Museum working party 25th Jan 2024

Grey skies and rain were in the offing, but the team were in the warm and dry in the museum again this morning. Ian Evans boosted our numbers together with Andy Sheffield, Allan Black, Pete Thomas, Charles Benedetto and John Olsen.

First order of the day was to take down the scaffold tower and move it out from behind the Oakeley coal wagon, then empty out the afore mentioned wagon of all the wooden nameplate patterns, stamp collections and sundry signalling equipment. The scaffold tower was then re-erected in the wagon to enable polishing of the next batch of brass name and makers plates and take down all the wooden nameplate patterns to be dusted.

Andy and Allan got handy with the paint brushes while Ian and Charles were our daring ‘young’ men on the flying trapeze polishing the brass. Pete was given a padlock to replace the temporary nut and bolt that was securing the ‘Can you power William?’ interactive to the stairs; and found that the hole was too small. Cue a session with the drill to open out the hole to receive the new padlock. John was kept busy shuttling between various jobs and in the quiet moments fetched a couple of head boards out of the store room ready for part two of the morning.

With the brass shining, but not yet waxed, and the wooden patterns dust free, we adjourned to the cafe for our morning coffee where we were joined by Jane Thornton, Malcolm Phillips and Mark Tibbutt who were engaged in TR archiving. Chocolate biscuits, coffee and chat flowed freely.

Just before we returned to our labours Ann McCanna and Tom Place joined us for their coffee and biscuits.

Back in the museum Ian and Charles polished off their job, and the scaffold tower was moved out of the wagon to beside the next display of brass nameplates for next weeks cleaning. The wagon was then re-packed, somewhat less randomly than before, with space still to spare for a few more items.

Allan and Pete cut out and assembled six new head board mounting brackets, sized to fit the two head boards John had brought out. John was then able to begin shuffling the existing head boards on display to accommodate another that commemorated 40 years of the Railway Letter service and discuss display options for four recent head boards with Ian.

With no visitors imminent we were able to leave our tools and other works items out ready for more work next week.

Photos by Allan Black and John Olsen