Museum working party 16th May 2024

Another bright sunny morning in Wharf Yard as the cover came off, the largely dismantled, wagon no. 164. Charles Benedetto and John Olsen carried on with last weeks work on the wagon bars; cleaning off the loose paint from the long bars and removing the old paint and rust from the corner brackets. They were joined by Rob Langham for the morning, who volunteered his services in his down time before his next turn on the locos; thank you Rob, you are a true gent. The Corris door was fetched out of the Gunpowder Store and Rob set to work painting its outer face with red oxide; the first of two top coats. Charles used wood hardener on all the suspect areas of timber of the bars, ie any cavity, and left it to soak in so that filler can be applied next week.

With the first train of the day waved away we stopped for our coffee break together with David Broadbent, duty museum attendant, Max Birchenough, platform inspector, Keith Theobald, jobbing cashless paypoint installer, and old hands Ann McCanna and Tom Place. Rob nobly opted to get the painting job done.

Back across the tracks John and Charles cut two new pieces of wood to replace the rotted end bars, using the circular saw to cut 98% of the way through the plank with Charles finishing off with the handsaw. Before leaving Charles marked out the cuts to form the tenons on the ends of the new bars. John opted to keep going with de-rusting the last two corner brackets and then treating them with anti rust liquid so that they would be ready for painting next week.

While waiting for the anti rust treatment to cure John made a good start on removing the remnants of the old fixing bolts of the end strapping of the Aberllefenni incline counterbalance wagon. A combination of hammer and cold chisel dislodged all but two of the small bolts but the two large nuts holding the cross bar and sides together will require further ‘softening up’ with more WD40, and the blow torch. Max kindly assisted in covering no. 164 over and John completed the tidy up of the site and stowing of the tools.

Photos by John Olsen.