Museum working party 21st Oct 2021

The Tywyn weather mojo actually delivered first thing this morning, a bright sunny start, but lost the plot soon after and the rains came pattering down! Ian Evans and John Olsen started the morning by clearing out the gutters of the Weighbridge House and Gunpowder Store and evicting a collection of cuttings from the splayside wagon, which had appeared after a bushwhacking session behind the Weighbridge House. Charles Benedetto and Andy Sheffield joined them for the first big job of the day, transferring the faux sleepers and real railway chairs for the Tracksiders two foot siding, to a position of greater accessibility before other movements of stuff could block them in.

A special charter train tooted in the yard and we all performed our waving at the train ceremony before trooping into the museum and opening up the Long Term Storage space behind cabinet C12. This was to access more of the Sarah Eade bequest that had been placed there, for sorting by Jane Thornton, the Talyllyn Railway archives volunteer. We then made our way back to the Gunpowder Store to clear the loft space of any items that might be damaged when the old roof gets replaced in the (hopefully) near future. Some things like the wagon covers were placed in a cleared space within the store, the rest went outside for further sorting.

The first timetabled train of the day was then duly waved away and coffee time was declared. We took our morning brews to a table in the sunshine under the canopy and divvied up the last of the chocolate covered Hobnobs before topping up the tin with dark chocolate digestives. Also enjoying a brew at the next table were Malcolm Phillips, Keith Theobald and Jane Thornton, who partook of the chocolate covered bounty. Our idle ramblings took in such delights as virtual bell ringing; yes friends when Mike Green tells you about virtual bell ringing you do wonder if he isn’t ringing yours, but no, it is a real phenomenon in the world of campanology. But with Mike ‘in the room’ the conversation soon turned to other burning issues such as the breakfast eating habits of the royals, that will not be repeated here as they may constitute treason…. Not so the unfortunate eating habits of our canine companions, which can lead to their untimely demise after consumption of the most benign of sustenance, well benign to humans.

Refreshed in mind and stomach we returned to our labours as boxes of Sarah Eade’s bequest now descended from the museum to Keith’s van for conveyance to off site storage, and further space for other boxes of the bequest was created in the museum by shifting stored packing materials out to the Gunpowder Store. Who would have thought that paper could weigh so much? We tottered back across the tracks to put away the bits and bobs that had been taken out of the loft space, packing them inside the Store before wrapping for the day.

By the close of play four volunteers were left feeling a bit like the soldiers in the song ‘The grand old duke of York’ having marched up and down the museum stairs that many times….