Museum working party 7th Dec 2023

A very select team assembled in the museum this morning, Allan Black, Max Birchenough and John Olsen had just one morning to complete their tasks and clear up ready for the next museum open day. With the strong likelihood of the platform glass screens being installed soon (to provide wind and rain protection for the museum and cafe entrances) Max and John removed the A2 notice board and the various signs that would interfere with the erection of the new frame to the left of the Vertical Rising Door and stowed them inside for later reuse.

Allan set to work preparing two baseplates from plywood to secure to the base of one of our grey display plinths so that castors and rubber feet could be fitted to make shifting these heavy objects much safer and easier. Max and John ascended the heights over the Eaton Railway cabinet behind William Finlay to reconfigure the signs to accommodate a new one; Max wielding the screwdriver to undo the fixings with John in a supporting role, literally as he took the weight of each sign. Neal Chapman stopped by, while he was on a mission to Wharf from Pendre, to see how things were progressing in the museum.

With baseplates fixed to the plinth and the signs that needed shuffling down from the wall we adjourned to the cafe for our coffee, chat and chocolate biscuits, and more. Keith had not only generously topped up our supply of Hobnobs but he also bought piping hot mince pies fresh from the cafe oven. Then Ann McCanna and Tom Place joined us and Ann presented us with more mince pies that she had baked; our plates overfloweth with good things to eat! Keith regaled us with the tales of the oversized wagon now standing in the yard, which should eventually reside on BR land beside the Wharf Edge siding on a track panel; but alas the track panel languishes elsewhere and so we have a big ‘cuckoo’ in the yard nest!

Refreshed, and more than adequately refilled, we returned to the museum and our tasks. Once John and Max had hung the new sign up and put back the older ones in a new arrangement, we helped Allan finish off his job. The single rubber foot trial was not stable enough so we needed to fabricate some more packing pieces out of spare plywood and MDF; the neatest way was by using a large hole cutter to make circular packing pieces that could be stacked to the right height. With two castors and two rubber feet in place the plinth was now solid and the cast iron point could be re-attached before wheeling the plinth back into place and locking the castor.

Then it was time to put all the tools away and run Henry the hoover over the floor to remove any signs that we had been working in the museum.

Photos by John Olsen