Museum working party 6th July 2023

A dull and blustery morning today in Wharf yard and a big HIAB equipped truck was in the process of loading three TR wagons to go to the Glynn Valley 150 event as the team assembled.

Allan Black, Pete Thomas, Max Birchenough, Charles Benedetto and John Olsen removed the protective cover from the ex-GWR steel bodied slate wagon basket and then shunted wagon no. 136, the three slat slate wagon, closer to the electricity supply ready for work to commence. Charles continued to finish his clean up of the drawhooks to be fitted to no. 136, whilst Max and Allan plugged in their angle grinders to remove more rust from the basket. Pete got down, and dirty, with the cutter blade fitted angle grinder to trim off the excess thread of the long bolts on no. 136 and John applied heat to the first of four rusty nuts holding the final pair of axleboxes to the expired Corris mail waggon frame.

By the time we had waved away the first train of the day Max had swapped removing rust for applying wood preservative to the new Corris frame as he and Allan were getting too close for safe working. Ann McCanna’s arrival signalled coffee time, which we had out on the platform with her, David Broadbent (fresh from his latest round of treatment) and Mike Green.

Post coffee, chocolate and chat we returned to the other side of the line where we turned over the new frame for further wood preservative and Charles opened up a can of black Hammerite to paint the drawhooks and the new lateral axlebox bolts, on no.136, with. With one axlebox remaining to free off, John found that last weeks generous lubricating of the rusty nuts with WD40 had sufficiently penetrated the threads of the last pair so that no heat was required to remove them, just a lot of muscle power.

Max opened a tin of black bitumenous paint to paint over the four heads of the short bolts holding the axleboxes of no. 136; this is an experiment to see if it is a superior rust proofing to Hammerite on galvanised bolts. He also painted the nuts and remaining threads of the long bolts under the frame with the same intention, to test its efficacy. Allan got in on the painting action to apply acid etch primer to the parts of the metal basket that he and Max had cleaned up.

With the wagon cover back on, no. 136 shunted back onto the weighbridge and the drawhooks placed inside the Gunpowder Store the site was tidied and left safe.

Photos by John Olsen