Museum working party 19th Oct 2023

After two days of Easterly gales and heavy overnight rain the team assembled under clearing skies in Wharf Yard and carried out some housekeeping duties first. Allan Black, Charles Benedetto, Andy Sheffield, Pete Thomas and John Olsen moved boxes of tools and parts from under the newly painted frame for the Corris Mail Waggon and then removed it from the stands to stand on its side, releasing space for drying out of parts of wagon no.164.

John had noted several nuts were pulling up into the wood of the frame on no.164 as he prepared it for the Heritage Weekend, so decided upon a complete stripdown to establish how much rot there was. John and Andy removed the final long bolts, lifted the two rings of wooden slats off and then removed the vertical axlebox fixing bolts to allow the metal floor plate to be moved aside to reveal the frame. This appeared to be in good order but to access the underside for inspection will require the removal of the wheels, axleboxes and brake gear in order to turn the frame over.

The metal parts of the Corris wagon had been brought out of the Gunpowder Store prior to upending the frame to allow Charles to continue painting them with black Hammerite. Allan began chipping and cleaning the rusty seams of the Corris body and Pete worked on the wagon end door, working Neutrarust liquid into the seams where rust had de-laminated the metal; we hope this will penetrate the rusted metal and help arrest further corrosion damage.

Ann McCanna took our coffee order and we adjourned to the sunny platform for a chocolate biscuits, caffeine and chat in the company of Ann, David Broadbent and Tom Place.

Back on the work site the floor plate of no.164 was moved into the Gunpowder Store and one of our plastic wrapped sterling board wagon covers extracted along with a Hippo bag from the loft space to cover over the frame outside, keeping it dry for next week. The wooden slats are held together with angle iron straps at the corners and the retaining bolts were loosened off with the aid of some WD40, ready for complete disassembly later, then they were moved into the Store too.

The protective cover went back over the Corris wagon body and the freshly painted and rust treated parts carefully stored in the Gunpowder Store, leaving the site safe for visitors to the railway yard.

Photos by John Olsen