An overcast morning in Wharf yard today and work started early with John and Keith removing the packing timbers and lowering the metal body, no. 14. onto its old chassis in the entranceway to the station and then re-instating the explanatory sign.
This morning the work was divvied up between Allan Black, Charles Benedetto, Andy Sheffield, Pete Thomas and John Olsen. But first everyone contributed to moving the spare wagon wheels and shunting the wagons so that the Corris Mail Waggon could be worked on more easily. Then Allan and Charles resumed their removal of the old paint and rust from the FR metal slate wagon basket, a process made more demanding by the many nooks and crannies of the basket design.
Andy was tasked with turning the old metal ‘museum open’ signs into barriers to close off the under stairs area from over inquisitive young visitors; this entailed precision drilling of holes for the clips to allow the signs to be clipped to our existing tension barrier tape posts. Pete and John returned to the removal of the remaining bolt securing the body of the Corris wagon to its frame by applying a blow torch to the seized nut and then using a hammer and spanner to undo it. Max Birchenough checked in with the gang prior to going up the line working on the trains and Malcolm Phillips joined us from his overseeing of works elsewhere in Tywyn.
We took our coffee in the cafe to stay out of the cold wind and were joined by David and Mandy Broadbent, Mike Green and Keith Theobald; the extended table stretched most of the way across the cafe.
Returning to the work site John and Pete jacked and packed the Corris wagon body up so that a survey of the condition of the frame and body underside could be made. The corner brackets were all corroded, with one of the West end brackets being extremely wasted away; these will all need replacing. One of the brackets that hold the base of the door in place could be seen to be peeling away from the floor plate due to rust expansion in the contact zone, this will need attention. There was significant corrosion on the body floor plate where it had been in contact with the frame, but most of the rest was in seemingly fair condition; the body will be lifted off next week and turned over for a more detailed inspection.
Allan and Charles progressed the clean up operation of the metal basket and Andy completed the first barrier, which was then installed in the museum.
Photos by Allan Black and John Olsen