Museum working party 20th July 2023

It was looking pretty wet in Wharf Yard as the team gathered in the shelter of the Gunpowder Store this morning and work was delayed until the heavy shower passed over.

Allan Black, Max Birchenough, Pete Thomas, Andy Sheffield and John Olsen then got the cover off the ex GWR slate wagon basket and laid out the old Corris draw bar on the new frame to mark the rebate positions. John was preparing a fresh batch of conservation wax inside the cover of the Gunpowder Store, ready to apply to the metalwork of wagon no. 136 (as an experiment to see if it could help fend off the Tywyn weather), Max was happily painting, Allan fitting another dumb buffer and Andy and Pete cutting the first rebate when the rain returned and caused a hurried restoration of the cover and retreat inside.

The shower persisted and John called an early coffee break as nothing could proceed outside. We were joined by Ann McCanna and Charles Benedetto for our break and the sun broke through to dry the yard out.

Now the rain was past work could proceed uninterrupted, almost, as a visitor and her son enquired after our activities and Max and Andy stepped up to act a their guides; well done chaps. With the basket fully primed Max moved onto bashing the worst of the rust off the Corris wagon drawbar for John to take over with a wire brush fitted angle grinder in between fitting sessions as Andy and Pete chiselled out the three rebates. A bit more fettling of the rebates remains to be done and the wood has been marked for further attention.

Allan moved onto the last dumb buffer and had it in place by the end of the morning. John did get to apply the conservation wax to no. 136 and the effect on the left over rain water, chasing it off the bobbins etc, bodes well for the longer term preservation of the wagon.

Photos by John Olsen