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Sign writers restore historic locomotive

Sign writer Tim Girvan at work on the Metropolitan 1, the first ever steam-powered London Underground locomotive.

Sign writer Tim Girvan at work on the Metropolitan 1, the first ever steam-powered London Underground locomotive.

Two Bedford sign writers helped to bring an historic locomotive back to its former glory as part of the London Underground’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

Seb Blore-Rimmer and Tim Girvan – who have been independent sign writers all their working lives – worked on the refurbishment of the Metropolitan 1, the first ever steam-powered underground locomotive.

The restored train travelled through some 12 underground stations as part of the celebrations earlier this month.

Tim, of Putnoe and Seb of Stevington spent two days working on the paintwork before the train made its historic journey along part of the original Metropolitan Line – now the Hammersmith & City Line.

Seb, 47 – who often does sign-writing for Bedford School, the Harpur Trust and other organisations in the town – completed the work with Tim in two 12-hour shifts.

He said: “I worked on painting the train’s name while Tim focussed more on the graphics side.

“We did the work at the London Transport Museum Depot, who first contacted us back in October last year.”

He added: “We had to spend quite a lot of time on it and be very precise at it was a very big event and everything had to be just right for the day.

“We are very proud to have been involved in this momentous commemorative celebration of British engineering.”

Seb – who also has other jobs – often works on honours boards for customers in the Bedford area.

He said: “I’ll often paint the words on boards for schools that want to list past house captains, for example, or sports clubs that have boards of honour.

“We use specialist paints and brushes for all of our work, and that was vital with the Metropolitan 1 job – you certainly wouldn’t want to use your average household paint or gloss!”

 

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