Museum working party 17th Aug 2023

The sun was shining and the wind was blowing strongly from the East but that was fine for the working party. Allan Black, Max Birchenough, Charles Benedetto, Oliver Jenkins, Pete Thomas and John Olsen were on hand to take the wagon cover off the Corris wagon body, turn over the ex GWR slate wagon metal basket in the Gunpowder Store and generally get work underway.

Max completed his primer painting of the Corris drawbar and then applied fresh primer to a corner of the ex GWR slate wagon frame, where the bituminous paint had fallen away and rust set in, after the rusty spot had been cleaned up with a with brush. John and Charles used the welders hammer to finish chasing out the seam between the sides and floor of the Corris wagon, which was very pitted, and then Charles used an angle grinder plus wire wheel to clean it out of any remaining loose material. He and Max then embarked on removing the rust from the second half of the floor underside, cleaning right back to bare metal.

Allan and Pete had to re-assemble the brake gear on the new frame as marking the position of the holes for mounting the brake operating arm had not been done before we took all the clamps off last week. Oliver painted the remaining parts of the metal basket that hadn’t had the second coat of metal paint while John applied grey undercoat to the zebra striped door of the Gunpowder Store in preparation for a black topcoat. We stopped for coffee when Ann McCanna took our coffee order and then packed out one of the platform tables as we were also joined by David Broadbent, Andy Sheffield and Mike Green.

Back at the work site Allan and Pete found that the central holes that Roelof had used when making the frame overlapped with the positions of the brake lever mounting bracket holes; to overcome this two pegs will be made from spare oak timber and fitted before drilling out the holes. Pete left site early to get the pegs made as a homework project. With the departure of the 11:15 train came the departure of Oliver from our ranks as his holiday in Tywyn is now coming to an end and we wished him bon voyage; he will return next year.

John completed painting the Store door in undercoat so that the Gunpowder Store now sports a fetching two tone finish. The new Corris wagon frame was dis-assembled and the metal parts stored under the upturned body; it is hoped to drill the remaining holes next week when the pegs are ready and we have a new 26mm wood auger bit for drilling the brake shoe hanging arm holes.

With Max Charles and John each wielding a brush the remaining half of the Corris wagon floor was painted with grey acid etch primer in quick order and the wagon cover placed back over it. The drawbar went into the Gunpowder Store along with all the tools and the site left safe and tidy.

Photos by John Olsen.