Museum working party 9th Dec 2021

After its recent poor showing in letting Storms Arwen and Barra soak Tywyn, the Tywyn weather mojo pulled a proverbial rabbit out of its hat with a lovely calm and sunny morning in Wharf yard today.

But all was not well with the big sign on the Neptune Road face of the museum for John observed that it had acquired a banana-like bend of its western end due to the savage gusts out of the NW. Thus together with Max Birchenough he set about putting matters to rights; this required tools from the Gunpowder Store which led to him spotting Charles Benedetto idly chattering in the yard with Tim Wilkinson. Our third errant team member got his marching orders and joined us out on Neptune Road to re-hang the sign post de-bananaing, which is when we discovered that half the fixing holes did not correctly align with their ‘corresponding’ wall plugs. A bit of judicious opening out of the holes in the sign allowed it to be securely re-hung; with two new fixings at each end to curb any future tendencies to ‘go with the wind’.

Ann McCanna called us to coffee in the warmth of the cafe together with Sue Benedetto and treated us to her ‘Christmas Distilled’ cake, a delightful confection that included mince pies and cranberries – totally moreish but we kept one piece back for Keith Theobald as he joined us partway through our verbal meanderings. Naturally encounters with the wind featured in our discourse with Charles describing how some G scale wooden wagons were unseated from the rails by lesser winds than Arwen and Barra had thrown at us. Keith revealed that he had found the missing keys, not down the back of the sofa but actually suspended from the underpinnings of the sofa; how they managed this gravity defying transition without the aid of a dog or cat remains a mystery. With Andy Sheffield absent, all the members of the team felt obliged to eat the chocolate covered Hobnobs with his name on them, taking one, or more, for the ‘team’.

Refreshed by our chat, chocolate and cake we returned to our current project, wagon no. 146, which we hauled out of the Gunpowder Store under increasingly grey skies. This morning we attached the two vertical straps to the western end of the wagon, joggling the planks to get all the holes to align well enough to tap the coach bolts through and tighten up the many nuts. Getting the top plank in place allowed Charles and Max to secure the end wall to the roof beam with the angle strap, stiffening up the whole assembly. John ground off the square shanks from some more coach bolts ready for further work on the east end of the wagon. We were in the process of wrapping up the mornings activities when the first rain drops began to fall and quickly heaved the wagon back into the protection of the Store before collecting up the tools and stowing them too.

By the close of play three men had attached two straps, secured one top plank and rectified the wind damage to our museum sign.

Photos by John Olsen