The skies looked ominous this morning at Wharf as the working party assembled. Allan Black, David Broadbent and John Olsen were present to do more on the no.136 rebuild and Corris Mail Waggon cosmetic refurbishment.
Before the others arrived John helped Keith Theobald to put the scrolling noticeboard at the top of the stairs back into position after its firmware update by Malcolm Phillips; it now points our visitors towards the Awdry Study in Welsh and English.
In the yard the cover came off no.136 and David put the second coat of red oxide paint on the headstock of the Corris wagon. Allan and John made copper number tags for the axleboxes and marked the frame with the corresponding numbers as in the past we have discovered that the fixing holes in the axleboxes are not precision drilled! With all four axleboxes on the upturned frame they measured off from the east end for the first pair of boxes and then placed the next pair roughly in position before fine tuning by measuring the diagonal distances from the first pair. Then the positions of the fixing holes were carefully marked in pencil on the bottom and outer face of the frame.
With the second, well loaded, train of the day waved off from Wharf we stopped for our morning coffee and chat with Keith; Ann McCanna stopped only for a short while as she had her family with her.
Back across the tracks we investigated the fixings situation, bobbins, bolts, nuts and washers, to ensure we had adequate numbers of each to complete the job. To make it easier we also brought the slats out and stacked them on the appropriate bobbins, which allowed us to ‘retire’ some of the most corroded old bobbins in favour of new ones. We had fixings to spare so it was a green light to continue.
We have a set of wood augurs for the hole drilling in the frame, of which two were the right diameters for the two sizes of bolts we use, plus a bit of play; but they require a big drill to power them. Allan volunteered his drill for the job next week. At about this time the clouds started to rain a fine wind blown drizzle on proceedings that prevented any use of power tools so the decision was made to stop a little early, clear the work site, and cover the wagon frame over.
Photos by John Olsen and Keith Theobald