Museum working party 6th June 2024

The sun was shining on Wharf Yard this morning and after last weeks busy holiday operating schedule things were a lot quieter. Andy Sheffield and John Olsen were on site early and shunted the incline wagon and splayside wagon down the siding to join the two slate wagons on display outside Llechfan. This freed up siding space for the Corris Mail Waggon partial re-assembly that will take place in the near future.

When Charles Benedetto and Pete Thomas had joined us the cover was removed from the frame of no. 164, the ex TR two bar braked slate wagon and the salient timbers located for restoration work. Andy and Charles took on the task of scarfing in a new section of timber to replace a rotted off end, using a section of sound wood that John had cut from the scrapped short bars and trimmed to size off site. Pete completed his work securing the new end piece of wood he had scarfed in last week by adding two no. 12 brass screws for added strength. John got to work on the wagon frame with an angle grinder fitted with an abrasive flap wheel, removing old paint and glue where the dumb buffer had ‘failed’ at one end in preparation for a new piece to be fabricated to fit, and generally removing old flaking paint.

Max Birchenough came over to chat with us before he left on the first train to take up duties as Brynglas blockman for the day. We then joined Ann McCanna and our other guests this morning, Neal Chapman and David Broadbent, for our morning coffee chocolate biscuits and chat on the platform in the bright sunshine.

With the Quarryman Train waved away we migrated back to our tasks. Andy and Charles used the oscillating saw to trim the rotten timber out of the bar and then chiselled the last few millimetres to get a precise fit of the replacement timber section. Pete completed his scarfing in with a jack plane so that the new and old wood were smooth and level. He then moved on to giving the wagon frame of no. 164 a good sousing with wood preservative over all the bare timber that John had removed the paint from, the headstocks and dumb buffers and the top surfaces of the frame. John went round the vertical holes with the patent bottle brush to ensure that plenty of preservative reached those dark pits of potential rot.

With the morning drawing to a close the tools were packed away and the site cleared of wood offcuts before the cover was put back over the frame of no. 164 for another week.

Photos John Olsen