Museum working party 10th Aug 2023

Wharf yard was very warm this morning and before work began John reminded everyone to drink a little and often to prevent dehydration. We had a substantial team; Pete Thomas, Allan Black, Oliver Jenkins, Charles Benedetto, Max Birchenough, Robert Morgan and John Olsen on hand to tackle several projects.

After the wagon cover had been taken off the upturned Corris wagon body and the metal basket in the Gunpowder Store had been turned over, work proper could commence. Initially Max, Oliver and Robert had their hands on the wire brush fitted angle grinders, with Max cleaning up the Corris drawbar and Oliver and Robert stripping the rusty base of the Corris Mail Waggon body back to bare metal. Charles was in the cool of the Gunpowder Store putting a further coat of paint on the ex GWR slate wagon basket while Pete, Allan and John discussed the steps required to get the new Corris frame onto its wheels in order to establish where to drill the mounting holes for the brake shoes and began laying out the bits in their correct positions.

Ann McCanna arrived to take our coffee and tea order and we stopped work just before the 11 am service departed up the line. We were joined by David Broadbent and Keith Theobald for our caffeine chat and chocolate biscuits.

There was a swap of jobs after the coffee as Oliver joined Pete and Allan as they finished putting temporary bolts in the axleboxes and used our suite of G clamps to hold the brake shoes in place on the wheels. The addition of the brake operating lever led to the first of many small adjustments, with additional clamps being employed, before the final mounting hole positions were centre marked. Max completed his cleanup of the drawbar and applied the acid etch primer to one side and the ends. John and Robert were not far behind as they completed the clean back to metal using an abrasive wheel to finish half of the underside, whereupon Robert did the honours with the primer.

Charles completed the painting of the basket with assistance from John ‘You missed a bit’ and the freshly primed drawbar was brought into the Gunpowder Store to keep the rain off it. With the cover back on the Corris wagon body and the new frame chocked to prevent it being moved the site was tidied and left safe for visitors to walk around.

Robert had brought along a selection of tools to offer the working party, which were gratefully accepted as they complimented and extended our current inventory. Thank you Robert.

Photos by Allan Black and John Olsen.