Museum working party 14th Sept 2023

The grey skies over Wharf yard had thankfully shed their rain as the team assembled for this mornings working party; we dodged another weather bullet there! Allan Black, Andy Sheffield, Charles Benedetto, Pete Thomas and John Olsen first had to ‘rescue’ our Corris wagon ironmongery from the covered wagon, no. 146, which had been marshalled into a heritage freight train on the middle road in preparation for the forthcoming Heritage Weekend.

The axleboxes, brake gear and drawhooks were all due for attention to remove rust and old paint. As Allan, Charles and Andy got tooled up to use the wire brush fitted angle grinders, John attached the replacement wooden ‘jaw’ he had made for the junior Workmate during the week, so that we now have two fully functional Workmates. Pete got on with painting the upper and outer faces of the new Corris wagon frame inside the Gunpowder Store, starting with the many fixing holes using the bottle brush to achieve 100% internal coverage. John made a start on sanding down the second Gunpowder Store door; working on the upper half with a sanding block and small wooden block wrapped in sandpaper to get into the grooves.

With the first, well loaded train, waved away, we stopped to have coffee with Tom Place and Ann McCanna, sharing the biscuits with David Broadbent, on duty as museum attendant for the first time since his recent health issues, welcome back David, and Keith Theobald who was attending to the ever present museum ‘paperwork’.

Back across the tracks Andy continued removing old loose paint and rust on the Corris wagon door with a combination of wire brush and hammer and cold chisel, Charles finished cleaning the drawhooks and Allan finished the inside faces of the axleboxes. Pete finished the first red oxide coat on the frame and John primed the bare wood his sanding had generated, leaving an interesting zebra pattern for the visitors to look at until next week.

It was a bit of a squeeze to get all the bits safely under cover in the Gunpowder Store but the site was left clean and safe at the mornings end.

Photos by John Olsen