Museum working party 15th June 2023

A hot sunny morning for the team after the fortnights holiday break, but fortunately for Allan Black, Charles Benedetto, Pete Thomas and John Olsen the yard by the Gunpowder Store is shaded by trees.

The first task of the day was to assist Keith Theobald in getting the platform scales, that had been repainted by Steve Crane, out of the Store and into the Weighbridge house. To make the task possible we first shunted the new wagon no. 136 frame and the old Corris Mail Waggon frame west out of the way. Then the scales were partially dismantled to lighten them, as it is an extremely robust cast iron item, followed by laying down plywood and sterling board sheets to roll it over so that Keith could get the Bobcat forks under it. A delicate lifting and moving operation got the weighing machine to another set of boards leading into the Weighbridge House where it was tipped on its side and manhandled through the doorway, rolled across the floor and into its final resting place in the north west corner; where it was re-assembled allowing the temporarily displaced furniture to be brought back inside.

With a growing thirst, and the first train waved away, we went into the relative cool of the cafe for our coffee break in the company of Ann McCanna, Malcolm Phillips, Andy Sheffield, Mike Green and Tom Place. Even inside the chocolate on the biscuits was becoming runny in the heat.

Back in the yard the Corris wagon frame was shunted back up beside the Store and the metal basket of the ex GWR steel bodied slate wagon moved away from its frame and placed atop the upturned Corris wagon body; this was to make the remaining stripping and priming activities easier.

Allan cleaned off one end and then use the acid etch primer to protect the newly cleaned metal. Pete used an angle grinder with cutting wheel fitted to cut off more rusted on nuts to release another internal corner plate from the Corris frame while John used an old fashioned hacksaw to cut through one of the drawbar fixing bolts. Charles applied the second coat of black bitumenous paint to the new floorplate of wagon no. 136 and left it to dry.

The wagon cover was placed over the metal basket to protect the bare metal from the forecast rain later in the week and the site tidied of tools and tripping hazards.

Photos by Allan Black and John Olsen