Museum working party 29th Feb 2024

It was a pleasant dry morning for a change in Tywyn, but the tasks in hand were still all inside the museum. Andy Sheffield, Max Birchenough, Charles Benedetto and John Olsen continued with the winter refresh of the museum. John had been in during the intervening week to paint the plywood backing boards that were cut last week and had put up the scaffold tower in preparation for fixing them to the bogus beam above the stairs on the first floor.

Andy and Charles were tasked with getting the headboard mounts evenly spaced and at the right heights to display the first three headboards, the 1953 Coronation, the Platinum Jubilee and the passing of Queen Elizabeth. Max wielded the paint roller to apply a fresh coat of white paint to the wall below the windows looking into the Awdry Study as this had suffered much scuffing from many tiny shoes as youngsters gazed in at the original Thomas the Tank Engine model on the Ffarquhar layout. John went up the scaffold tower to prepare for the drilling of the mounting holes, moving the electronic sign out of the way and arranging extra lighting on the work site.

We stopped for a slightly early coffee as Ann McCanna was on her way to the Health Centre and had baked cakes for us, yum. We were presently joined by Tom Place for our morning coffee chat and chocolate biscuits, lemon drizzle biscuits and the afore mentioned cakes.

Replete with excess calories we returned to the museum where Charles and John went up the scaffold tower to affix the first backing board and the curse of the bogus beams struck again; this time in the form of an unexpected concrete insert. Shortened plas plugs overcame this issue and the board was soon populated with the three headboards. Andy prepared the second board, which was to hold the Coronation of King Charles and the Commonwealth Baton Relay headboards while Max put a second coat on the wall and then tidied away the painting gear. John hung the second board solo as the scaffold tower could not be placed in the optimum position for two to work on it, one holding the other drilling due to the positions of the lights and the bogus beam itself. Nonetheless this board too was soon in place and holding its head boards.

The scaffold tower was dismantled as we did not require it upstairs any longer and some tidying of tools was carried out but we were spared having to stow it all away under the stairs as the museum is not open this weekend.

As an interesting aside, John was returning to the museum from the Gunpowder Store when a local lady and her two children hopefully peered into the museum. They were chaperoned safely up onto William Finlays footplate and then upstairs to view cabinet C12, as the Welsh cape and hat had belonged to their grandmother and the family still retained a second set at home. The lady was encouraged to dust it off and return to the railway in full regalia on a suitable occasion and re-establish the close ties between the Talyllyn Railway and the family.

Photos by John Olsen