A bright, but very cold day, greeted the team in Wharf Yard this morning. Thanks to the efforts of the Outdoor Gang, who temporarily put aside their mammoth relaying of Ty Mawr, the final pair of slate wagons were moved over to the heritage siding so that they could be covered over for the winter. But there was the small matter of transferring all the metal wagon parts, that had been freshly painted with black Hammerite, from the museum to the covered wagon, no. 146, where they will be stored for the winter.
Having hefted the parts across, the team cleared the floor of the Gunpowder Store and then rotated no. 146 through 180o, to get it through the doorway without fouling the brake lever. With the wagon safely indoors we could then proceed to wheel no. 136, the three bar slate wagon, onto the wagon turntable where it will rest for the winter, and cover it over with plastic sheeting and a giant Hippo bag. John performed the necessary tying down operation under the wagon as the rest of the team pleaded various ailments that prevented them from getting down onto the cold ground.
Ann McCanna summoned us from our labours to enjoy coffee, chocolate biscuits and chat together with David Broadbent, Tom Place and Keith Theobald in the warmth of the cafe.
Reluctantly the team left the cafe to complete the wagon winterising operation by covering over the two metal bodied slate wagons and the slate waste tipper wagon, which allowed them to retreat to the museum. Indoors the tools, trestles and other paraphernalia that we had been using in the winter maintenance programme were all tidied away and Henry the hoover given an outing on the ground floor, leaving the museum in a safe and fit condition for the first of several pre-Christmas Tuesday openings.
Photo by John Olsen