Museum working party 2nd Nov 2023

Museum working party 2nd Nov 2023

The working party convened inside the dry of the museum this morning as the rain band of storm Ciaran was still soaking the yard. Andy Sheffield, Allan Black, Pete Thomas and John Olsen carried out a number of jobs that had been on the indoors ‘to do’ list for a while.

Allan began by carefully extricating the defective light rope, that has not been illuminating the darker depths of Baguley no. 774 for a large part of the season, in preparation for replacement. Andy and Pete removed three of the sand filled weights from our set of tensa barriers, which were not 100% sound, to swap them with salvaged metal weights. The swap over necessitated finding some longer M8 bolts , but thanks to a surfeit of these left over from the rebuilding of wagon no. 146, these were sourced from our stock in the Gunpowder Store. They also cleaned off the accumulated grime from the chromed posts and base covers so that they once more gleamed like new.

John got to remove four of the long bolts holding William Finlays dumb buffer metal ends caps from the rear buffers so that they can be machined to the correct profile round countersunk heads. By removing only two bolts from each buffer the end caps and wooden blocks can remain safely in place. Reaching the securing nuts was a far from easy task and the over long bolt shanks meant that a ratchet driver could not be used to speed up the removal either; John spent a long and rather uncomfortable time on his back. By the time Charles showed up for morning coffee John had only succeeded in releasing two bolts and even this pair had resisted being withdrawn after the nuts had finally been fully unscrewed as the shafts had rusted inside the timber of the blocks and buffer beam.

We retired to the comfort of the cafe to join up with Max Birchenough, who was on traffic duty, Keith Theobald, Ann McCanna, Tom Place and duty attendant John Alderslade for our morning coffee chocolate biscuits and chat.

With the rain showers still coming and going the team remained inside post coffee with Andy and Pete assisting Allan in installing the new light rope, securing it with cable ties and spring clips so as not to damage the fabric of the loco. John tackled the second, and more inaccessible, pair of bolts on William Finlay with assistance from Allan.

Henry the hoover was deployed to clear up the rust from the bolt removal job and the tools were returned to the Gunpowder Store for safe keeping, leaving the museum in a safe condition for our visitors.

Photos by John Olsen