Museum working party 10th Nov 2023

It looked like the teams luck with the autumn weather had run out this morning as strong squalls washed over Wharf yard. But Allan Black, Max Birchenough, Pete Thomas, Andy Sheffield and John Olsen got lucky one more time as they assembled, the rain blew inland and a dry, if windy, period allowed them to get the bars of wagon no. 164, the two bar braked slate wagon, out of the Gunpowder Store to place atop the frame and then lay the new frame for the Corris Mail Waggon on the top of them.

Wagon no’s 117 (incline wagon) and 113 (splayside wagon) were shunted from beside the Llechfan hedge onto the Weighbridge road and then no. 164’s frame was shunted up behind them, to allow wagon no. 146, the covered wagon to be moved onto the wagon turntable outside the Gunpowder Store in preparation for its eventual storage inside the shed for the winter. But before then three of the giant yellow Hippo bags, that had been placed in no. 164, were retrieved to cover over the wagons on top of the plastic wrapped sterling boards, to help protect the wagons from the worst of the winter weather to come. With ropes in place to hold the covers against the wind the team took an early coffee break just before the next squall hit Tywyn.

The warmth of the cafe, coffee chocolate biscuits and chat were just what the team needed to thaw out and then brave the elements again.

Fortunately the rain had ceased and a second dry spell allowed the transfer of tools, trestles and assorted wagon ironmongery to the museum to take place without getting a soaking. As the rain returned the team set up temporary work benches inside to continue with the painting of the wagon parts and also erected the portable scaffold tower on the landing of the museum stairs to enable the brass name and works plates to be taken down safely for cleaning and polishing over the next couple of weeks.

Proceedings were closed after John had outlined the other jobs to be covered during the winter shutdown period; painting of areas were there was scuffing or wear, swapping out the light rope on the Guinness loco, mounting castors on the second interactive to allow it to be moved aside for easy access to the space under the stairs and castors also to be fitted to the grey display plinths to make their movement easier and safer than the present need to physically lift them to avoid scratching the slate floor tiles.

Photos by John Olsen