Museum working party 18th May 2023

A warm and sunny morning for a reduced size team after last week; Allan Black, Andy Sheffield, Pete Thomas and John Olsen got out our newly PAT tested power tools to continue dismantling the Corris Mail Waggon and de-rusting the metal basket of the ex GWR slate wagon.

Our first job was to turn the metal basket over so that the undersides of all the slats and rim could be properly cleaned up, then Allan could settle down to the task. Andy, Pete and John used a selection of spanners, sockets, air gun and hammers to undo more of the rusty bolts holding the Corris wagon iron work on the frame. The last cross bar, which supported the second brake shoe, succumbed to hitting with the lump hammer to remove it from the frame, revealing it had a slight bow in it, quite possibly a result of the non perpendicular holes through the frame.

With this out and several more nuts successfully removed we stopped for our coffee break out in the sun on the platform, in the company of Mike Green and David Broadbent. A serious dent in Andy’s chocolate covered Hobnob supply ensued over our caffeine and chat.

Refreshed we returned to the yard to our tasks and deployed an angle grinder with metal cutting disc on the Corris wagon as the nuts on the coach bolts holding the SW corner angle plate were seizing and then the bolt spinning as the rotten timber failed. But we managed to remove the SW corner plate, much wasted by corrosion, and the four bolts holding the brake operating arm so that the brake gear can now be dis-assembled.

Our morning was made complete by Chris Johnson delivering our galvanised floor plate for wagon no. 136; we quickly removed it from the flatbed van and placed it on the wagon frame. By great good fortune it was the right way up and the right way round so that we were able to put the wagon cover back on to keep it dry ready for cleaning and painting next week. The metal basket is now ready for a final clean down and priming as well.

Photos by Allan Black and John Olsen