Museum working party 16th June 2022

Ideal weather conditions to work outdoors this morning, but the first job of the day took Andy Sheffield, Charles Benedetto and John Olsen into the museum to retrieve the Giesl Ejector display from storage and assemble it on the ground floor for photography during the coming week. Having accomplished this with the aid of Frank Nolan’s ‘muscle’, the team went into the yard to the Aberllefeni Quarry counterbalance wagon.

This wagon is showing advanced signs of deterioration and was playing host to a wide variety of heavy metal and timber objects, most of which were not related to the wagon itself, and threatened to cause damage if not removed. The smaller items had already been removed, but it was a three man job to extract the remains of a slab wagon, possibly from Bryn Eglwys Quarry, and transfer this to a grounded metal wagon body. This allowed three cross timbers from a TR wagon to be removed as well, considerably lightening the load on the timber frame of the Aberllefeni wagon.

Our coffee break was taken in the hot sunshine on the platform in the company of Ann McCanna, Mike Green and David Broadbent, who is currently on very light duties.

Post coffee the tarpaulin was removed from the splayside wagon to allow the rusty patches on its floor to be cleaned up with wire brushes. Three men with angle grinders made smart work of this task and after the muck had been swept and vacuumed up, the floor was immediately painted with a coat of black bitumenous paint; taking care to catch all the little dimples that were very difficult to see against the bright light reflecting off the new paint. The tarpaulin was put back over the wagon in light of possible storms over the weekend and the site tidied up to conclude the morning.

Photos by John Olsen