Museum working party 25th May 2023

A glorious sunny morning today to greet the team in Wharf Yard; Allan Black, Pete Thomas, Charles Benedetto and John Olsen made the most of it.

The cover was removed from wagon no. 136, the three bar ex TR slate wagon, and its newly galvanised floorplate and a quick game of ‘try it in all possible orientations to make sure we’ve got it the right way round and right way up’. It was in the correct orientation already! Then the wagon chassis was rolled into the sun for Charles to wash it prior to its first coat of black bituminous paint.

Allan got to work with an angle grinder fitted with wire wheel, scrubbing rust out of the nooks and crannies of the ex GWR slate wagon metal basket and Pete and John wielded hammers and spanners on the dwindling number of nuts and bolts holding the Corris wagon together.

We waved away the first train of the day before going for our morning coffee out on the platform where the hot sun proved to be a hazard to both the chocolate digestives and the Jammy dodger biscuits, but the last of Andy’s biscuits were scoffed before the heat got to them. We were joined by duty attendant Mark Gibson, Max Birchenough, nursing a painful back, Keith Theobald and Tom Place for our coffee, chocolate and chat.

John performed a quick bit of dismantling on our old red donation stand to reclaim usable bits, before returning to the yard, as we now have a very smart cylindrical perspex donation station just behind William Finlay; be sure to admire and ‘feed’ it on your next visit to Tywyn.

Back on the wrong side of the tracks Charles painted the floorplate with black paint that was drying almost as quickly as he applied it, Allan scrubbed away more rust and old paint and the last, of four, horizontal axlebox bolts succumbed to Pete and John’s combined attention. They followed this up with cutting through a central bolt on the brake gear that allowed them to remove the brake shoes and the operating arm, having first labelled the shoes to make re-assembly easier.

There will be a two week holiday break in working parties, with the team returning to Wharf Yard on Thursday 15th June.

Photos by Allan Black and John Olsen