Museum working party 14th Mar 2024

The grey skies did not bode well for work in the yard so it was fortunate that the museum is only open at weekends for another fortnight, thus we could continue with the last of the winter works.

Charles Benedetto, Andy Sheffield, Pete Thomas, David Broadbent and John Olsen retrieved some tools and trestles from the Gunpowder Store, currently receiving much needed attention by Mick the Brick, and began the morning by removing the heavy cast iron rails and points from two of the grey plinths. This allowed the first plinth to be hoisted up onto the trestles and turned upside down in order to paint the new wheel and rubber feet mountings in mid grey.

As the second plinth was being turned it became evident that the original screws used to hold the mountings were inadequate and needed replacing. Andy and Pete got the paint brushes so that Andy could work on the plinth and Pete on the points lever display surround from the signal box, once it had been removed and the perspex inset put to one side. Charles and David removed the old screws from the second plinth and drilled deeper holes before inserting the new longer screws to hold everything fast. During this frenzy of activity John quietly removed the scuffed grey panelling and little access door, that keeps small sticky fingers away from the chain hoist mechanism of the vertical rising door, ready for a repaint. This revealed a lot of grime and spiders webs, which quickly succumbed to Henry the hoover.

Stopping for coffee when the first two painting jobs had been done we were joined by Tom Place for our coffee, chocolate biscuits and chat in the cafe.

Refreshed we returned tot he museum and swapped the first plinth and surround for the second plinth and the panelling so that our two da Vinci’s could carry on painting while David and Charles were assigned to putting up two clip frames to replace the ad hoc use of blu tak to display the no food or drink sign and a notice about the upcoming book launch in the museum.

John began to put the packs of screws and other paraphernalia back into the north wall store and then spoke to Neal Chapman regarding the manufacture of retaining clips for the bench that resides just outside the museum entrance between the wall and the support column. This space is now occupied by a very expensive sheet of glass so it is imperative that the bench be securely fixed down to the ground to prevent accidental damage to the glass. First problem, where was the seat? Having located it, behind Llechfan, Neal and John reviewed the best way to secure the clips to the ground so that Neal could then measure up for their production at Pendre.

With the painting completed and the new clip frames in situ, a limited clear up was conducted as the paint needed time to dry before all the items could be returned to their rightful locations; the two plinths were re-positioned and the heavy castings secured to them. John will complete the job and clear up on Friday, ready for the museum opening on Saturday.

Photo by John Olsen.