaward side aluminium window frames have also been painted silver, following the landward examples which were treated last week.

Our trusty volunteers on Wednesday attended to several smaller outstanding tasks, with the edges of the gutter painted grey where the gloss green from the bodysides has splashed onto them. A lock was also adjusted on one of the doors and a spacial block to provide it with extra support fitted. It now operates much better.

The current task is now the lining out of the vehicle, which was started as soon as the green had hardened off enough to mark out the lines. So far, a first coat has been applied to the upper of the two cream lines which run the full length of the vehicle. In total there is around 260 feet of lines to paint on, by hand!


British Railways 1959 Class 03 Diesel Shunter D2063


The cab window fitting has progressed and the engine room doors have been painted and are now ready for refitting.

Workshop


The Axeman made his triumphant return and has immediately returned bearing cake. He certainly knows how to get into a place, although that is perhaps not surprising given that he previously worked for the Prison Service! (No, not as an inmate...). He has made a start of constructing a main support for the winch that is to be fitted to the new mezzanine floor. This is specially shaped to attach to the steel roof supports of the building and will be a useful addition to this area.


Monkey has, of course, inspected and declared his approval!