Museum working party 9th Sept 2021

The Tywyn weather mojo got thoroughly confused this morning, what with Corris No. 7 gracing our rails for the Edward Thomas Centenary Celebrations this weekend, and defaulted to Corris weather! But it dithered long enough for David Broadbent, Charles Benedetto and John Olsen to take the covers off the chassis of wagon no. 146 so that John could explain his cunning plan Z to free off the rusted brake gear and then for him to help erect the scaffold tower on the platform with Keith Theobald and begin hanging the first of two new museum signs; then the heavens opened.

As John was already partway through the sign hanging and up on the scaffold tower he pulled up the hood of his waterproof jacket and carried on. Then with no sign of the downpour abating he and Keith moved the tower aside to allow the first train to board its late arrivals. With No. 4 and Corris No. 7 at its head, the first train was waved away up the line and coffee time declared on the platform as rain continued to stop play outside the Gunpowder Store.

Our morning caffeine, chocolate and chat was in the company of Keith and Malcolm Philips. The opening quip about the staff assembling a new Garden Rail layout in the yard, well it was 2 foot gauge actually but you get the gist, led onto the merits of 32mm vs 45 mm track; the latter looks like ‘standard gauge’ track apparently. The Quarryman stock pulled into the platform with No. 2 in charge and the banter moved onto whether this was the most appropriate engine, No. 3 having more original parts than No. 2, and thus it qualified as a more ‘Victorian’ locomotive. But the advocate of this view had his petard hoisted to the mainbrace when it was observed that very little in a human body is original after a few years have passed, as the cells all turn over.…

Refreshed we returned to our tasks, David and Charles worked on the rusted up locking nut that prevented the complete dismantling of the brake gear and had it turning in short order thanks to the correct sized spanner and a lump hammer. While John was out on the balcony with Keith hanging the second museum sign on the palings over looking the main line to attract the eye of visitors as they come over the road bridge. With the sign secured in place John went over the tracks to apply some violence to the rusty brake gear and succeeded in shifting a split pin and some more rust, but not the bearing. The brakes were put away in the Gunpowder Store to allow time for the fresh applications of WD40 to take effect and the operating arm replaced on the wagon chassis before the whole was sheeted over. To allow a wagon to be run onto the weighbridge, for operating tours of the weighbridge over the weekend, the two wheelsets in the two foot were relocated and the approach to the Weighbridge House cleared of any tripping hazards before time was called on the mornings activities.

By the close of play two new museum signs had been hung, the brake gear of wagon no. 146 had been dismantled successfully, and one worker got wet.

Photos by John Olsen